Carbon footprint and its impact on climate change

Human continuously uses light, electricity, and other types of heat energy during his activities. All these together release CO2 and carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The sum of all emissions produced and consumed by humans constitute the “carbon footprint”. They accumulate in the atmosphere and affect the Earth’s climate by releasing greenhouse gases that increase the greenhouse effect.

Excessive release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere can have disastrous consequences. In the recent years, the climate has warmed rapidly. Scientists say that such a process is happening for the first time in the history of our planet

One of the most important tasks nowadays is to pay attention to how much energy is being used. There are special online calculators that can determine the carbon footprint. All you have to do is answer simple questions about vital activity, and the algorithm will calculate the amount of fuel you have used, directly or indirectly.

How as an ordinary citizen

We can do our part to reduce our carbon footprint by:

Buy local: Transporting food generates a carbon footprint. The more distant the product is shipped to, the more intermediaries there are between the producer and the buyer, the larger the transport footprint. In other words, for food products to be delivered in a clean and edible state, large quantities of electricity and energy must be consumed, and refrigerators and freezers generate pollution and gases.

Consuming seasonal produce: exotic fruits such as peaches, melons, taurus, strawberries or mangoes on store or market stalls during winter are imported from other countries, or large quantities of electricity and water are used to grow them. Airplanes, cargo ships and trucks that transport exotic fruits or other types of food from country A to country B emit a huge carbon footprint into the atmosphere. Therefore, it is recommended to eat seasonal products as much as possible.

Controlling the use of a car: it is impossible not to use a car or other public transport altogether. Nevertheless, by using public transport, it is possible to reduce the footprint of harmful gases emitted by a private car. But still, using a private car can be more environmentally friendly. So, when buying a car, it is better to opt for  a compact car rather than a large car that consumes a lot of fuel. Try to cooperate with colleagues or neighbors – it is more environmentally friendly to go together to a certain destination. It is better to have one car in the family than two.

If it is not absolutely necessary to go somewhere, stay at home: if you really want to go on a trip, or if business trips require it, then it is necessary to use transportation. In the age of information technology, many jobs can be done from home. Recruitment, utility payments, other banking operations can also be done remotely.

The time of the pandemic, along with its negative consequences, has also produced positive results. For example, it is no longer necessary to travel to launch a cooperation project, attend a conference or give an important interview. Now, depending on the situation, everything can be done with the help of online technologies.

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