Carbon footprint is an assessment of the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted into the atmosphere by varying activities of humans. The amount of carbon footprint obtained using two different calculators differs. Initially, my total house carbon footprint using the calculator from Carbon Footprint Ltd is 0.94 metric tons of CO2. Using the calculator from Nature Conservancy Ltd gives 0.85 metric tons of CO2. The disparity could largely be due to a different conversion rate of the various organizations. It classifies data into different categories. Each group comprises of activities and products that contribute to carbon emission, e.g., house, flights, car, motorbikes, buses, and trains. It then divides the categories into the smaller ones. For instance, it splits the house category into electricity, natural gas, heating oil, coal, LPG, and propane. It then assigns a unit of measurement for each of the household item. Ultimately, it calculates the amount of carbon footprint from each activity in metric tons of CO2.
Expressing the emission of greenhouse gasses in metric tons provides a standard unit of measurement that is internationally recognized. Thus, comparison of how the various greenhouse gasses emit carbon becomes easy. The primary assumption in carbon footprinting is that data are collected over time. The other assumption is that zero has an empirical meaning, that is, implies the absence of carbon emission. Carbon footprinting methodology is accurate and free from errors. The scope of the assessment and the level of detail is enough to guarantee the accuracy of the method. However, to provide accurate results, the respondent must provide factual information.
The principal aim of organizations dealing with carbon footprint, e.g., Carbon Footprint Ltd, is to manage the level of carbon emission for their various stakeholders. Thus, each organization’s motive is to mitigate climate change by being committed to a green economy, support communities, and provide learning opportunities to safeguard the environment. To reduce the amount of carbon footprint, some questions are worth considering. Such questions include: What things can I eliminate and what things can I not eliminate, but can reasonably reduce? What steps should I take to minimize the impact of the things I cannot remove? What are the annual carbon dioxide emissions from my vehicle? What reduction in CO2 emissions would result from replacing incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs?
Taking small actions in my house by changing behavior and consumption patterns will help reduce my carbon footprint, for instance, replacing regular light bulbs with fluorescent ones, and recycling household waste. Another practical measure will be turning off my TV, computer, and other electronic devices when not in use. Reducing consumption of products with a lot of packaging is important. Implementing the above steps and calculating my carbon footprint again results in a decrease in my carbon footprint. The new carbon footprint using my first and second calculators is 0.88 and 0.78 metric tons of CO2 respectively. The above measures save on energy and generate emission reductions since it may not be possible to reduce carbon footprint to zero.