We’ve all heard that the life of humankind has been hurting the environment. Thanks to the technology advancements that allowed us all the “convenience” for basically every task in our lives.
Many of us have been concerned about saving energy for many years, and understandably so. Whether it’s gas, electricity, or petrol that fuels our cars, it’s expensive and it’s taking its toll on our planet. In recent years, we’ve been hearing more and more about the idea of carbon footprint which indicates all of those things.
Carbon footprint is a measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation, or community.
Everyone’s carbon footprint is different depending on their location, habits and personal choice. Each of us contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions either by the way we travel, the food we eat, the amount of electricity we consume and many more.
However, we are often inundated with opinions and political views that skew the real facts behind our carbon footprints. So, let’s shed some light and get to understand a little bit better about the carbon footprint humankind produce.
Here are some verified carbon footprint facts that can help us make sustainable choices and integrate them into our everyday lifestyle.
1. Biodegradable plastic is ok to use and better for the environment than conventional plastic.
This is a myth.
Contrary to common belief, biodegradable plastic is actually worse for the environment as it decomposes, because it releases methane which is more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. While biodegradable plastic can be composted in special facilities who capture the gas, the composting companies usually send all plastic it to the landfill because they can’t differentiate biodegradable plastic from traditional.
2. Aeroplane transport industry as a whole produces the most total CO2e emissions out of all transportation industries.
Surprisingly, this is a myth.
Thanks to the relatively small size of the aviation industry, it claims only 12% of CO2 emissions from all transport sources as compared to 74% of road transport. Despite that, don’t be fooled into thinking we don’t have to consider the impact air travel has on climate change. In fact, it has a greater climate impact per passenger mile than driving. That is why it is so important to fly responsibly and offset the carbon footprint of your travel.
3. Electric cars are much better then fuel-powered ones because they have a smaller carbon footprint.
This is a common misconception.
The carbon footprint of your electric car depends on the power source you use. If your electricity comes from a coal-fired plant, then charging your electric car from the grid is no better than powering your car with gasoline. On average, the combination of electricity sources makes the electric car about as efficient as a hybrid. That is one of the reasons why it is crucial to develop clean and renewable power sources.
4. Organic food is not always sustainable.
This is true.
While organic and sustainable products often sound synonymous, in fact, this is not always the case. Organic products consider mainly the aspect of human health, as they must be free of artificial food additives and are often processed with fewer artificial methods. However, organic food production is not concerned with whether or not their methods harm the environment or society as a whole. For example, organic farming uses compost which generates a significant amount of greenhouse gases and can create groundwater pollution.
5. Solar power is expensive & unreliable.
This is a myth.
The reality is that the cost of solar panels has dropped 80 % since 2008. In fact, most homeowners choosing solar are middle-income families who are looking for ways to help keep household costs down. Most panels can be used for more than 20 years and installers usually offer 25-year warrantees. In fact, many of the first solar systems installed in the 1970s are still producing power today.