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This story appears in the August 2018 issue of School LIVE.
We all leave footprints when we walk on the sand, similarly we leave behind certain footprints which are not visible to the naked eye. The term ‘carbon footprint’ keeps popping in and out of news. Let’s take a moment to understand the phenomenon and what role we play in it.

We all have grown up learning that we breathe in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. In the same manner, each one of us contributes to the steady increase of the amount of carbon dioxide (a Greenhouse gas) that is released. The process through which this increase can be calculated and mapped is called carbon footprinting. Another way we contribute to the increasing carbon footprints, is while travelling. Every time we burn fossil fuels, we are making our carbon footprint bigger. The constant use of electricity is another contributor to the increase in carbon footprints.


It could be emitted from an individual, a family, an organization or the entire nation itself. Everyone's carbon footprint is different depending upon their location and habits.

According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, by the year 2050 more than 1.6 billion people across 970 cities all over the world will face extreme heat, coastal floods, power blackouts and food and water shortages.

Our next question should be "how is this increase harming us?".

The constant increase in the greenhouse gases has lead to one most major change, the change in climate globally. The summers are getting hotter, winters getting harsher and the draughts are getting longer, with erratic rains. Carbon emissions act as the most lethal contributor to the rise in pollution. It won't be wrong to say that the earth is choking, and along with it we are suffocating ourselves. The rise in the temperature has resulted in the icebergs melting, which has raised alarm bells for many islands, that may soon cease to exist, because of the apparent flooding.



When everything we do adds up to the emission of CO2, how can we curb or at least lessen the amount being released?


GO GREEN: The axiom to live by, our trees help in converting CO2 into oxygen and act as a filter to make sure that we have enough clean O2. Plant more trees and don’t let them get cut unnecessarily.


REUSE AND RECYCLE: Try making a difference by recycling. Used books and notebooks can always be recycled. After all we know that we get paper from trees, which is one of the reasons why so many trees are uprooted.


DE-GADET-IFY:  Operating computers and charging gadgets uses 60 watts of electricity adds 1 kg of CO2 to the atmosphere. Switch off all electronics when not in use, as this will not only reduce your electricity bill, but also reduce the CO2 emitted.


CY-WALK THE SHORT: When travelling short distances, take a walk or a cycle ride. This will help you get some exercise along with cutting down the CO2 released by the constant emission from the vehicles.





The next time you watch TV, or use electricity when not required, stop and think how many carbon footprints you are releasing in the process. Let's take every step in a way in a way that our progress today does not hamper the coming generation.


Just how difficult is it to keep up with your resolutions?



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