The carbon footprint helps us understand how much we pollute the planet with our lifestyle.
Being able to monitor the carbon footprint in your daily life helps us understand how we can help the planet with a better lifestyle.
Global Footprint Network (2020) states that the carbon footprint measures CO2 emissions associated with fossil fuel use. That means it includes all the carbon dioxide emissions a person causes in their daily life through food production, transportation, services, and lifestyle that help pollute the planet.
Monitoring your carbon footprint in your daily life is important to reduce contamination, have a better environment, and even have a healthy lifestyle. So, monitoring the total footprint of a person could be difficult since we should include almost all the activities in the daily routine because even if there is a short activity, there is CO2 produced.
However, today we have several tools and advice to help us measure our carbon footprint and support the environment by improving our lifestyle. One of them is the Footprint Calculator created by Global Footprint Environment, an international nonprofit organization founded in 2003 to help end ecological overshoot by making ecological limits central to decision-making.
With the Footprint calculator, we can calculate how much CO2 we produce. We need to access the tool and start answering the questions related to food, shelter, mobility, goods, and the services we use. With simple questions, the tool will be able to calculate our emissions. These are some examples of the questions you'll see:
- How often do you eat animal-based products?
- How much of your diet is fresh, unpackaged products or locally grown or produced?
- How is your home and what kind of energy do you use in your family? (Using a heater or air conditioner)
- Do you use electricity in your home from renewable sources?
- How much trash do you generate?
- How often do you buy new clothes, electronics, furniture, and other products for you and your home?
- How much do you travel in your vehicle (Bicycle or car)?
- How much do you use public transport?
- How much do you fly in a year?
It's just that easy and only takes 5 minutes. You will know how much CO2 you produce in one year, measured by tonnes related to your food, shelter, mobility, goods, and services. That way, you'll know how much energy, land, and water the Earth needs to produce the resources you consume.
With the Carbon Footprint calculator, you will also have the opportunity to explore your data and compare your results and numbers with people living in other regions on an interactive map. Also, you'll see insightful information about topics such as The Ecological Footprint, which measures how much demand human consumption places on the biosphere. And even the Total Biocapacity is the area of productive land available to produce resources or absorb carbon dioxide waste.
More important than this, knowing your carbon footprint is necessary to decrease the global contamination of the planet with specific actions. The tool also provides insightful information about how much your carbon footprint will decrease in topics such as energy (By saving energy at your home), goods (Buying certain things), or even in your daily routine like walking instead of using a vehicle.
What practices do you use at home to decrease your carbon footprint?
Footprint Calculator – Measure your Impact. (2020). Global Footprint Network.