Thursday, December 27, 2012

What Is A Carbon Footprint And What Can I Do About Mine?

Now that the Holidays are mostly over, people often begin to think about making preparations for next year. Most of us want to do everything we can to make the whole next year as good as possible. That often has us making New Years Resolutions and going into a frenzy of cleaning and organizing activities.

Very few of us refuse to acknowledge that Climate Change is a reality that we have to face up to. The combination of New Year preparations, etc. and Climate Change gives us reason and opportunity to go to work to do our part to do something about the problem of Climate Change. 

I wish to help you with this worthy goal. I believe the place to start is to find out whether we are making it worse right now, and if so, how much. That can be done by finding out what your, " Carbon Footprint" is.

A "Carbon Footprint" is a way of measuring how you affect the earth by the way you live your life. A quick easy way to think of it is how you get from place to place. Someone who walks everywhere they go has a much smaller carbon footprint than someone who drives a large 4 wheel drive truck that uses a lot of gas.

Here is a list of the eight countries that average out to the largest carbon footprints in the world:

United Arab Emirates
United States
Kuwait
Denmark
Australia
New Zealand
Canada
Norway
Estonia
Ireland

This can be a little depressing if you happen to live in one of these countries, as I do. The United States has the second worst carbon footprint in the world. I thought that we must have the worst. I am a little surprised to see that the United Arab Emirates are worse than we are. 

This list comes from this site:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_carbon_footprint_or_an_environmental_footprint_or_an_ecological_footprint

Just because you live in one of the counties on the list of the countries with the largest carbon footprints does not necessarily mean that your personal carbon footprint is as large as the average for your country. Maybe your personal carbon footprint is like someone living in Bangladesh. The way to find out for sure is to use a carbon footprint calculator. 

Here is one for you to try out to get an idea of how you are doing with your carbon footprint:

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx

Once you know what size your carbon footprint is you can begin to work to help slow down climate change. You can do this by lowering the size of your personal carbon footprint.

This will be some help, but it will not even be enough to keep it from getting worse. This is because some of our pollution starts a chain reaction in our atmosphere. Because of this, climate change will continue to get worse even if we stop polluting immediately.

Our society is very dependent on getting things from one side of the earth to the other. Even if you never drive a car, you are still making climate change worse when you buy food at the grocery store that had to be shipped a long way. 

It is not going to be easy to make the changes needed to stop making Climate Change worse. It will only happen if each one of us works at it. Here is a site that tells you some things you can do to start reducing your own carbon footprint:
http://www.lifescript.com/life/timeout/at-home/how_large_is_your_ecological_footprint.aspx?gclid=CI6uxuHQubQCFWrZQgod3UQA1Q&trans=1&du=1&ef_id=sHBP9mQTbMkAAFOk:20121227032153:s

I hope that you will devote some time and effort to reduce your contribution to climate change by shrinking your personal carbon footprint.

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