What is a carbon footprint and what does it do?

carbon footprint

Carbon footprint is a measure of the impact of human activities expressed in terms of the amount of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) emissions.

Every human activity always has an impact on the environment . One of these impacts is the contribution of greenhouse gas (carbon dicoside) emissions.

These impacts can occur directly (such as burning garbage) or indirectly (such as using electricity from the Steam Power Plant).

This emitted greenhouse gas then causes the heat entering the earth to become trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming.

The amount of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity is what is called  carbon footprint 

Carbon Footprint Function

This carbon footprint is important to know so that we can find out how much impact each of our activities will have.

Thus, we can try to reduce the impact of the carbon footprint that we produce every day. And also trying to offset the impact on the carbon footprint that we have created.

Types of carbon footprint (Carboon Footprint)

This carbon footprint is divided into two types, namely

  1. primary carbon footprint ( primary carbon footprint )
  2. Secondary carbon footprint ( secondary carbon footprint ).

The primary carbon footprint is the carbon footprint generated from the direct combustion process of fossil fuels, for example, the use of motorized vehicles.

Meanwhile, the secondary carbon footprint is a carbon footprint resulting from the cycle process of the products used, from manufacture to decomposition.

An example of this secondary carbon footprint is products that are consumed daily (usually in the form of food), so that the more products consumed, the greater the carbon footprint.

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How to calculate your carbon footprint

How do we know how big the carbon footprint of our activities is? There are actually a lot of carbon footprint counters on the internet.

In general, there are many things that can be included in calculating your carbon footprint . For example, for calculating the carbon footprint of individual or household activities, the activities calculated can include food consumption, travel activities, and household electricity consumption.

Consumption of these foods includes whether the products consumed have high carbon footprint levels or not.

Foods that contain a high carbon footprint are usually meat, while foods that contain a low carbon footprint are usually vegetables.

The following is the carbon content of several types of food, as quoted from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

The carbon footprint of travel activities can include the type of vehicle used, whether private vehicles (cars or motorbikes) or public transportation (buses, trains, or planes).

If using a private vehicle, the carbon footprint calculation will also include the type of fuel used.

Quoted from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in the United States, this is the large amount of greenhouse gas emissions from various fuels

  • avtur is 2.20 kg CO2 / liter
  • biodiesel is 2.50 kg CO2 / liter
  • diesel fuel is 2.68 kg CO2 / liter
  • gasoline is 2.35 kg CO2 / liter

So to find out how big our carbon footprint is from travel activities, we can calculate it from how much fuel is used.

Meanwhile, for household consumption, in general, the carbon footprint is calculated from the number of kWh of electricity used in one year.

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The carbon footprint for household electricity consumption then depends on the type of power plant used, whether using coal, diesel fuel , nuclear, or using renewable energy (for example solar, wind, geothermal, or hydropower).

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