As countries around the world have agreed via the Paris Agreement in 2016, to a drastic reduction in carbon emissions, among other climate initiatives, the responsibility for helping to reduce these emissions is now prevalent in every aspect of these countries, filtering down even to the individual to reduce one’s own carbon footprint.
In order to reduce one’s own carbon footprint, it is first necessary to understand more about carbon emissions, ways to offset said emissions and what one’s individual carbon footprint is.
As individuals work to understand how lifestyle choices such as shopping, transportation and diet can have an effect on CO2 emissions, carbon footprint profiles are becoming increasingly commonplace so that consumers can make informed decisions.
Previously, when one would contemplate one’s own carbon footprint, one would usually think about transportation related emissions and possibly the home energy carbon footprint. Technology has advanced to such a degree presently that consumers are now able to input brands and types of food products and even clothing items to view the carbon footprint involved in the production of each product.
Carbon emissions are something that can seem relatively invisible in one’s own life. It is quite difficult to truly see the impact of certain lifestyle decisions, as compared to others, regarding CO2 emissions. Not knowing the effect an individuals lifestyle has on the environment, makes it near impossible to make positive changes to said lifestyle. This is why carbon calculators are important. They allow for us to see a direct correlation between our energy, consumption and purchasing decisions and the environment, which makes it possible for the individual to make a change for the betterment of the environment we live in.
It is becoming increasingly prevalent that people would like to reduce their carbon footprint regarding food purchases. Due to this, food shops around the world have begun to come up with inventive ways of providing consumers with the approximate carbon emissions of specific food items. Measures such as in-store calculators, additional labelling and brand specific emission rates are some of the ways food shops are helping consumers to make informed decisions.
These apps mentioned below all taken into account emissions from varying forms of travel, including flights.:
Eevie – This featured app was awarded ‘Best of the month’ for April 2020. It allows the user to not only keep track of individual carbon emissions but to also set goals, follow progress and has the ability to breakdown the overall CO2 footprint into smaller, more manageable sub-categories as the working goal of the app is to reduce one’s footprint by making small, manageable changes.
Eevie serves as a customisable support for environmental improvement. It is possible to select these small, manageable choices to adapt one’s own habits regarding such instances such as saving energy, reducing packaging, eating seasonable food items in order reduce carbon emissions through logistics, etc. There are a plethora of options for improving one’s sustainable lifestyle available through the app.
- Capture – allows the individual to keep track of emissions from lifestyle items such as favourite foods, type of automobile and frequency of travel. One is able to set weekly goals of how they reduce the contribution to carbon emissions. The Capture app would work well with persons who like to keep track of progresses, as the individual is able to set weekly goals for reduction of carbon footprint and is able to follow whether or not those goals were achieved.
Not everyone likes to use smart phone apps. For those who would prefer to utilise the internet, below are listed three reliable websites for calculating individual or household carbon footprints as well as suggestions for ways to reduce one’s carbon emissions.
The United Nations offers an online carbon footprint calculator through their Carbon Offset Platform. This carbon calculation is relatively straightforward as it takes into account household and average energy consumption, transportation methods and frequency as well as lifestyle and household waste generation.
The World Wildlife Federation offers an online questionnaire to help calculate one’s environmental footprint. This questionnaire covers many aspects of life such as diet, mindset, expenditure, travel, home, additional expenditures, etc.
The ‘Map my Emissions’ website can calculate carbon emissions from a single trip by car by filling out the map information.
Overall, it can be quite surprising how much power individuals have to reduce carbon emissions through something as simple as purchasing and lifestyle decisions. Would you use a carbon footprint calculator in your daily life if it helped to reduce carbon emissions?
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