What is a Carbon Footprint? Why is it Important?
With its general definition, carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide produced by each individual on nature as a result of their human activities. It is used to describe the amount of carbon produced by transportation, heating or energy consumption. Regardless of personal preferences, it exists in different proportions according to the amount and type of energy used as a result of each step taken by individuals. It is expressed in tons and cubic meters.
Carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas are gases that have been in the atmosphere since its formation. These harmful gases have increased with the industrialization that took place in the twentieth century. This has led to an increase in the global average temperature and climate changes.
The amount of carbon dioxide released by each individual while performing their daily activities is called the carbon footprint. Unfortunately, it can be seen that the resulting carbon footprints cause consequences such as global warming and climate change that threaten natural life.
How to Reduce Carbon Footprint?
Carbon footprint is defined as the damage caused by people to the natural environment as a result of the products they use and the activities they perform. It divides itself into two. These are primary and secondary carbon footprints.
Primary carbon footprint; It is defined as a measure of CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, including transportation (car and airplane) and domestic energy consumption.
Secondary carbon footprint is; It is defined as the amount of CO2 that the products used have indirectly emitted during the period from production to consumption and even their deterioration.
Carbon footprint can be reduced. Making small changes in the life pattern that the person has determined during the day will be effective in preventing the increase in the amount. Preferring low-powered means of transportation supports minimizing the carbon footprint. In addition, sharing the preferred vehicle with others and even using public transportation helps to minimize the carbon footprint.
Another issue to be considered is energy consumption. Living in ecological buildings and preferring renewable energy sources as much as possible will affect this situation positively. Preferring solar energy for heating and using white goods that do not harm the environment are also effective in reducing the carbon footprint.
Keeping the energy types used during the day at the lowest level causes a decrease in the amount of carbon footprint. Small details such as turning off unnecessary lighting while passing from room to room, opening windows instead of using air conditioners in ventilating rooms are very important for this issue.
In addition to the urban areas where people are mostly located, afforestation should be done in sufficient quantities around the city. Trees that reduce the amount of CO2 released play an important role in reducing the carbon footprint. For this reason, it is necessary to increase afforestation in the city and around the city.
How to Calculate Carbon Footprint?
It is an important method preferred to calculate how much carbon individuals produce during the day. Thanks to this method, the damage caused by the amount of carbon produced to the environment is also learned. To calculate it, it will be sufficient to know where you live and how much energy is consumed. Paying attention to the above-mentioned details will make a big difference by reducing carbon production. This will support the protection of nature and the provision of a more livable world.
Some of the reasons for calculating a carbon footprint are as follows:
• Corporate social responsibility
• Customer and investor demands
• Legal obligation
• Marketing and corporate image
• Participation in emissions trading mechanisms
• Greenhouse gas emission reduction (mandatory/voluntary)