The Carbon Footprint

December 9, 2017 by Hetal, posted in climate change    

From transportation to cooking on a grill, human activities often impact the surrounding atmosphere. When burning fossil fuels or wood, the combustion results in carbon dioxide molecules being released into the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide emissions from human activities have contributed to notable changes in Earth’s environment and atmosphere. In great quantities, CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas in the planet’s troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere. A large accumulation of carbon dioxide contributes towards the escalation of climate change and its impacts on Earth’s ecosystems. Increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have resulted in increased amounts of CO2 dissolving into the ocean, disrupting the coral and zooxanthellae symbiotic relationship and resulting in vast areas of coral dying out. Similarly to the oceans, an array of environments and species are affected by rising CO2 levels.

Humans can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere by being conscious about how one’s lifestyle contributes to CO2 emissions. This can be done by first understanding your own carbon footprint.

The carbon footprint is a measurement of a person’s environmental impact through a quantity of carbon, typically measured in tons or metric tons. A person’s carbon footprint can tell a great deal about how their lifestyle is contributing to the carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere.

The Nature Conservancy has a comprehensive carbon footprint calculator that compiles details about your lifestyle to calculate your carbon footprint. You can input simple or advanced information to get a general or specific carbon footprint calculation. Check it out here to calculate your footprint.

Knowing your carbon footprint is fundamental to understanding how you are impacting the environment and what aspects of your lifestyle you can change to decrease your contribution to the accumulation of carbon dioxide.

What can you do about it? Using the carbon footprint calculator by Nature Conservancy, you can find ways to reduce your carbon footprint at the end of the calculation. Even choosing a few alternatives to your regular lifestyle can contribute towards reducing the overall carbon dioxide emissions by human activities.   

Richard Hyman