Carbon Footprinting: An Insight Into The Concept

Posted on April 7, 2012 in unEarthed

By Udit Garg:

Internet is the source of very minute information and if one type “Carbon Footprint” into Google, Bing or yahoo search bar, one will get thousands of pages telling him/her about the subject. But, in the best words I can explain carbon footprint or ecological footprint as, “The analysis of environmental emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane etc. from humans, things by humans or the nature itself”. Something to think about. Let me explain the concept. One has a car and that car has a fuel efficiency of 17 km/hour and drives 1 km only then there will be emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the formula:

C8H18 + 25O 8CO2 + 9H20
(Gasoline)

This carbon dioxide goes into atmosphere and increases the greenhouse effect. Yes, the same effect of greenhouse gases which trap the heat coming from the sun and stop it from escaping, which ultimately increases the overall temperature of the environment. To know the quantity of emission is to draw one’s Carbon Footprint. So the United Nations started the regulation of carbon footprint, also called as Kyoto regulation. Various countries like US, UK, Japan, India, Ireland, Australia, etc. have been regularly monitoring their carbon footprints.

UN also provides general public, like me, to check their carbon footprint on the basis of their daily life. I took some time out to check it for my father and was shocked to see the results. One, like me, can check their respective carbon footprints through carbonfootprint.com, by using their free calculator. The resulting statistics will help one to understand how he/she can save the Mother Nature by reducing the factors which release greenhouse gases into environment.

Production of plastics, plastic bottles, metal sheet, nail paint, comb, even a metre of cloth we wear everyday emit a kg of CO2 into environment. And, as we know the abovementioned things are produced on earth all the time and in tons of quantity so the emission of greenhouse gases because of these is also very high. There are various objects in nature over which we don’t have control, like our three basic necessities; food, cloth and home; so worrying about these three things will be foolishness. Rather, worrying about things like transportation and unnecessary activities which can be controlled is a better choice. For example — Say four people pool a car, if one person only travels by the care then his CF alone would be 1 kg for 7.3 liters per 100 km but since four people are carpooling, the new CF will be 0.25 Kg for 7.3 liters per 100 km per person.

Carbon Footprint is the calculator which helps us get the digits of our time on earth, and increasing CF sizes will cause Earth to be lifeless before the expected date but reduction of the same will increase the number of generations that’ll be coming after us. Thus, CF is a very important quantity in our life which should be monitored regularly and must be controlled as much as possible; hence, it should become a very big priority in everyone’s everyday life.

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