Americans are hearing a lot of talk these days about the over-sized "carbon footprint" that we are leaving on the environment. While some of us have a general understanding of this topic and the negative environmental repercussions surrounding it, there are many of us who still do not even know what this concept means.
As our country becomes more eco-conscious, it is important to educate Americans on what a carbon footprint is, its relationship to climate change, how it impacts the environment, and what we can do to reduce the carbon footprint that each citizen generates.
Carbon Footprints and Businesses
A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide and methane, known as typically as greenhouse gases, that is emitted into the atmosphere by our daily activities as individuals, businesses, and a general population. Both consumer practices and manufacturing processes contribute to the carbon footprint left on our environment. Much of the carbon footprint that comes indirectly from American households is a result of the manufacturing processes used to make items that we buy and use in our everyday lives.
That is why it is so important to go green and to patronize companies who engage in environmentally friendly business practices. There are numerous websites that can help you find environmentally friendly places to do business with. As a country, it is important that we continue our progress towards utilizing renewable energy sources in order to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels.
Carbon Footprints and Individuals
As individuals, there are also many easy things we can personally do on a daily basis to help reduce the carbon footprint that we leave. First, we should be aware of what our carbon footprint is. Take the time to use the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon footprint calculator.
We should reduce waste by recycling and reusing items whenever possible. Going paperless on bills, correspondence, and reading materials whenever possible saves trees and reduces the amount of paper milled, used, and discarded. Conserve energy at home and at work by turning off lights and using less water whenever you can. The burning of fossil fuels is one of the largest culprits behind our high carbon footprint, so traveling less and carpooling more are great ways to help decrease automobile generated emissions. Many of these more conservative practices save us money as an added bonus.
Carbon Footprints and the Environment
What does all this business about carbon footprints mean for our environment? Global warming, which began in the late 19th century, means exactly what its name implies--the earth's average temperature is gradually increasing due to the environmental changes that are taking place in our world. These increased climate temperatures have caused our polar ice caps to melt, gradually raising the water level of our oceans and endangering species like the polar bear that depend on the icy climates for survival.
Our carbon footprint does not need to become increasingly larger. By being conscious of the carbon footprint that we leave on the earth and by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the process, we are doing our part to halt the progress of global warming. We can all take steps to educate ourselves about things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. Taking this matter seriously now will help ensure that future generations of people and animals will be able to survive on our planet for many years to come.
Vincent Wallis writes for a limousine service that has been thinking of new and greener fuel options for their line of limousines.