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What is a Carbon Footprint Test?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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Analyzing the amount of carbon that is emitted from an individual’s lifestyle through a carbon footprint test is one of the best ways to begin to reduce greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. The carbon footprint test calculates the amount of carbon that a specific person, family, company, or organization emits into the atmosphere, either directly or indirectly. The greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, are believed by some scientists to be responsible for raising the temperature of the Earth. As a result, many environmental problems are also linked to global warming, such as melting icecaps and habitat loss for arctic animals.

Taking a carbon footprint test is important for those interested in environmental issues. It allows people to specifically learn how they are contributing to the change in the Earth’s climate. Once people are armed with this knowledge, they are usually more capable and willing to act effectively to reduce their individual impact on the Earth’s climate.

Most people emit carbon every day simply by using a non-renewable resource, such as coal, natural gas, or oil. For example, heating or cooling an office or home, flipping the light switch on, using an appliance such as a refrigerator or microwave, driving a car, or watching an evening television show all use non-renewable resources to run and directly emit carbon dioxide. If you head to the gym and hop on the treadmill, a surprising amount of carbon units will be racked up.

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Some elements on a carbon footprint test show that a person emits carbon indirectly. For example, carbon dioxide is created when almost any manufactured product is produced. In addition, if a product is transported from a foreign country, even more carbon will have been emitted in the transportation process.

A good carbon footprint test will even take into account the kind of paper a person uses. For example, if the paper product is made from a non-sustainable forest, it means that trees were cut down and will not be replanted. The consumer of that paper is responsible for deforestation. Deforestation raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, since trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.

One of the simplest ways to take a carbon footprint test is to find an online calculator. The calculator will allow an individual to determine her personal carbon emission count. The carbon footprint test should require the person to be able to estimate the yearly mileage for air and ground transportation and to have access to her gas and electric bills. Other questions on the carbon footprint test will include shopping decisions such as the types of food, household cleaners, and cosmetics that she purchases on a regular basis. Once a person knows her carbon output, it is easier for her to address the issue and reduce the impact she is making on the Earth’s climate.

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