Going carbon neutral: part 1

Despite the fact some people still do not believe in the climate change – it is happening. We can argue whether human activity is a primary cause of this change, however, it definitely has its influence. In the last years the problem of climate change is finally starting to get more and more attention. What’s important is that now even governments and unions of governments consider global warming to be a serious problem. Various standards, laws and conventions have been recently accepted to try to avoid an even more drastic changes of our planet’s environment.

While it’s extremely important to tackle this problem on a governmental level, let’s not forget that each and every one of us influences. If every person on Earth would compensate his or hers CO2 emissions, we would go carbon neutral in an instance! Unfortunately, this is not an option for many people in the developing countries. It is hard to think of the environment when you do not simply have clean water to drink or enough food to feed yourself and your children. Partly because of these reasons many CO2 compensation projects focus on creating sustainable societies in the developing countries. In our previous post you can find more information about some of these projects and one of the programs ensuring their quality. 

What can you do?

In the developed countries, however, people themselves can take care of their ecological footprint. Many tools are available to make this task very easy! The three main steps you have to take to become carbon neutral are:

  • Estimate your CO2 (and other greenhouse gases!) emissions.
  • Keep your energy usage in check, reduce the emissions whenever possible.
  • Compensate, or offset, the unavoidable emissions.

These three easy steps will ensure that you are carbon neutral! And looking deeper into the problem might even encourage you to contribute to some of the carbon offset projects. 

Luckily for us, as global warming is becoming a more and more popular topic, becoming carbon neutral has never been so easy! You can become carbon neutral by sitting at your computer and spending maybe 10 minutes of your time! Various online tools are readily available to help you with the task.

Estimating your personal emissions

This is most easily done with the help of multiple available emission calculators. Some calculators are designed only to calculate the emissions caused by flying from point A to point B. With the help of those you can easily compensate your not-so-environmentally-friendly vacation (if your airline does not provide this option). Some emission calculators offer more advanced analysis based on your habits and daily routine. One of the easiest and most complete calculators exists for the UK. You can find it here. However, WWF has also developed similar tools for several other countries. A list of location-based emission calculators can be found on their website.

These elaborate emission calculators take pretty much everything into account: from how often you fly, to how much food you throw away and which energy provider you use. As a result you receive the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere for which you personally are responsible. Time to offset!

For more details about the process of carbon offsetting – read our nest post.

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