Carbon Footprint
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Carbon Footprint
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What is Carbon?
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What is Carbon Dioxide?
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Sequestration?
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What is Carbon Offsetting?
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What is Carbon Neutral?
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What is Carbon Trading?
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Carbon Calculator
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Plant a Tree For Life
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Global Warming
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Carbon Footprint





A carbon footprint is a measurement or calculation of the carbon dioxide (one of the primary greenhouse gases) each of us produces through our direct use of energy (resulting from the burning of fossil fuels) and indirectly through our consumption of resources (which require energy throughout the lifecycle of the product).

Our carbon footprint, which is generally calculated for a year, is the sum of all our actions and activities where there are CO2 (and other greenhouse gas) emissions which impact on the atmosphere and the environment.

A product also has a
carbon footprint. This refers to the total amount of CO2  (or other greenhouse gases) generated throughout the lifecycle of the product - from the raw material and packaging to the manufacturing, distribution, transport, use and disposal of the product.

The use of such products adds to our total carbon footprint.


What is Carbon?

Carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe, and is the chemical basis of all know life forms. It is a non-metallic element.
It is the primary component of the carbon cycle which ensures the wellbeing and stability of the planet.


What is Carbon Dioxide?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a chemical compound composed of a single carbon atom covalently bonded to two oxygen atoms.

Fossil fuels contain carbon which when burned bonds with oxygen and forms carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere and impacts on global warming.

For more on Carbon Dioxide:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide


What is Carbon Sequestration?


Carbon sequestration refers to the capture and storage of carbon dioxide to prevent it from being released into the atmosphere.

Carbon sequestration is seen as a possible way of reducing the impact of global warming by limiting the CO2 (and other GHG) emissions into the atmosphere.

The concept is that CO2 should be

     captured at the point of emission (like at fossil fuel-fired power plants
       and other industrial facilities),
     be compressed,
     then transported to a suitable site where it can be stored underground
       (for example in geological formations - like oil and gas reservoirs,
       unmineable coal seams, or dissolved in deep oceans);

CO2 can also be removed from the air by trees, plants, algae and soils.


What is Carbon Offsetting?

Carbon-offsetting provides an opportunity for individuals and companies to invest in projects that reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere to compensate for their own emissions due to transport, electricity consumption, and other consumptions.

Offsets are generally achieved by financially supporting projects or organisations that have either

     achieved excessive offsets or
     reduce the emission of greenhouse gases or
     lead to the prevention of future greenhouse gas emissions.

For example renewable energy projects like wind farms, solar projects or biomass energy; energy efficiency projects; and tree planting and forestry projects.








The
Kyoto Protocol approved offsets as a way for companies and governments to earn carbon credits which can be traded.

Individuals should ideally
"reduce their emissions by making conscious lifestyle choices to limit their emissions (please use this website for suggestions), and
"purchase offsets for the rest to balance the emissions one cannot reduce. (This applies to businesses, NGO and government too.)












For example: individuals or businesses may plant trees around the world to offset the electricity the business uses.

Plant a Tree for Life with Greenworks. Your purchase of one or more trees assists in offsetting your carbon emissions and in greening South Africa.


What is Carbon Neutral?


Carbon neutral describes the balancing feat by organisations, businesses and individuals to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they put into it.

Carbon neutrality should be the joint action of reducing emissions first and only then offsetting the balance to achieve a zero carbon footprint.


What is Carbon Trading?


Carbon trading provides a market for buyers and sellers of carbon credits, aimed of diminishing the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.


Countries are permitted to trade credits to help meet their emissions targets set according
to The United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Kyoto Protocol
. The concept is that a country allocates permits to companies for a specified amount of greenhouse gas emissions which should be according to the Kyoto Protocol target commitments. In the event that a country exceeds their targets, it is able to purchase permits from countries that are below their targets. The same concept works for companies within a country. Those that reduce their emissions are allowed to 'trade' excess permits with organisations that exceed their allowances.

Buyers of credits are those who produce more CO2 emissions than their targets and thus through the credits they purchase additional CO2 allowances. Sellers of credits are organisations that have achieved excessive offsets.

For more information visit: www.science.org.au/nova/054/054key.htm


Carbon Calculator

A carbon calculator is a means of measuring your Carbon Footprint.
Click on the
carbon calculator (please be patient while it opens), fill in the information requested and measure your carbon footprint.  You may be surprised at how high your footprint is! 

Click here for things you personally can do to reduce your Carbon Footprint.


With Thanks to Toyota Prius
 

TAKE A STEP IN THE GREEN DIRECTION BECAUSE
GOING GREEN WORKS!
 
Global Warming
Carbon
Calculator
One carbon offset represents the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases.
Carbon offsets are generated from projects that avoid or absorb/ sequester carbon dioxide, or any of the other main greenhouse gases. These projects can take various forms, including renewable power,
energy efficiency, fuel switching (e.g. from oil to natural gas), reforestation, or destruction of greenhouse gases (e.g. methane, HFC 23). 
From: www.sd-commission.org.uk/