Carbon Footprint

Topics: Greenhouse gas, Carbon dioxide, Global warming Pages: 6 (1959 words) Published: February 22, 2010
A carbon footprint is "the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event or product" [1]. For simplicity of reporting, it is often expressed in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent of other GHGs, emitted. The concept name of the carbon footprint originates from ecological footprint discussion.[2] The carbon footprint is a subset of the ecological footprint and of the more comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). An individual, nation, or organization's carbon footprint can be measured by undertaking a GHG emissions assessment. Once the size of a carbon footprint is known, a strategy can be devised to reduce it, e.g. by technological developments, better process and product management, changed Green Public or Private Procurement (GPP), Carbon capture, consumption strategies, and others. The mitigation of carbon footprints through the development of alternative projects, such as solar or wind energy or reforestation, represents one way of reducing a carbon footprint and is often known as Carbon offsetting.

The term carbon footprint is simply a measure of how much carbon dioxide that you are personally responsible for. The more flights you take every year the higher your footprint; the more you leave heaters and boilers on, the greater is your carbon footprint. The more burgers you consume the greater is your carbon footprint. But say you drive an electric hybrid. or perhaps you travel to work on public transport that uses hydrogen fuel cells then your carbon footprint will reduce. If you get rid of your old electrical appliances and replace them with energy efficient models you will be reducing your carbon footprint. Likewise if you unplug your TV before turning in you will doing the planet and Mankind a great service since you will be reducing your carbon footprint. But for all those who say it's a con,or sick joke, I urge you to get out and go to the main centres of research into climate change and establish the facts for yourselves because it's the younger generation who will face enormous problems in the future, take a trip up into the Arctic and ask yourselves why polar bears are becoming cannibals; why are polar bears swimming up to 100 miles in open ocean? As for those who say it's not Mankind, what do you expect if you continue to burn oil, gas and coal at ever increasing tonnages for over 200 years? What do you expect if your agricultural systems continue to push more nitrous oxide into the air? What do you expect if we allow methane levels to increase at their current rate? There maybe processes occurring which we have let to discover but as long carbon, albeit oil, gas or coal is burned in air it will produce carbon dioxide. Moreover as a researcher in chemical metallurgy myself , let me tell you that for every ton of copper produced in Chile, two tonnes of sulphur dioxide are vented into the atmosphere, where it reacts with water vapour and precipitates as sulphuric acid. Annual copper production, 6-10 million tonnes now you tell me how much sulphur dioxide that sends into the atmosphere- believe you me it ain't too clever on the local flora and fauna either! If you don't care then fine, very soon you will have no choice- Mankind will have taken the wrong road yet again! But say you installed solar PV and solar hot water systems, installed a wood burner, drove an electric hybrid and made some small changes in the home you could actually reduce your carbon footprint by over 80% and cut your energy costs as well.

Technologies used to reduce the 'carbon footprint'
1. Printing Less Stuff - Using Less Paper
Paper makes up about 35% of our waste stream - even though it’s one of the easiest materials to re-use and recycle! You can help reduce this waste by using as little paper as possible, and being smart about the paper you do use. First of all, you don’t need to print every e-mail. Just organize your inbox to make e-mails easier to find and reference. You...
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