Every aspect of human consumption has some link to the emission of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2. Well defined objects, systems or populations may also have a link the GHG emissions. One way of measuring the amount of GHGs emitted by all of us, together with these units is the model of Carbon Footprint (CF). We all contribute to greenhouse emissions, directly or indirectly. We all, therefore, have a footprint (carbon footprint), and the more an individual, population or object emits, the bigger the footprint.
Direct or Indirect Carbon Footprint
Think of driving your car or burning wood in the fireplace. These directly add some CO2 into the atmosphere. On the other hand, wearing clothing, or buying newspapers has something to do with carbon footprint, because though the textile company making your clothing or paper company producing newspapers may be located in some obscure locations in different parts of the world, they all engage in burning fuels or cutting trees down to get the raw materials for the items that you find in your home.
Reducing your carbon footprint
Let us agree that it is impossible (or almost impossible) to zero your carbon footprint. But there is a lot you can do to reduce them. If we can half our CFs, we can significantly reduce the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere. This may require major or simple lifestyle changes, such as:
1. Go shopping with your bag, rather than bringing home lots of plastic or paper bags every day.
2. It is better to walk or ride a bike to somewhere close, rather than driving.
3. Go by bus to train, or car-pool with friends if it is possible, rather than each of us driving to work and back.
4. Buy products with less packaging, or foods produced in local markets, and try to avoid those transported thousands of miles to your local shop.
5. Reuse items, recycle more and minimize buying new things.
6. Hang the washing to dry outside rather than using the dryer.
These are all very little things we can do, and very achievable too, if we are serious about reducing our footprints, and it is the responsible things to do, even if you do not agree with the evidence of global warming.