Carbon Footprint And How To Calculate Yours - Tips To Reduce Your Effect On Climate Change

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Source - Just Energy

In continuation to my previous article “Is Climate Change As Real As They Say It Is?" - Ways To Limit Climate Change Effects” there is a term we need to understand to feel how much our choices affect the environment and lead to climate change, which is “carbon footprint”.

What Is The Carbon Footprint?

It is the total of all the greenhouse gas emissions that had to take place for a product to be produced or for an activity to take place. Other greenhouse gases are not considered; only carbon dioxide emissions are.

Most consumers in industrialized nations tend to divide goods and services into four main categories: household energy usage, transportation, food, and everything else, which includes the goods we purchase, such as kitchenware, clothing, automobiles, and television sets.

A person's carbon footprint is the sum of all the products they purchase, use, engage in, etc.; each of these activities and products has its own carbon footprint. The food footprint of a regular beef eater will be greater than that of a vegan, but a vegan's overall footprint might be greater if they commute an hour each way in an SUV (sports utility vehicle), as opposed to our meat-eating, who takes the bicycle. Their combined footprint might be insignificant in comparison to the neighboring businesswoman, who travels cross-country in first class twice a month.

How To Calculate Your Carbon Footprint?

You can calculate your carbon footprint in an easy way from the "United States Environmental Protection Agency” website. This is the most accurate way to calculate it. But if you want a simpler way here are the steps:

1. Count the number of people in your house

More people in the house or the department means a lower carbon footprint score.
If you are living alone add 14 points, if you are 2 in the house add 12, and so on. Minus 2 with everyone more person until 7 or more in the same house add 2.

2. See how large your house is

If you live in a large house add 10 points, medium add 7 points, small add 4 points, and if you live in a department add 2 points.

3. Your food choices

If you eat meat daily add 10 points, only a few times a week add 8 points, vegetarian add 4 points, vegan add 2 points.

4. See your water consumption

Add three points if you use the dishwasher or washing machine more than nine times each week. Add 2 points if you do it 4 to 9 times. Add one point if you run it once to three times. Don't add anything if you don't have a dishwasher.
Do the math twice if you have a dishwasher and a washing machine.

5. Determine the new things you buy for your house

Add 10 points if you purchase more than 7 new items of furniture, electronics, or other household items each year, 8 points if you buy between 5 and 7 things, and 6 points if you buy between 3 and 5 things. 4 points if you buy fewer than 3 things. two points if you do not buy anything.

6. Measure how much waste you produce

How many times a week do you fill your trash cans?

If you fill 4 trash cans, then add 50 points what a huge number right!!

Then minus 10 points for every less can. And if you only fill half a can then add 5 points.

7. The amount of waste you recycle

If you don't recycle, your score will increase by 24 points. If you do recycle, though, you must start with 24 points and reduce 4 points for each sort of item you recycle.

8. Add up your transit score for the year

If you have your own car, then add 4-12 points according to the distance you ride it. Do not add any points if you don’t have a car.

If you use public transport, then add 2-12 points according to your annual distance. And do not add any points if you do not use public transport.

Add 2-20 points according to the number and the distance of your flights.

9. Sum your points

It is better if the score is lower. If you receive less than 60 points, your impact on the environment is minimal. If it is greater than 60, you might want to consider measures to lessen your influence.

We should always remember that we have only one planet to live on. We should consider how our choices affect it and how we can make it better.

Written by - Heba Salah