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Carbon footprint is a term that appears more and more often in the media, environmental reports or debates on environmental pollution and climate change. What is it really, how to calculate it and how to minimize it in everyday life?
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In simple terms, the carbon footprint is the sum of emitted greenhouse gases expressed as carbon dioxide (CO2). Since we produce other environmentally harmful gases in addition to carbon dioxide, appropriate conversion factors are used for the other ones, in which a ton of a given gas translates into a certain amount of carbon dioxide. For example, one person produces on average 5 tons of carbon dioxide per year (in the most developed countries even twice more, in Poland it is about 8 tons). Most of this gas is absorbed by the environment and returned to a closed circuit, but the remainder, although proportionally small, has a real and extremely severe impact on climate change.

We leave a carbon footprint at every step, also when using electricity, which, unless entirely produced from renewable sources, directly causes greenhouse gas emissions. Every light bulb, every heat-up of water in an electric kettle, every phone charge, every switching on of the TV… all this increases the production of greenhouse gases, and consequently – our carbon footprint. The carbon footprint can be calculated for individuals, entire corporations or countries. We can minimize it by choosing only a green electricity supplier.