What is a Carbon Footprint?
A Carbon footprint can be termed as a
measure of the impact that activities, mostly human, have on the
climatic conditions and the environment as a whole. It is about the
amount of greenhouse gases produced due to burning of fossil fuels and
industrial activity. Primary and secondary are the two categories of
Primary carbon footprint is the result
of the direct emission of Carbon dioxide (CO2) from our everyday
activities – for e.g. the burning of fossil fuel while driving a car or
energy consumption in a household for heating, lighting and cooling.
Secondary footprint is the indirect emission of CO2, where emission is
related to the production of goods in industries that are later
purchased by us, the consumers. Individuals can contribute in numerous
simple ways to reduce their household carbon footprint.
In the kitchen:
- Put the lid on the pots while cooking on the stove as it helps to reduce energy consumption. Turn down the heat once the liquid comes to a boil.
- Before buying an appliance, check its energy efficiency rating. Switch off appliances when they are not in use.
- Use the stove or the microwave for heating; ovens consume more energy.
- Ensure that the dishwasher is full to make optimum use of water.
- Air-dry dishes instead of using the dry cycle in the dishwasher.
- The fridge temperature can be maintained at 4C to keep food from spoiling.
- The freezer should be defrosted regularly.
- Opt for vegetarian fare more often as meat requires more energy to be produced and transported.
- Buy local produce as it reduces the amount of energy consumed in transportation of food.
In the bathroom:
- Turn the faucets and showers off when not in use.
- Water saving showerheads and faucets will pay for themselves in the long run with lower water bills.
- Plug the leaks in the toilet and opt for dual flush option kits to cut down on the amount of water used in each flush.
- Buy shampoos and other toiletry products in large quantities as they come in large containers and are cheaper.
- One can install a solar water heater with solar panels on the roof top to supply hot water to the bathroom.
In the rooms:
- Draw in the curtains to keep in the warmth in winter.
- Switch off the lights and all appliances when you leave the room.
- Do not leave the television and other appliances on stand by mode.
- Opt for a green energy supply with renewable sources of power.