Knowledge of Our Individual and Collective Carbon Footprint Vital in Combating Global Warming
Posted Sep 11 2008 2:13am
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
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 http://www.earthday.net/ecofootprint]earthday.net/ecofootprint 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.