Carbon Footprints

Unless you have been living under a rock instead of in a condo or other more human accommodations over the last ten years, you have probably heard that the Earth is in trouble. Global warming seems to be changing weather patterns and sea life as we know it, and some scientists have serious doubts about whether or not the planet will be able to maintain life as we know it after the next fifty years. There has never been a global scare quite like this one, and the bad news is that the whole thing is human caused.

Read 15 ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

If you have heard about global warming, then you have probably also heard that there may be ways to slow it down and maybe even stop it. One term frequently thrown around is carbon footprint. If you live in Toronto or anywhere else, you may have heard of this term. But, have you ever actually had it defined for you? Did you know that people can actually cause more than one carbon footprint? Let's talk about this in more detail.

Carbon is the main molecule in CO2, a gas which is given off in the respiration cycle. Strangely, it is also the main gas produced when most of the energy transactions people require for day to day life occur. Our cars, homes, and factories all burn fossil fuels, and carbon is the main ingredient in these fuels. So if you are heating your home during the winter months or cooling it off during the winter, you are putting out CO2. Likewise if you drive or engage in any other energy burning activity.

Those activities are what make up your individual carbon footprint. That term refers to the total amount of fossil fuels used by an individual directly, over his or her lifetime. So you are individually responsible for the energy used when you drive around looking for a house for sale, going to and from work, and so on. The good news is that individual carbon footprints are easy to reduce, because it is just a matter of making personal choices in energy conservation each day.

However, we are all also responsible for our indirect carbon footprints, and they are a lot harder to control. All of the items we buy are also used by the energy process. That means in order to truly reduce our larger, indirect carbon footprint, we need to be more careful about what we buy.

This means looking closely at all of our purchasing decisions. Are those Toronto condominiums for sale built in a green certified manner? Are your kids' toys recyclable? Asking yourself these questions can help to greatly reduce your carbon footprint.

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Monday, April 22, 2024