# Carbon Footprint : All you need to Know

### Carbon footprint for an average person may range from 4 to 25 Tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Carbon footprint is referred to as the physical measure of impact inflicted on the environment caused by an individual, organization or community.

A Carbon Footprint is defined as the total measure of products and by-products contributing to greenhouse gases that can be produced either directly or indirectly by and to support human activities.

In short, a Carbon Footprint is the sum of all emissions in equivalent terms of CO2 induced by an individuals activities in a given time frame.

Carbon Footprint is usually expressed in:

• Equivalent metric tons of carbon (C) over a period of one year – (C)e MT /year
• Equivalent metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) over a period of one year – (CO2)e MT /year

Carbon Footprints can be measured for:

• Individuals
• Companies
• Industries
• Establishments (Residential, Commercial, Educational, etc.)
• Specific Processes
• Specific Areas
• Countries

### Significance of Carbon Footprint

Since carbon footprint is a measure of greenhouse gases in equivalent terms of carbon dioxide, it plays an instrumental role in studying and observing the behavioral impacts on global warming and the resultant climate change.

By consistently estimating and tracking the carbon footprints, different methods can be formulated to either control or reduce the carbon footprints which can help :

• To limit the rise in temperatures
• Increase in the use of sustainable processes and practices

### Estimating Carbon Footprint

Generally a carbon footprint can be estimated based upon the cumulative and or independent practices.

The estimation process includes the values of all the greenhouse gases that are released into the ecosystem or the environment as a result of human activities and expresses it as a single number in terms of Carbon Dioxide (CO2).

Greenhouse GasChemical FormulaGlobal Warming PotentialAtmospheric Lifetime (years)
Carbon DioxideCO21100
MethaneCH42512
Nitrous OxideN2O298114
Chlorofluorocarbon - 12CCl2F210,900100
Hydrofluorocarbon-23CHF314,800270
Sulphur HexafluorideSF622,8003,200
Nitrogen TrifluorideNF317,200740

### Factors affecting Carbon Footprint

It is safe to say that Carbon Footprints are directly proportional to the generation of greenhouse gases. This means that if an individual, organization or community is responsible to generating huge amounts of greenhouse gases, the respective Carbon Footprint is going to proportionally large.

All sources that generate some form of greenhouse gases can be considered as factors affecting Carbon Footprint.

Some of the factors that affect the carbon footprint are:

• Energy Production (contributor)
• Transportation (contributor)
• Industries (contributor)
• Agriculture (contributor)
• Commercial & Residential Establishments (contributor)
• Land Use & Forestry (offsetter)
Summary
Article Name
Carbon Footprint: All you need to Know
Description
All human activities,direct and indirect, leave behind a Carbon Footprint which affects their immediate ecosystem and environment.
Author
Publisher Name
GreenSutra
Publisher Logo
###### Team GreenSutra®
https://greensutra.in

# Carbon Footprint

#### Carbon footprint for an average person may range from 4 to 25 Tons of CO2 emissions.

1. Carbon Footprint

Carbon footprint is the physical measure of impact inflicted on the environment caused by an individual or organization. Footprints are left behind in form of carbon derivatives or carbon compounds due to consumption of energy or while utilizing power.

-By definition, a carbon footprint is the total measure of products and by-products contributing to greenhouse gases produced directly and indirectly to support human activities. It is usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon $(C)$ over a period of one year or tons of carbon-dioxide $(CO_2)$ over a period of one year.

2. Estimating Carbon Footprint?

Carbon Footprints are estimated based on cumulative or independent consumption of energy and power. As mentioned above, Carbon Footprints are estimated in terms of $(kg (CO_2)e/year)$(weight of carbon dioxide emissions per one year).  We have developed a simple estimator to approximate annual emissions for individuals or their families. Better ways to reduce individual carbon footprints are formulated by referencing this data.

3. Reduction of carbon footprint

Carbon Footprints are readily affected by how things are carried out in respective disciplines. Some of the changes that an individual can adopt are listed below:

(i) Car :

– Driving habits alone improve 25% to 30% in mileage, reducing approximately 1 ton of $(CO_2)/year$

– Accelerate slowly.

– Maintaining optimum tire pressure regularly.

– Regularly maintaining the car and keep it tuned up.

(ii) Home :

– Using CFL (compact fluorescent light) or LED lighting. They save around 10% to 30% energy at the minimum.

– Keeping the windows open whenever possible for light and air circulation.

– Cooling systems should be tuned and checked for energy star ratings during replacement or upgradations.

– Insulation work helps saves energy which in turn saves money while improving comfort.

– For home appliances and electronics, bigger isn’t always better. Consider the total lifetime cost and the energy star rating.

– Unplug electronics to avoid ‘vampire’ energy loss.

(iii) Office :

– Enable power management so computers and monitors shut down.

– Print on both sides, it saves a lot of paper.

– Open windows to save on lights during the day and turn the lights off when not in use.

– Carpool to office or use the local transit.

4. Carbon credits

Carbon credit is an instrument that represents a ton of $(CO)_2$ or $(CO_2)_e$ removed or reduced from the atmosphere. Damage caused by carbon emissions generated directly or indirectly can be offset with the help of these credits.

Summary
Article Name
Carbon Footprint - Know, Learn and Understand at GreenSutra
Description
What is a Carbon Footprint? Understand what are its impacts and estimate your personal carbon footprint. Learn a few quick tips about how to reduce it.
Author
Publisher Name
GreenSutra
Publisher Logo
###### Team GreenSutra®
https://greensutra.in