We live in times when everything we do needs to be carefully evaluated in terms of how much of a negative impact it has on our environment. Many of you reading this article have already heard about measuring the carbon footprint individuals or companies have on the planet. And many of you must be asking about how it can be done, or if it can help us change things for the better. Read through this article, and you’ll find out the answer to these questions.
Importance of accurate carbon accounting
More and more people are starting to be aware of how important it is to adopt a lifestyle that minimizes the harmful effects on the planet, as we have gone way over the edge when it comes to our carbon footprint. Business-wise, using the right methods for evaluating this can have a great effect on how much business activities negatively impact the planet.
As the majority of countries have already adopted legal frameworks about this, accurate measurements help businesses stay compliant with these, but also minimize the risk. Moreover, environmental awareness makes a business competitive, as so many people today go for products and services that have the least impact on the environment.
Naturally, the next question our readers must be asking is how is this done accurately?
It is important to mention that the ecological footprint can be measured at the individual level. This means that the individual calculates how much impact his actions and lifestyle have on the planet. This information is extremely important in order for each of us to take measures to preserve the Earth, on an individual level. There are tools each and every one of us can utilize to measure, and see which of our habits are the most harmful, so we can adapt.
As for companies, what has shown to be a great practice is utilizing specialized software solutions for accurate measurements. To find out which of these are the most effective, and learn about their requirements, visit here.
What are these measurements based on?
When calculating one’s own impact on the environment, the following are taken into account:
- footprint of your food habits
- footprint of the household
- footprint of transport methods you use
- footprint of services and goods.
A well-designed calculator analyzes all this data and provides you with an overview.
One’s carbon footprint, based on everyday actions such as driving a car, eating, and using energy, can be calculated. Keep in mind that overloading your own ecological footprint is not healthy and can lead to serious consequences.
It is important to stay informed about which actions have a more positive or negative impact on the Earth. Far more important than calculating your environmental impact is to focus on the ways in which you can make a positive impact on preserving the planet and reducing your own impact, no matter how big it is.
How to reduce it?
There are many actions you can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and your own impact on the Earth’s capacity and contribute to the preservation of the planet. If you have not been familiar with this topic before, it may seem to you that it is necessary to change all the forces of behavior but do not worry. Don’t strive for perfection, but start slowly. Choose those actions that will most easily fit into your lifestyle, and then conscientiously and gradually change other aspects of your life.
You may feel that your actions are negligible compared to the actions that can be taken at the regional, national, or global level to preserve the planet. However, remember that every action has an impact and that if every person took those actions, we would achieve a lot. Therefore, it is very important to start with yourself.
In addition, taking steps towards (individually) sustainable living does not exclude the need for global change and calling for “big actors” to change. Below are just some of the changes you can implement in your life to contribute to a more sustainable use of the Earth’s resources.
- Food – some food products require the emission of more greenhouse gases and the use of more water and land in order to produce them. Among them are meat (especially beef) and dairy products, the purchase of which should be kept to a minimum. In addition, foods that are not local require longer transportation, so it is important to buy local and seasonal food. Going plant-based could be the best choice if you care for the cause.
- Transportation – cars are one of the biggest polluters of the Earth. For daily transportation, choose more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as cycling, walking, or public transport. For longer distances, consider taking the train instead of the car.
- Clothing – Preserving clothing to reduce mass production and too-fast circulation of products is extremely important. In addition to keeping the clothes you buy, consider buying used clothes.
- Waste – reducing waste is an extremely important item in preserving the Earth. Although recycling is a great way to repurpose old packaging, there are two problems associated with it. First of all, not all packaging is recyclable, and besides, recycling still requires energy consumption and the burning of fossil fuels. For this reason, it is very important to strive to reduce waste. You can do this in a number of ways, from buying food in reusable bags to planning your meals to reduce food waste.
- Energetics and water – to reduce the ecological footprint, it is important to use energy and water sparingly. Some of the things you can do include turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth, taking shorter showers, and turning off the lights in rooms you don’t stay in.
Finally, it is important to emphasize the importance of individual change. By adopting what we have suggested above, you can rest assured you’ve done your part in preserving the planet, and this should not be taken for granted.