Understanding your carbon footprint

Carbon footprint. You might have heard the phrase bandied about in recent years as more people are embracing sustainability in an effort to preserve the world for future generations.  But what, exactly, is a carbon footprint?

To personalize a short definition, a carbon footprint is a measurement of the impact that your activities have on the environment as it relates to the level of greenhouse gases produced by your day-to-day living; predominantly through your use of fossil fuels.

Your carbon footprint actually consists of two parts – the primary footprint, which is a measurement of direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions based on the amount of fossil fuels your lifestyle consumes; and the secondary footprint, which is a measurement of indirect CO2 emissions based on the manufacturing and eventual breakdown of the products you use.

The first step to understand your carbon footprint is to calculate how your everyday actions are consuming energy. Once this is identified you can start taking responsible steps to decrease the level of CO2 emissions you produce and then take measures to offset the remaining unavoidable emissions.  The easiest way to find this baseline is to use one of the many free online carbon footprint calculators.

Become part of the solution

There’s an adage that understanding the problem is half of the solution. Knowing that, why not take steps to better understand your own carbon footprint so you can add your own contribution to the solution of a healthier energy environment?

When it comes to choosing an energy provider, take a look at their environmental initiatives just as you are now taking a look at your own.