What exactly is a carbon footprint and why should you care? Great questions! To put it simply, a carbon footprint is the total quantity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are attributable to a person, household or business as a result of their general operations.
There are two types of player when it comes to GHG output. For a company, GHG is produced via their means of mass production, construction or logistics. For everyday people, GHG is impacted not only by your own daily activities but also those same companies you choose to do business with.
Does it really matter?
We have either returned to, or have overtaken the planet’s 2011-2020 average green house gas levels.
Another great question! Ever heard of global warming? Climate change? Feel it getting warmer every year, or notice the increase frequency of environmental disasters around the globe such as severe flooding, droughts and melting icecaps? The overwhelming scientific consensus is that we (mean you, me and everyone else we share this planet with) are involved in what is happening to our wonderful planet. The good news is that there is something we can do about.
Hold on, didn’t the pandemic reduce all that pollution stuff down to lower levels?
Wow we are on a roll today with the questions. Yes it did, however according to the latest information shared by leading climate organisations (UN, WMO), we have either returned to, or have overtaken the planet’s 2011-2020 average GHG levels. Sure, the Paris Agreement and the climate accords are a good starting point, but many of these initiatives are due to come to fruition in 2040 or 2050. By then things will be much worse and we will begin to see catastrophic effects occur across the globe including mass migration and mass extinction due to climate change.
The good news is that there is something we can do about.
However, all is not lost and every small effort we make, every 1% we can do for our planet will compound, resulting in us hopefully being able to turn the tide on our current plight. For starters, there are several tools and resources you can use to begin to assess your current GHG output:
Next, be mindful of your purchasing, travel and energy behaviours. Consider the following:
- Does the retailer or vendor have an organic or eco-friendly alternative?
- What is the vendor’s policy on recycling? Are they offsetting their carbon?
- If your intended destination is short, could you instead walk or ride?
- Is there a light on in an empty room?
- Have you turned off the AC or gas before leaving home?
Some companies offer the ability to go ‘carbon neutral’ or offset your purchase, which can include switching to paperless billing, using less packaging or planting trees. Organisations such as 15 Trees also let you purchase a crop off trees to be planted on your behalf, with options to renew each year and thus become carbon neutral.
These are just a few of the many ways you could help to reduce GHG and begin to positively contribute to the healing of our shared planet. Have any other tips? Share them in the comments below or with our team for future article considerations.
– AMR Team