A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, place or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent. Greenhouse gases, including the carbon-containing gases carbon dioxide and methane, can be emitted through the burning of fossil fuels, land clearance and the production and consumption of food, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, transportation and other services. The term was popularized by a $250 million advertising campaign by the oil and gas company BP in an attempt to move public attention away from restricting the activities of fossil fuel companies and onto individual responsibility for solving climate change
Human activities are one of the main causes of greenhouse gas emissions. These increase the earth's temperature and are emitted from fossil fuel usage in electricity and other byproducts of manufacturing. The major effects of such practices mainly consist of climate changes, such as extreme precipitation and acidification and warming of oceans. Climate change has been occurring since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 1820s. Due to humans' heavy reliance on fossil fuels, energy usage, and constant deforestation, the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is increasing, which makes reducing a greenhouse gas footprint harder to achieve.
Many of our daily activities — such as using electricity, driving a car, or disposing of waste — cause greenhouse gas emissions. Together these emissions make up a household's carbon footprint.
The calculator estimates your footprint in one area: transportation. This calculator was created by Zydaan Siddiqi. If you like this page, visit similar science pages: Planet Earth, Climate Change and Explore Pathogens.