How much is Your Carbon Footprint?

How much is Your Carbon Footprint?

I have written on this blog in the past but I never defined what it is. For today I will begin by defining what carbon footprint is and why it matters that we do an audit of our carbon footprint if we are to contribute to abate the effects of climate change and global warming.

Carbon footprint is the measure of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by a person, organization, or state at any given time. The production aspect covers the activities that the person engages in that lead to the production of carbon dioxide.

An example would be the amount of traveling that a person does use fossil fuel such as diesel and petrol or jet fuel whose combustion leads to the production of carbon dioxide gas. A summation of that carbon dioxide is credited to the individual since it is the activities that he/she engages in that lead to the production of the carbon dioxide.

In a discussion at the KENCTAD conference a few months ago on environmental sustainability, the discussion largely focused on carbon dioxide and how we can conduct our activities while minimizing the amount of carbon dioxide we emit.

Of course, most of these things begin with the kind of choices or decisions we make. For instance, instead of commuting to work every morning using a personal car that you drive alone, one can opt to carpool with colleagues. This means five of the people use one car to travel to work instead of everyone using their car.

Using a car alone means that the carbon emission from the car will be credited to you alone.   But suppose five of you used one car, the carbon emission gets distributed among the five of you and thus your carbon footprint reduces drastically.

When it comes to organizational carbon footprint audit, instead of five of your car’s carbon emissions getting credited to your organization, only one car’s emission will be credited when you come together and carpool.

At the national level, countries in the West and Asia have developed their infrastructure to make public transportation very efficient to encourage public transport and as such reduce their carbon footprint along the whole value chain.

Knowing how much your carbon footprint is very important as this helps you to consciously undertake activities and make decisions that ensure that ultimately environmental conservation and climate change reduction are of priority to us.

Recently, while looking at airplane ticket bookings, I realized additional information on the carbon dioxide released is provided. It thus became the travelers’ obligation to decide on what booking to choose.

Occasionally I observed that flights whose carbon footprint is little were slightly cheaper. I loved this approach given the fact most of the time, cost, or rather price is a key determinant when it comes to purchasing decisions. Pricing products whose carbon footprint is a little cheaper than the rest means encouraging people to purchase them.

Using this approach, especially in the transport sector can do a lot to make monitor and keep their carbon footprint low. The same can be used in goods produced using renewable energy such as wind, solar, nuclear, and hydropower. Pricing such goods lower than the rest, of course taking into account the overall carbon measure can go a long to ensure people embrace more carbon-neutral measures.

So, when you look at yourself, how much is your carbon footprint? What are you doing or planning to do to ensure you reduce it? How is your carbon footprint contributing to the overall organization or national footprint? Start today to make decisions that contribute towards reducing your carbon footprint and by doing so, you would have reduced your overall organization or country’s footprint. Further still, you could have contributed to combating climate change.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at ndegegeoffrey@gmail.com

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