What is Carbon Footprint and How to Measure It
Are you interested in knowing what a carbon footprint is and how to measure your own carbon footprint reduction? You are not alone. Seeing that the issue of global warming is such a big deal these days, many individuals are gaining an interest in carbon footprints. Ultimately, a footprint that is measured in carbon represents the activities that we engage in, and how they affect the climate as far as the total greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere. As you go through each and every single day, there are activities that are actually quite harmful to the environment that you engage in. Here, you will learn about carbon footprints and how to measure your own carbon footprint.
The Carbon Footprint Defined
The carbon footprint is basically an in-depth analysis of the amount of carbon dioxide is produced when people engage in certain activities. Carbon dioxide is a type of greenhouse gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a major contributor in the issue of global warming. Global warming is the temperature change that is occurring in our atmosphere. Carbon footprints are measured starting at the beginning of production of certain items, and then extends forward until use is ceased by humans. Let’s take the example of electricity. Certain fossil fuels are required in order to produce electricity. From the time that the fossil fuels are burned to the time that a person receives the power, and uses it to completion, all is within the time frame of the carbon footprint measurement.
Measuring the Carbon Footprint
There are actually several different methods in which the carbon footprint can be measured. The first method of measurement is the “Life Cycle Assessment”. With this method, there are four particular phases that carefully work to measure the emissions of carbon over the life of a particular product. These phases consist of looking at the ultimate goal of the measurement, a gathering or “inventory” of the analysis and statistics regarding the study, determining the overall impact, and then the basic interpretation. In addition to this, there are several tools like calculators available online that will allow a person to measure their particular carbon footprint. These are normally issued in the form of a test and then concluded with an analysis of the negative impact that individual poses in the issue of global warming. The simple online test will only take 3 minutes and can be found at earthlab.com/carbonprofile.