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Greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and storage, transportation, agriculture and manufacturing all emit greenhouse gas emissions which lead to global warming and climate change.
Climate change is leading to drastic weather conditions, ecological destruction, species becoming extinct, glacier meltdowns, and sea-levels rising. It is important that humanity takes their own carbon footprint into consideration.
Carbon is present in almost everything that the human population uses, from food to fuel. Carbon footprint explains the measurement or the impression of a carbon cycle. Almost everything from an individual through to an organization has a carbon footprint, which is expressed as a measure of weight, as in tons of CO2 or CO2 equivalent per year.
In developed countries, an individual's carbon footprint comprises transportation, household energy, as well as consumption of goods and services. A global population of more than 7.7 billion people (2019) can make a progressive, impactful change in mitigating global climate change.
Our lifestyle changes should help reduce our carbon footprint and take steps to counter our unavoidable carbon footprint by having carbon offsets, so that effectively we are carbon neutral.
- Energy efficiency awareness - energy-efficient lighting, making maximum use of sunlight during the day, well ventilated housing, and tapping renewable sources such as solar energy are a few measures to become more energy efficient. For example, electricity generated from wind power produces no direct carbon emissions.
- Purchasing habits - Purchase from your local market. Eat local and seasonal fruits. Avoid plastic purchases. Reusing and recycling can also help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Use public transportation - Avoid driving to work or nearby places. Walk, cycle or take public transportation.
- Minimalistic living – This involves recycling, reusing, buying less and only the essentials that are needed.
- Reducing meat consumption - Beef has the highest carbon footprint; however, the same food can have a range of impacts. Knowing how and where your food comes from can help in making dietary and environmental decisions Altering your diet by reducing meat consumption or substituting meat showed the highest reduction in emissions.
- No wastage of food, water and energy - Say no to wastage. Conserve water.
- Grow your own garden - Grow vegetables, herbs and fruits. A small backyard, a balcony or a terrace is enough space to invest in a garden to make your diet healthy and reduce your carbon footprint. Live a greener life.
- Composting - Composting all your organic waste from your household can have a significant role in making a carbon neutral lifestyle. Reducing waste generation at the source.
- Tourism - Tourism is also contributing heavily to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions due to its high carbon intensity. Between 2009 and 2013, tourism contributed to around 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it is increasing phenomenally.
If you factor in some of these lifestyle changes to your everyday life, you can have a significant impact on reducing your carbon footprint.