Carbon footprints- everyone should take individual responsibility

By: Solar Bros | Posted: 31st March 2011

A carbon footprint whether it is my carbon footprint or your carbon footprint impacts the environment and therefore it is essential that we know all that we can about carbon footprints. Now, what is a carbon footprint exactly? To answer this question, carbon footprint is an assessment of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by an individual. Everyday, everybody and every process leaves behind a carbon footprint and since this is detrimental to the environment, if each one of us were to do our carbon footprint tracking, we would be able to reduce our personal carbon footprints. This in turn, would lead to reduced global warming and protect the environment.
Although carbon footprints can be applied to industrial processes, companies and products which would imply business carbon footprint, individual carbon dioxide emissions can be tackled much more easily as each individual can take personal responsibility. Individual activities which directly emit carbon dioxide to the environment are classed as primary carbon footprints and indirect emissions which take place through usage of products by the individual can be termed as secondary carbon footprint.
To calculate carbon footprint on a personal level, individuals can take the help of online carbon footprint calculators which show individuals how to measure the amount of carbon dioxide they emit into the atmosphere. Individuals may require certain information like utility bills, electronic items and their number and type and mileage covered in traveling to be at hand before logging onto such sites.
Once the personal carbon footprint tracking is done, individuals can then try for some carbon footprint management so as to impact the environment less. Making small changes in their lifestyles can go a long way in helping reducing carbon footprints of every individual. People are becoming more environmentally aware and if they wish to lower the greenhouse gas emissions, lowering their carbon footprints should be top priority.
This can be done in various ways. Using public transport for local travel, car pooling, walking or cycling instead of using individual cars will help in reducing your carbon footprint tremendously. Keeping the cars in good conditions or using biofuels if possible and buying more carbon efficient cars are also some steps in the right direction of a greener automobile travel.
CFL or compact fluorescent lamps are not only energy-saving but are also cost-effective as they lower the electricity bill. Replacing old bulbs with CFL will be another positive step. Heaters and air conditioners emit a high degree of carbon dioxide. Raising the thermostat by two degrees for air conditioning and lowering it by two degrees for heating will check the emissions. While purchasing appliances or renewing appliances consumers should check the energy rating of the product. Electrical appliances when not in use should be turned off and the ‘standby mode’ should be totally avoided. Washing machines and dishwashers should be used only when fully loaded. If each one of us were to pay attention to these seemingly small matters, we would succeed in reducing carbon footprints to a great extent.

Solar Bros is a proudly South Australian company of Campbell & Partners, a member of the Clean Energy Council—the peak body representing solar photovoltaic (PV) accreditation.
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Tags: small changes, personal level, atmosphere, top priority, personal responsibility, mileage, utility bills, lifestyles, calculators, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide emissions, industrial processes, carbon footprint