May 20, 2014 2 min read

It's time to get to the bottom of your carbon footprint. We're often inundated with opinions and political views that skew the reality behind our impact.

Following are some verified carbon footprint facts that will help you make informed decisions: 

Electricity = Carbon Dioxide – Like it or not, every time you plug in, you impact the environment. Power plants everywhere utilize fossil fuels, coal, and alternative energies like nuclear, wind, water, and solar power. Unfortunately, each one of these has a carbon footprint. Even discarded batteries from laptops or cell phones can leave a deadly impact in landfills. Consider unplugging for one day—or even a few hours a week. Find a hobby that doesn't involve electricity, and enjoy it.

HVAC and Carbon Emissions – Heating and air conditioning can amount to a huge spend on carbon emissions. Try to train yourself and your body to tolerate warmer temperatures in the summer months and cooler temperatures in the winter months. Adjust your wardrobe before you turn the dial. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint, it will lower your home heating and cooling expenses. And be sure to keep your HVAC units well maintained, changing air filters every season.

Water Usage – Maintaining and purifying drinking water has a huge impact on carbon emissions. Water treatment plants and their operating equipment have a high carbon footprint and rely on harmful chemicals. Use water wisely. 

Sources of CO2– the primary sources of carbon emissions are

  • Solid fuels like coal – 35%
  • Liquid fuels like oil and petroleum – 36%
  • Gaseous fuels like natural gas – 20%
  • Industrial gas emissions from manufacturing or processing plants - <1%
  • Deforestation, which releases stored carbon into the atmosphere and eliminates the carbon capture performed by healthy forests – 5%

Paper –The more paper you use, the more you contribute to deforestation and carbon emissions. Try switching to paperless billing whenever possible and consider using recycled paper to create greeting cards, letters or giftwrap. If possible, use gift bags and other paper goods multiple times before recycling them. And get yourself off of junk-mail lists—your mailbox will thank you!

Driving – Park your car once a day if possible and work from home or walk/cycle. Carpooling is another great way to help reduce carbon emissions and provide you with networking opportunities.

We hope these facts will help you make informed decisions—and help make the world a better place! And we just happen to know of a great way to reduce your carbon footprint: planting trees!

We plant trees on 4 continents around the world. Want to choose where yours are planted?

by Ben Rummel

for One Tree Planted

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