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The Importance of Your Carbon Footprint

With all the news about climate change on our planet, the phrase “reduce your carbon footprint” has been said quite frequently. What exactly is a carbon footprint?

Encyclopedia Britannica states a carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by a person’s daily activities. Day to day activities, such as the garbage you throw away, or the amount of gas used for transportation all emit these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere 

Photo courtesy of Global Coin Report

The Dangers

According to U.S Energy Information Administration, these greenhouse gases are what keep heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. These gases are pumped out by fossil fuels such as gas and fuel, which are everyday essentials in many societies today. Excessive use of these fossil fuels builds up the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, potentially trapping the heat from the sun into the atmosphere. This increase is why climate change has been emphasized in all news outlets. The warming of the world causes glacier melting, increased flooding, destruction of many of our world’s ecosystems, and is also damaging many crop farming areas.

Photo courtesy of Climate Vulture

Why You Should Care?

About everything you do contributes to the emission of these fossil fuels. There are the obvious activities such as how much electricity and gas are used, and the subtle activities which includes the purchased goods you buy. You may be thinking how a piece of clothing releases CO2 into the air? Well, it is not the clothing itself; it is the electricity used when manufacturing the clothes and the fuel used to distribute the items to your local store.

Some of your purchased goods travel thousands of miles from other countries to get those goods into the stores in your area. Greenhouse gases are something that naturally occur, but it is the consensus of climate scientists that the main cause of the global warming trend is the increase of human’s production of these greenhouse gases. Humans are the number one cause of why global warming and climate change are an important issue. People need to start taking action to prevent these harmful effects of climate change. With the following small changes, the total of people’s carbon footprint can be tremendously reduced.

Photo courtesy of Union of Concerned Scientists 

Easy Changes You Can Do to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

  • Carpool
  • Print double sided
  • Line dry your clothing
  • Reduce what you throw out by recycling what you can
  • Always turn off lights when not in use
  • Take shorter showers
  • Designate a day for errands to reduce the amount of fuel consumed

Photo courtesy of Consumer Reports

Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

For personalized changes you can do, visit http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/calculator

(Berkeley Cool Climate) to calculate your carbon footprint followed by what your next steps should be to change your impact.


I am a Senior at the University of South Florida majoring in Communication and on a pre-med track. I love Taylor Swift, going to concerts, and all things Disney.
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