Going forward on our discussion on footprints, today, we'll be talking about Carbon Footprint. An individual's carbon footprint is basically the amount of harmful gases that individual releases to the environment on a daily basis either knowingly or unknowingly.

Generally, Carbon Footprint is the total amount of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organisation, event or product. It can also be the measurement of all greenhouse gases we produce individually. Carbon footprints are measured in tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e). 

From the definitions above, we can deduce that having a high carbon footprint is non-sustainable and can cause numerous hazards to the environment. Discussing how as individuals, we have a very high carbon footprint, we take a look at what constitutes our footprints. Classified into two, we have:

Primary Footprints: 

This is the direct emission of CO2 from any activity which we have control over. It can be from burning of fuels for domestic activities, transportation and even methane from household animals.

Secondary Footprints: 

This is the indirect emission from a product that we use from its production to its decay. Products that we use are manufactured from industries that emit CO2, these emissions are our secondary footprints.

Did you know that one ton of carbon is released when you drive your medium sized car for only 2500 miles? Worrisome, isn't it?

Now let's look at some things that can cause one to have an alarmingly high carbon footprint. 

Causes of High Carbon Footprint:

  • High rate of pollution whether air, land or water.
  • Enormous production of unnecessary waste.
  • Use of nonrenewable energy.
  • Too much consumption of animal-based diets.

The solutions:

  • Travel light, take public transport. Using a bike for movement also reduces our footprints.
  • Recycle and use recycled products.
  • Be a green shopper. Use items with a reasonably low carbon footprint.
  • Use renewable sources of energy.
  • One thing that's never out of date, PLANT A TREE.

Something as simple as carrying one more passenger as a commuter or turning off your air conditioner when not in use can go a long way in saving our planet. 

How do you know your carbon footprint? Below are some calculators you can use to know your footprint:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
Global Footprint Network:

Abdulsalam Abdulquddus

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