Carbon Footprint

By: Mackenzi Byerly

What is it?

A carbon footprint is a measurement of how we contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions. You can use many websites to calculate just how much of greenhouse gases you or your family produce.

How is your carbon footprint measured?

Most websites have four main factors that they use in order to measure your carbon footprint. These factors include: Home energy, Driving& Flying, Food& Diet, and Recycling& Waste. When I took this particular survey my highest factors were home energy, and food& diet.

National and World Averages

The current United States average is eighty tons of CO2 per year for three people. The current world average is seventeen tons of CO2 per year for three people. My estimated emissions is forty-eight tons per year for three people. This is below the national average, but higher than the world average.

Reducing Emissions

There are several things you can do to reduce your emissions. Here are just a few of the things you can do to reduce the amount of emissions you produce:

1. Turn off the lights when you leave a room

2. Unplug appliances when they are not in use

3. Use energy efficient lighting

4. Recycle

Pros and Cons

Some pros are:

  • Saving money on energy bills
  • Reducing the amount of greenhouse gases you produce
  • Helping the environment
Some cons are:

  • More expensive for efficiency equipment
  • Takes time getting used to

Scenarios

If you lived in Massachusetts, in an apartment building (5+ units) and drove a small car 15,000 miles per year your carbon footprint would be less than most other people. I believe it would be less because you are using less energy for an apartment and smaller car.

What can happen

If we do not reduce the amount of emissions we produce, then it can lead to an increase in sickness and allergies. It can also lead to natural disasters such as floods and wildfires. So we should start saving energy now so we can have fuels for generations to come.