The term “carbon footprint” seems to be thrown around a lot lately in regards to converting our lifestyles to be more sustainable. But what exactly does this mean? Carbon footprint is way to measure the relative impact of our actions — as individuals, as businesses, communities and countries, as we eat, work, travel, play, etc. — in terms of the contribution made to global climate change. This is typically measured in carbon emissions. Treehugger further defines a carbon footprint as, “the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted over the full life cycle of a product or service, and everything has one, from the computer you used to find this article to the next meal you eat (and the one after that, and after that, and so on…) to the shoe that will leave a physical footprint on the ground the next time you walk outside.”
You can easily calculate your carbon footprint by using the calculator on Treehugger. To reduce your carbon footprint, you can start our small and switch from plastic to paper bags. Recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Switch your household lighting to LED. More advanced applications of sustainable living include switching to a hybrid car or integrating solar or wind energy into your home. No matter where you decide to make a change, it will help reduce YOUR carbon footprint.