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How is Carbon Footprint Calculated?

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How is your carbon footprint calculated?

As we became conscious of the impact of our activities on the environment. In the 90s, the terms ecological footprint and carbon footprint became common terms that are often thrown around.

An ecological footprint is a measure of the use of space. The kind of impact it has on the environment or ecosystem. While a carbon footprint is a measure of the impact of emissions on climate change.

What is Carbon Footprint Calculator?

A carbon footprint calculator is an educational tool that enables companies and individuals to have a detailed understanding of their impact on the environment and how to minimize the impact.

The sections to follow in this article will highlight what carbon footprint means and how it can be calculated.

What is a Carbon Footprint?

A carbon footprint refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted by companies, individuals, events, products, places, or services.

It focuses on the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is released into the environment by burning fossil fuels. It is expressed as a weight of Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced in tons.

This is usually referred to as carbon equivalents.

carbon footprint calculated

Human beings are one of the major producers of greenhouse gases, and industries and production companies are other major causes of the greenhouse effect. The following are ways in which greenhouse gases are emitted into the ecosystem;

  • Forestry and land use
  • Industries
  • Burning of fossil fuels for transportation, health, and electricity.
  • Food production and consumption

What is Ecological Footprint?

The ecological footprint is a measure of the impact of human activities measured in respect of water and area of biologically productive land needed for goods production.

Additionally it also to assimilate the waste that is generated in the process. It can also be said that it is the amount of earth that is needed for human beings to survive.

Additionally it measures human demands and their impact on the ecosystem.

The major difference between carbon footprint and ecological footprint is that carbon footprint is measured in terms of the tone of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2 -equivalent) per year.

Basically, while ecological footprint is reported in terms of the planet is capable of renewing.

How is Carbon Footprint Calculated?

Carbon footprint can be measured by carrying out an assessment of emissions and a life cycle assessment due to greenhouse gases and other activities that are categorized under carbon accounting.

Hence, a carbon footprint can be said to be the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are caused either directly or indirectly.

Basically these are the factors that are considered in carbon footprint calculation include;

  • Air travel
  • Food and diet
  • Amenities and house size
  • Transportation
  • Recreation and shopping activities.

A carbon footprint is calculated by taking the estimate of CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as nitrous oxide and methane among others) associated with a specific activity.

To simplify the calculation, it is calculated by adding up emissions and expressing the result in a single number called the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Additionally this number represents the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that would create an equivalent amount of climate change impact.

Basically there are many websites where carbon footprint can be calculated, some of these websites include;

  • Berkeley Cool climate
  • UN Carbon Footprint Calculator
  • WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator
  • Nature.org Carbon Footprint Calculator
  • Terrapass Carbon Footprint Calculator
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Carbon Footprint Calculator

Basically to reduce the carbon footprint in the environment, individuals need to be conscious of what kind of products they use and how they use the products.

Additionally environmentally-friendly materials should be used, walk or bike where possible instead of driving, use reusable bags, and buy products with less packaging.