Your Carbon Footprint: Calculating, Reducing and Offsetting Your Impact

carbon footprint green basics photo

In addition to metrics like ecological footprint, each of us (and each of the products and services we use and consume every day) has a carbon footprint; it's a way to measure the relative impact of our actions -- as individuals, as businesses, communities and countries, as we eat, work, travel, play, etc. -- in terms of the contribution made to global climate change. Measured in carbon emissions (usually in pounds, tons or kilograms), it's become an increasingly useful and popular tool to help contextualize global warming in our daily routines and lives.

What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted over the full life cycle of a product or service, and everything has one, from the computer you used to find this article to the next meal you eat (and the one after that, and after that, and so on...) to the shoe that will leave a physical footprint on the ground the next time you walk outside. But that's only part of the story.Up next: calculating carbon footprints

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