It is not hard to calculate a carbon footprint. Basically, the footprint is the amount of excess carbon anyone consumes and thereby adds to greenhouse warming of the planet. It can be calculated through many sites such as Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Federation.
Living and breathing animals, (including human animals especially), emit, that is exhale, carbon dioxide. This is the natural order of living systems. Forests, grasslands and vegetation “breathe” exhaled carbon and make oxygen, in turn, that all animals breathe. But removal of stored carbon dioxide by drilling and mining, releases more of these greenhouse gases, and greatly adds to the normal carbon cycle. For millions of years these “stored” hydrocarbons were not released into the atmosphere. Plants (by photosynthesis and absorption) were more than able to take up the carbon dioxide exchanged in the natural cycle.
It is not hard, in principle, to reduce a carbon footprint. One does not have to stop breathing, but to look for that extra amount of carbon used, and cut back on it. But human behavior is very difficult to change, as wasteful habits die hard. Confusion is also caused when people bring politics, special interests and green washing propaganda to the topic. To do the right thing, just use less,waste less and buy less.
Modern life, heating, cooling, consumer goods and transport (driving) requires excess CO2. This is presently done by mining stored hydrocarbons, producing excess carbon. The amount that each person uses per day can approximately tell a person how much such carbon their lifestyle adds to the atmosphere. This is known as that individual’s carbon footprint. It is important for humans to reduce carbon footprints, how much carbon they release, in order to reverse climate change. The only way to do so is to find ways to conserve fuel and resources, cut back on waste, reduce travel, be as efficient and economical as possible and demand efficient machines.
Almost everyone can find some waste and eliminate it. Here are some simple ways to do so. Unplug machines not in use, use cold water for cleaning, keep lights off and spend time with interactive games and activities rather than “electric” entertainment. Reduce all use of plastic, either bags or goods, and if it is used in bottles, bags and products, reduce their number, recycle them and re use all possible products. Another huge source of savings is the eat, shop and stay local movements. Local community gardens and animal products ensure higher quality and less carbon waste.
In short, accelerated use of hydrocarbons results in more emissions released by humans for heating, transport and industry. A carbon footprint refers to how much energy a person uses in fuel, food and modern living. Alternative energy systems, smart grids and new technology are contributing huge benefits in improving the economy and creating a cleaner planet.
The simple equation of infrastructure repair, costs of super storms, droughts, famines and more is incalculably high. The lesser cost is saving and protecting all resources, no matter what politics, hype or version of reality one believes.