Watch Your Step! We should be more cautious of our Carbon Footprint

By RYLIE YOUNG – 05/16/18

You have probably heard the term “Carbon Footprint” but what does that mean and why should you care? A carbon footprint is “the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.” Carbon, although a naturally occurring element, is a greenhouse gas. So if the United States, as a country, became cautious of our carbon footprint we can help slow down or even stop climate change.

The human race is not caring about our environment or careful with how much fossil fuels we produce. Now, that is easier said than done, but the little decisions we make in our daily lives can contribute. However, negativity rarely tends to motivate people to take action; on the other hand, positivity does! Climate change has already begun and we missed the absolutely no climate change goal, but if all humans begin to change our way of life to a more carbon efficient one, we can stop it from getting any worse.

In order to decrease this effect, we are having on our environment, we would need to entirely reconstruct our way of life—all over the globe. However, it is possible if everyone makes an additional effort to make a change. An article from a website called Facts & Opinions makes a point that I wholeheartedly agree with “Real reductions in carbon pollution are possible when we, as individuals, take responsibility for the connection between our day-to-day consumption choices and the rapidly worsening, global problem of climate change.”

Some consumption choices we make that contribute could be something little; buying a reusable bag to use again and again or use the plastic bags from the grocery store that become harmful to the environment. Or maybe buying chicken for dinner tonight instead of beef; chicken emits 10% carbon than beef. Or deciding to drive to an event alone instead of with a friend or acquaintance.

Now, some people do not believe that these choices are insignificant and have virtually no effect on the earth, like Charles Saatchi “It’s nonsense, but it makes nice people feel good about themselves to do their bit for the planet. Its vanity of a grotesque kind to believe that mankind, and our carbon footprint, has more impact on the future of Earth than Nature, which bends our planet to its will, as it sees fit.”

I believe this the absolute opposite of true. People can use their carbon footprint to brag and use for vanity, but it is not nonsense— climate change is real, and if your carbon footprint is substandard then perhaps you should begin to change the way you live. Especially if you are living arrogantly or carelessly, or something you can fix easily.  

However, the small changes will add up, but not the extreme measure that the Earth is facing, New York Magazine says “It is, I promise, worse than you think.” We can also make even larger adjustments in our environment such as buying an electric or hybrid car.

There are endless amendments you can make even in your own home.

Such as:

  • changing your lights’ bulbs out for energy efficient ones
  • fixing that leak that’s wasting water
  • walk or bike instead of driving that short distance
  • turn off the lights when not in use, recycle instead of through away
  • buy glass water bottles rather than plastic ones, the possibilities are endless.


Climate change is real, but we can take action and stop it from getting any worse. Look around your home for something you can adjust to lower the waste you create and your carbon footprint.


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