The carbon footprint is the sum of all greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and others) that are released into the atmosphere because of an activity, either directly or indirectly.

When driving your car, it is easy to understand that this activity has a carbon footprint. But when riding your bicycle, would you imagine this activity also has a carbon footprint? Of course, it has. Although the bike does not emit gases itself, it was manufactured in an industrial unit, and then a diesel truck delivered it to your local bicycle store. Reading a book while sitting on your couch also has a carbon footprint because the book was manufactured and then transported to your local bookstore.

The carbon footprint of every single person, company, or activity is a calculation of human effect on climate change, air and water pollution, and contamination of natural resources. As expected, people in Western economies may have a 4-6 times bigger footprint than those in developing countries. Understanding the concept of carbon footprint and finding ways to decrease it is vital in the battle against climate change.


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