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What is a carbon footprint?

Many things we do in our day to day lives require energy. When this energy is generated through burning fossil fuels, it produces greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane.

Our carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases that are generated by our lives. This footprint is our contribution to the warming of our planet and causes climate change.

Here are a few things that we do that contribute to our carbon footprint:

  • Flying: Creates a lot of carbon and nitrous emissions. It’s often one of the most impactful things we do, especially when it comes to international travel.
  • Eating red meat: Creates methane emissions which are a powerful greenhouse gas.
  • Driving: The burning of petrol creates carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.

How big is my carbon footprint?

That depends on where you live, how you travel, and what you eat and consume.

Here are some greenhouse gas footprints from around the world.

Note: A greenhouse gas footprint includes greenhouse gases apart from carbon: methane (agriculture) and other greenhouse gases like NO2 (flying). To count only carbon, would exclude the other impacts we have.

First world countries have the largest footprint because they tend to use more energy: