By Katelyn Marie Poyntz
Everything you use or consume has to be made or grown, and this all takes energy.
To create energy, we burn fossil fuels that emit carbon or other gases. Carbon is the most common, but there’s also methane and nitrous oxide, which deliver 25 and 300 times more warming potential than carbon, respectively (wow!).
A “carbon footprint” is actually the sum of all the gases emitted to create an item, which is why it’s referred to as a “carbon dioxide equivalent” (CO2e). Everything you do has a carbon footprint!
The carbon footprint of an item includes everything that is required to produce that product: the materials used to make it (including the transportation of those materials to the factory), the making of the item at the factory, transportation of the finished good to the store (where you will then buy it), and what happens to that item once you’re done with it (reuse, recycle, or landfill).
Everything has a carbon footprint, and it all adds up!
In the coming weeks, we’ll share information about the carbon footprints of some common items. Determining the carbon footprint of an item is complex, so the numbers will only be approximations.
However, these facts will give you an idea of the environmental impact of common items and help you make decisions about your daily habits or which items to buy at the grocery store.
And why should we care about choosing items with lower carbon footprints?
Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, which leads to global warming and climate change. Selecting items with lower carbon footprints can help fight climate change!
*This post is based on content originally posted on Wylderr.
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This is where you can find more in-depth information on how to reduce waste in our local communities and live more sustainably.
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