Knowing your carbon footprint can help you fight climate change
Climate change is already happening. We talk about what the world will look like when temperatures rise, but already some parts of the world are becoming uninhabitable – through water scarcity, the threat of more frequent extreme weather events, or even just hotter temperatures. Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), a food security, environmental sustainability, and greening non-profit, has been working to curb climate change since the organisation was established 30 years ago. You can calculate and offset your carbon footprint online using FTFA’s Carbon Calculator.
Humans are accelerating climate change
Scientists agree that our greenhouse gas emissions are causing unprecedented climate change. Burning fossil fuels, which contain carbon, is a major driver of this change. But few people know how much carbon their actions are putting into the atmosphere.
What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint measures how much greenhouse gas an activity, lifestyle, or product generates. Companies as well as individuals can work out their carbon footprints. FTFA has recently launched a new carbon footprint calculator. Click here to calculate your carbon footprint and purchase trees to offset your impact.
Once you count it, you can do something about it
Everyone has a different carbon footprint, based on their lifestyle, work, and preferences, we need to calculate our own footprints to see how to reduce them. Here are some reasons why knowing your carbon footprint can help to fight climate change.
1. Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference
If we don’t know how much carbon our actions produce, then it is very difficult to do anything about it. Once we know what our carbon footprints are, we can take an active role in tackling climate change. Every little bit helps. Some actions may require lifestyle changes that, for financial or other reasons, we cannot make. But others could be simple, low-hanging fruit.
2. Individuals also have a role to play in climate change
Climate change is a vast global problem and across the world, people of all ages feel disempowered in the face of it. “Climate grief” is becoming more widespread, as people are “[paralysed] … by the helplessness [you feel due to] the overwhelming scale of both the problem and solution”, says Neelima Vallangi, an independent journalist in Bengaluru, India. One way to combat this feeling of helplessness is to take ownership of our individual carbon contributions – and work to reduce them.
3. Holding corporates to account
Individuals are not the only ones who can measure their carbon footprints. As countries around the world impose carbon taxes, companies are being forced to account for their greenhouse gas emissions and their contribution to climate change. FTFA is in the process of developing a carbon standard that will provide a platform for companies to purchase carbon credits from community projects. As consumers, we have the power to vote with our money and choose which companies we want to support – those with large carbon footprints or small ones.
4. Critical mass of carbon-consciousness
Climate change is already happening, and if we are to keep down global temperatures, individuals, companies, and governments need to work together to change the world we live in for the better. We need to reduce our carbon emissions and help the world’s most vulnerable communities adapt the change that is already here. The more people who know what their carbon footprint is, the more people will realise that only we can stop catastrophic climate change through our actions.
5. Offsetting your carbon footprint
Humans are pumping an unprecedented amount of carbon into the Earth’s atmosphere, and these gases –– from travelling in cars, the food we eat, and the clothes we wear. It’s imperative that we are aware of these emissions and then doing something about offsetting them. FTFA has recently launched a new carbon footprint calculator, with updated emission factors.
Click here to calculate your carbon footprint and purchase trees to offset your impact.