Carbon Footprint – What Is It?

You’ve likely heard the term “carbon footprint” a lot in the past few decades. What it boils down to is that the choices that you make in your daily life leave a mark on the environment, and your carbon footprint is the way to express that impact.

The size of your carbon footprint depends on several factors, but the heavier the strain on the environment, the larger your footprint will be.

Our team at Solar Bear Orlando discusses carbon footprints and how using solar energy can help offset the effects.

Looking Closer at Carbon Footprints

People, products, and even entire industries have carbon footprints. Your footprint includes emissions from your daily commute, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, what you throw in the trash, and more.

To halt the impact on the environment, we need to shift to a low-carbon economy and protect our natural spaces like forests, grasslands, mangroves, and tidal marshes, which stash away large quantities of carbon.

Drastically cutting greenhouse gasses and thus our carbon footprint will require everyone from individuals to entire countries to vastly reduce their carbon footprint.

How Does Carbon Affect Climate Change

Carbon dioxide traps the heat that is emitted by the sun and the Earth’s surface and then releases that heat into the atmosphere. As we cut down forests and burn fossil fuels, high concentrations of greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide, threaten to raise the average surface temperature of the Earth, causing numerous life-threatening impacts.

Since the 18th century, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen 40% and climatologists estimate that the current levels are as high as they have been in almost 14 million years.

As carbon dioxide levels climb, the cumulative effects, including ocean acidification, rising sea levels, more frequent and intense storms, mass species extinctions, food scarcity, and economic inequality will be felt worldwide. 

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Here are some steps that you can take to reduce your carbon emissions at home or work. Most are quick and easy to implement, meaning that you can start reducing your carbon footprint in no time at all.

#1. Insulate Your Home

Heating and cooling your living space is an expensive and energy-intensive process. By insulating your home, you can make sure that your home retains heat in the winter and cold air in the summer months.

This means that you’ll use less energy reducing your carbon footprint and your overall household bills.

#2. Switch to Renewable Energy

When you switch to renewable energy like solar, wind, or hydroelectric energy, you can reduce your household emissions and save money on your electricity bills.

Learn more about solar energy below!

#3. Buy Energy-Efficient

Electrical appliances are becoming more efficient every year. Whether you buy energy-saving light bulbs or choose appliances with a high “energy star” rating, you are taking a step to make your home eco-friendlier.

Additionally, it is important to turn off and unplug any electrical appliances that you aren’t using.

#4. Use Less Water

It takes energy and resources to process and deliver water to our houses. It is also quite energy-intensive to heat it once it’s there. By using less water, you can help the environment while lowering your carbon footprint.

Try turning off the water when you brush your teeth, take short showers instead of baths, and don’t water your lawn or landscaping excessively.

#5. Eliminate Single-Use Plastics

While single-use plastics may be convenient, they are terrible for the environment. Not only do these plastics pollute our waterways and ocean, but they also require a lot of energy to produce and recycle them.

Stop using things like disposable coffee cups, bottles, and utensils to help reduce your carbon footprint. 

How Solar Power Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

Solar power reduces CO2 emissions by providing people with a clean and renewable source of energy. The solar panels that are installed on your home collect energy from the sun and convert it into usable energy. This process does not rely on fossil fuels and none of the energy is wasted because it can be stored on the grid for future use.

Further, solar energy reduces water pollutants because photovoltaic panels do not need water to operate as other manufacturing processes do. Sunlight is converted into usable energy without the need for local water supplies and solar energy does not pollute waterways like fossil fuels do.

By switching to solar power, you can drastically reduce your household’s overall carbon footprint. Every kilowatt of solar power installed lowers your home’s carbon footprint by over 3,000 pounds annually.

To put that into perspective, for the average five-kilowatt residential system, that means the reduction of more than 15,000 pounds of C02 emissions every year.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

If you are ready to reduce your carbon footprint, call Solar Bear Orlando today for a solar energy consultation. It will amaze you how just a few small changes plus a solar panel system can make a drastic impact on your family’s carbon footprint.

Get started with Solar Bear Orlando! Call (727) 471-7442 today!