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Introduction to What is a Carbon Footprint

Hyundai Motorstudio Senayan Park 2022.09.09
Introduction to What is a Carbon Footprint

Carbon is one of the elements that plays an important role in the process of forming life on earth. All living things have the element carbon in themselves, in the form of compounds with other elements such as oxygen and hydrogen.

This time we will discuss carbon dioxide compounds, especially those contained in carbon emission gases resulting from industrial and human activities. Here is some information about what a carbon footprint is, the causes of a carbon footprint and others, see the explanation below!

What is a Carbon Footprint?

The term carbon emission may be familiar in the community. This term is often associated with climate change such as the greenhouse effect, carbon footprint and climate crisis.

Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases or emissions including carbon dioxide produced from various human activities in a certain period of time. With increasing population and increasing globalization, this carbon footprint is getting higher and negatively affecting the world's climate.

Before any further action is taken to change lifestyles, it is important to realize how much change must be made by looking at the carbon footprint.

Causes of Carbon Footprint

After knowing what a carbon footprint is, then we will discuss what could be the cause of this carbon footprint appearing.

Can humans create a carbon footprint, for example from vehicle use or food consumption? Let's discuss the causes of the carbon footprint below:

1. Vehicle Usage

Vehicles use fossil fuels such as diesel, gasoline or gas which will produce a carbon footprint from the combustion process of these fuels. By traveling by private vehicle, it means that we contribute to producing more carbon dioxide emissions.

What if we are stuck in traffic, where the engine gets hot and releases gas emissions into the air? It's true that traveling by private vehicle is more comfortable, but what if it adds more carbon footprint?

2. Use of Water and Electrical Energy

The use of electrical energy is used for daily purposes. For example, air conditioners, TVs, refrigerators, lights, microwaves, washing machines and various other electronic devices. All of these electronic equipment can produce gas emissions from burning fossil fuels in power plants.

The use of water is often misused. Meanwhile, to manage water requires a lot of energy so that it can be used. Unfortunately, we often throw away the clean water.

3. Food Consumption

One source of gas emissions is the food we consume, our food will have the potential to become a mountain of garbage. Starting from the extraction of raw materials, the production process, distribution until the product reaches the hands of consumers.

For example, if you like to eat beef, your carbon footprint is very high. Considering that cows are one of the largest emitters of gas in the world. Not to mention if the beef is imported from abroad, such as Japan, Australia or the United States.

Another example is 1 kg of coffee imported from abroad with a carbon footprint of 4.82 kg. The cause is the plantation process, coffee processing, packaging, distribution process, until the coffee reaches consumers and is brewed.

How to Calculate Carbon Footprint

The carbon footprint is represented in CO2e or carbon dioxide equivalent. The potential for greenhouse gas emissions is equal to the potential danger of carbon dioxide gas. The potential and amount of greenhouse gases can be calculated by:

(GWP Index or Global Warming Potential) X (Amount of greenhouse gas emissions)

Example:

1 kg CH4 (methane gas) x 28 = 28 kg CO2e

The higher the carbon footprint index produced, the higher the concentration of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. The high concentration of greenhouse gases will increase the earth's temperature and climate change.

If the current average carbon footprint per person is 4 tons per year, then imagine how much carbon footprint a giant company creates for a global industrial chain? In fact, to avoid a 2⁰C temperature rise, the global carbon footprint would have to fall below 2 tonnes by 2050.

How to Reduce Carbon Footprint

Of course, there are various methods that can be used to reduce the carbon footprint of our activities, including:

  • Reduce products with single-use packages or packages.
  • Reducing consumption of food or imported goods.
  • Use public transportation or use more energy efficient fuels.
  • Unplug unused electricity.
  • Use energy efficient electronic devices.
  • Participation in green projects.
  • Choose a motor vehicle that is fuel efficient.
  • Bring your own shopping bag when shopping.
  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruit.
  • Reduce eating foods that have a high carbon footprint such as meat, especially beef or coffee.
  • Do not cut down trees carelessly and start planting oxygen-producing trees in the surrounding environment.
  • If the journey is less than 2 km, try walking or riding a bicycle.
  • Compost the remaining waste, especially organic waste so that it does not accumulate in the landfill.
  • Separate organic and inorganic waste.
  • Buy items or products that you really need.
  • Use clean water as effectively as possible or don't waste clean water.

After you know what is a carbon footprint and what causes it, do you still have to think about changing your lifestyle to a zero waste lifestyle?

In your opinion, from some of the points above about how to reduce the carbon footprint, are there things that are difficult to do? Nothing is difficult, as long as we want to try! So, let's start implementing a sustainable lifestyle to preserve the earth.


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