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Knowledge of Our Individual and Collective Carbon Footprint Vital in Combating Global Warming

Posted Sep 11 2008 2:13am

Stepping Lightly

Back in December, I told you about the splendid online video, The Story of Stuff. It explains in brilliant terms the reality of pollution created in order to provide the amenities of modern life, including air pollution and the waste stream (especially landfills and electronic waste (ewaste)).

The main message of The Story of Stuff is to consume less. Naturally, I am in full agreement. It is a lifestyle I have adopted. However, since I wrote about the aforementioned exemplary video, the green revolution has made several key strides in the consumer marketplace. We have Clorox selling a line of green cleaners. We have Delta Air Lines embracing a green operating model in a very public way. So, with all this positivity occurring, how can you hop on the bandwagon and not just consume less but take the next step and become as green as possible?

Knowing, monitoring and reducing your carbon footprint are the key steps. So, how does that differ from consuming less? The two points most definitely are interrelated. However, leveraging the knowledge of your carbon footprint helps you achieve another vital aspect, insulating yourself from green washing.

A quick definition: Green washing is the willful process through marketing and/or propaganda of defining a practice, product or service as being sensitive to the environment or greener than that of a competitor when the opposite is true.

While measuring the carbon footprint of a practice, product or service is not the only way of determining the precise hue of its green credentials, it is the most meaningful and effective way of assessing its role in combating or exacerbating global warming.

The good folks at the Earth Day Network have created a brand new online calculator of everyone’s carbon (or eco) footprint. Arguably the most wonderful aspect of this nifty tool is the fact that it includes nationality in the calculation. I exhort you to surf over to] today and assess yourself. If everyone did likewise, we’d be a whole lot wiser about where we stand on an individual and collective mark and have a serviceable grasp on the length of the journey which lies before us as we fight global warming and reduce atmospheric carbon footprint by 2% per year.

Fomenting the Triple Bottom Line

Corbett Kroehler

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