Have you ever wondered what effect your life has on the environment around you? Careful thinking is required to reduce greenhouse gasses, chief contributor to rise in global warming which is destroying our polar ice caps and altering the weather. To understand and tackle this universal issue, scientists and policy makers world over have debated their concern and opined, to keep track what impact human activities have on the environment. Thus, the measurement of total greenhouse gases released by human activities in units(tonnes) of carbon dioxide produced or accumulated over the full life cycle of a product or service is defined as "CARBON FOOTPRINT". Its a useful tool for individuals and nations to understand how much its contributing to global warming. The concept could also be used to offset CO2 emissions through commissioning of natural projects like reforestation. In overview we may say carbon footprint is refinement of an earlier concept of ecological footprint.

Under the aegis of UN, an honest effort for reducing greenhouse gasses (GHG`s) of industrialized nations have now got legal sanction with ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by majority of the nations in 2005.
Accordingly, carbon footprint can be effectively managed under two broad categories:
MANDATORY MARKET
VOLUNTARY MARKET
The following steps have been broadly outlined for reducing carbon footprint:

  1. To determine current levels of carbon footprint
  2. To identify high levels of CO2 emissions in terms of energy consumption
  3. Where possible switching over to renewable sources for electricity
  4. Optimizing energy efficiency, to reduce CO2 emissions
  5. Identify solutions to neutralize CO2 emissions that cannot be eliminated by energy saving measures

In order to ensure adequate compliance is being made for keeping check of greenhouse gasses, certain guidelines and regulatory measures need to be framed, such as :-
  • A national energy policy is required to be supported with suitable legislation with respect to energy planning, generation,transmission and usage to keep check on greenhouse gasses.
  • A carbon label to show the life cycle of carbon emissions in a product can help one be conscious while buying.
  • Use of energy labels can help a person restrict his energy consumption without lowering his standard of living.
  • To encourage teleworking for reducing an individual`s carbon footprint by minimizing his daily commuting.
  • To establish ideal norms for both direct and indirect usage of water and distinguishing between blue, green and grey water consumption.
  • To lay down bench-marks as a tool for assessment of energy consumption, resource conservation and waste management by adoption of carbon footprint calculator.

No matter how strict a legislation exists, our efforts to reduce carbon footprint across the world can bear fruit only with active individual and community participation. There are many things which each one of us as individuals can do, to reduce carbon emissions.Here`s a list of some simple things to do and remember.
  • Commit yourself to plant at least 4 trees in your lifetime to sustain greenery.
  • Avoid daily travel to store for your household chores to cut fuel emissions.
  • Prefer online shopping for regular purchases to save time & energy.
  • Use public transport for short distances and check your Tyre pressure before a drive to cut fuel costs.
  • Turn down thermostat 2 degrees at night to reduce heating and refrigeration costs.
  • Switch-off while you are away from home to lower energy bills.
  • Reduce consumption of electricity, gas and LPG by switching over to power from renewable sources.
  • Eat food grown locally to encourage farmers keep the countryside green.
  • Prefer eating fresh and organic food which are good for health.
  • Avoid use of plastics while shopping or packing as they are not degradable.
  • Develop habit to reuse and recycle paper, glass, metal and materials of daily use for conservation of resources.
Let us conserve Nature by making right choice in our homes, our travel, the food we eat, what we buy and throw away, as all of it adds to carbon footprint and influence the stability of climate for future generations.

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2 comments
  1. teenhiko August 30, 2008 at 5:42 AM  

    So far so good but as the useage of carbon can not be possibly totally removed from our present lifestyle...as most battery and electronics use them...any possible ways or steps to follow to reduce the C Footprint of our body as low as possible..?

    is ther any way to cleanse the carbon content of our body ??

  2. admin September 1, 2008 at 2:37 AM  

    You can follow some simple habits to help reduce your carbon footprint.
    1. Spare some time for meditation/ prayer which will help keep your mind calm & confident.
    2. Do some breathing / yoga exercise to recharge your inner body, this will help conserve energy and make you more efficient.
    3. Turn to vegetarian diet for optimum nutrition.Read more in-Food
    for Healthy Living.
    4. Skip a meal once a week to clear our body of harmful toxins. Read more in- Natural Healing by Fasting.