Just recently, we've seen a surge in people who are worried about the state of the world. Amidst all of the political turmoil and climate change disasters, it’s easy to lose hope and be afraid for our future. But don't worry! There is still hope and there are many things you can do to protect yourself from your fears. One of those things would be to find ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint. It may seem tedious, but the more you do, the more of a difference it will make.

We can’t control other people’s decisions, but we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that we emit into the atmosphere. Knowing how to lower our emissions is crucial for any of our efforts to be considered effective. Let’s start with what a carbon footprint is and what you can do to reduce yours.

A carbon footprint is defined as “the total set of GHG emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization or event” (Odum and Odum 351). For example, in order to find out how much carbon dioxide your lifestyle causes, you can first calculate the Lifecycle Approach. This approach breaks down all of our emissions into seven stages. From here, you can pinpoint where your emissions come from and how much of it is still unaccounted for.

The seven stages are:

Gathering – collecting raw materials for manufacturing. Such as picking fruit or hunting animals. Manufacturing – converting raw materials into well-defined products that will come into contact with the environment (cooking food, producing energy). Distribution – moving the goods from the point of production to their final destination (shipping products) Use/Disposal – using products for a certain period of time (using car). Disposal – discarding unwanted materials after use (storing trash) Recycling – reusing the materials in products (recycling plastic) Recovery – taking previously discarded materials and putting them to a new use (recovering metals). Exhaustion- the point at which the product no longer has any more value and is considered waste.

The amount of raw materials you use should decrease significantly, but you also need to evaluate how long you use them for. If you don’t use something that often, it shouldn’t be considered your main source of emissions. Additionally, you should be mindful of how you dispose of things. It should be used sparingly. Items that should not be disposed of with plastic bags, such as chicken bones or oily metal containers, instead find their way into a safe place for recyclers to utilize. This is because the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from plastic bags can outweigh the carbon savings gained from recycling it (Odum and Odum 350-351).

As you can see, there are many ways to lower your carbon footprint. You don’t have to wait for governments and other large organizations to come up with new policies on climate change; you can make changes on your own.


Great, now that you understand what a carbon footprint is and how to lower it we need to stop there. What do you think of this article? Do you agree or disagree? Please leave a comment below to let me know! If you think this article was helpful please take a minute and like, share, or retweet it. Your support can help others find this information.

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