I recently read a report that by the year 2050, we will need to reduce our carbon footprint to 2.1 tonnes per person annually to hit our climate change goals.
A carbon footprint measures the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person or a group. While it is not the only marker of how eco-friendly your lifestyle is, it is a good starting point to understand where you are now.
While reading more about it, I found that there are many tools out there with different levels of detail that can help you measure your carbon footprint. Since I’ve been living an eco-friendly lifestyle for a while, I’ve been car-free for three years, and I eat a vegetarian diet - I was pretty sure I was close to the goal, and had no problem taking a quiz to validate my assumption.
I had no idea that my results would look like this!
Before I get to my results - If you want to take the quiz, here is one that I really love - it’s simple, takes under 2 minutes to complete and gives you a decent picture of where you are right now. You can use it to calculate the carbon footprint of yourself, your household, an event or even a trip! You just have to fill in some information related to your lifestyle and shows you both the impact of your emissions as well as the average based on your zipcode.
International took: https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx
Turns out I’m more than 6 times over my budget!!! Looks like my “eco-friendly” lifestyle was not as eco-friendly as I thought.
At the end of the quiz, it gives you a comparison of your carbon footprint and the number of trees I’d have to plant to equalize my carbon emissions. It also gives you the amount of money you’d have to to invest each month in green/sustainable energy to offset your footprint.
With 12.74 tons (28,000 pounds) of CO2 emissions, I have a long way to go to reduce this number to the budgeted 2.1 tons by 2050. The good news is that I still have 30 years to work on getting my numbers down to that point.
It got me thinking - what was I doing wrong?
On an individual level, your carbon footprint will mostly come from transportation, housing, food and the products and services we buy.
The problem with measuring your carbon footprint accurately is that there are a lot of things that happen along the way that affect your carbon footprint. For example if you buy a new shirt - things like how and where the fabric was made, how it was transported to the company that bought the fabric to turn it into clothes, how it was shipped to the store that you bought it, and how it reached your house are all part of your carbon footprint.
So I went on a research spree - what are some of the most impactful ways that anyone can reduce their carbon footprint?
Turns out there are some really simple things we can do, right at home.
Follow along on this series to learn 6 of the most impactful ways to reduce your carbon footprint!
Sheetal Bahirat - I am the founder & CEO of Reveal. I am an entrepreneur, a foodie, a yogi, a dreamer, a do-er, an artist, a food waste warrior and striving for a zerowaste life. Find me here on Instagram
We are two food scientists that are all about changing the way we look at our food. We will be diving into all of the research, tips, and tricks on how we can all live a sustainable lifestyle. Join us as we find the most creative and green solutions to saving our food, our bodies, and the environment.