What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint measures how much carbon dioxide we produce from our day-to-day activities. Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas that is accumulating in our atmosphere and causing Climate Change. Therefore, a carbon footprint indicates to what degree our actions contribute to climate change.
We can calculate the percentage of carbon dioxide we are producing compared to the target set for carbon dioxide emission reduction to avoid the worst effects of climate change--a 1.5°C increase in global temperature.
A 100% carbon footprint does not increase or decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Less than 100% helps to reduce it--more than 100% adds to the global increase in emissions.
How can you calculate it?
After having taken the test, take this survey that will help the IST community keep track of our progress
Earth Day 2021: Carbon Footprint Survey
We conducted a carbon footprint survey last month and collected 45 responses. In 2018, there were around 100 responses for the same survey.
With this in mind, the averages that have been calculated:
In 2018, the average IST carbon footprint was 417.15%.
In 2021, the average IST carbon footprint was 124.53%.
This clearly shows our improvement as a community. It seems that in 2021, our community has reduced its carbon footprint by 292.62% However, collective carbon footprint means that we are not yet sustainable, 124% footprint means that we will reach the global warming threshold of 1.5 degrees 24% faster than the predicted date of 2030. If we can avoid a 1.5-degree increase in global temperatures, we can avoid the worst effects of climate change which includes over 250,000 deaths per year (WHO, Fact Sheet 2018).
The IST survey also asked people to write what things they should start to work on to reduce their footprint. Most of the responses included improving their energy contracts to make them more green based on renewable energy sources, decreasing the amount of transportation that affects the climate (cars, planes, etc.), and changing their diets (eating less meat)
Overall, it’s safe to say that we have reduced our percentage of carbon emissions, however, it is essential that we continue to reduce our footprint below 100% to reduce the impact on the environment and ensure a happier and healthier future.
If anyone is interested in working in a team to find solutions even in our community, join our IST Eco-Club. Other suggested actions to reduce your footprint can be found here---even a small difference is a difference.
All these activities strive for our generation and the next to have a better future.