How to reduce one’s carbon footprint

Amaris Lee and Savanna Thomas

The first step to knowing the effects one’s carbon footprint has on the planet is to know what carbon footprint is and where it came from.

Science teacher Rebecca Scott said, “Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon each individual releases into the atmosphere through their activities.”

“It was developed in the 1990s as a way to quantify the effect of our lifestyle on our planet,” science teacher Rebecca Young said.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website, the most common contributors to carbon footprint are transportation and energy use. Transportation has the largest emission of greenhouse gases due to fossil fuels being burned to run cars.

Carbon footprint negatively affects the environment. It causes an increase in carbon dioxide levels and acts as a greenhouse gas which leads to global warming and climate change.

Due to the rising temperatures of global warming, sea levels have risen, ice caps are melting, polar bears have become considered endangered, and weather patterns have changed, just to name a few.

In addition to this, the earth is facing another mass extinction.

“We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, and scientists estimate that possibly one million species could go extinct,” Young said.

However, there are a few ways to reduce carbon footprint and help save the earth.

Young said, “Reducing food waste, limiting how much you are driving, reducing electricity uses – these are all good places to start [to reduce carbon footprint].”

Scott said, “Carpooling, using public transportation, unplugging devices, [and] eating locally grown food or no meat [are ways to reduce carbon footprint].”

There have been recent developments of technology that have helped with the reduction of carbon footprint.

“Places such as Tesla Motors and Space X are technologies that are greatly improving carbon footprint,” Scott said.

According to Tesla Motors’ website, they produced products powered by solar energy and batteries. Tesla does not use gas for fuel, instead they use electricity.

Since they use electricity as fuel, the cars do not release pollution into the Earth’s atmosphere.

It is important that people are made aware of what a carbon footprint is.

Carbon footprint is harsh on Earth and causes many effects on the planet.

To find one’s carbon footprint level, visit