By now everyone has heard of the Al Gore documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and its message that we need to do something, in fact many things to address global warming NOW. At the end of the documentary and in talks Mr. Gore gives, there is mention of reducing one’s carbon footprint. So just what exactly IS a carbon footprint?
Formally speaking, the “Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide. ”
Okay, good enough; but what are we mere mortals supposed to do about THAT? As an architect I have some advantages, being able to specify materials and processes for new residences and businesses. But can the individual make a difference in reducing his or her carbon footprint at home,at work and at places in between? The short, positive answer is: YES. In coming blog entries we will lay out some simple steps that will help anyone do just that. For starters try visiting this website to see what are the parts of, and differences between, a primary and secondary “footprint”.
The chart re-produced herein is from that site and shows the elements that make up our collective inconvenient footprints – much more than inconvenient for the planet we call home.