The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world. Globally, the average is closer to 4 tons. To have the best chance of avoiding a 2℃ rise in global temperatures, the average global carbon footprint per year needs to drop to under 2 tons by 2050. Lowering individual carbon footprints from 16 tons to 2 tons doesn’t happen overnight! By making small changes to our actions, like eating less meat, taking less connecting flights and line drying our clothes, we can start making a big difference. https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/carbon-footprint-calculator/
- Calculate your carbon footprint There are many calculators available but this one includes a simple and advanced version, compares your footprint to that of others like you, and provides some suggestions for reducing your footprint.
- Compare your family's footprint to that of others like you, investigate suggested changes. Commit to one or several changes.
Plastics have surprisingly carbon-intense life cycles. According to scientists, the overwhelming majority of plastic resins come from petroleum, which requires extraction and distillation. Then the resins are formed into products and transported to market. All of these processes emit greenhouse gases, either directly or via the energy required to accomplish them. And the carbon footprint of plastics continues even after we've disposed of them. Dumping, incinerating, recycling and composting (for certain plastics) all release carbon dioxide. Researchers estimate that, by 2030, emissions from the plastic industry will reach 1.34 gigatons per year (equivalent to more than 295 500-megawatt coal power plants),
- Calculate your plastic footprint.
- Consider suggested changes in your use of plastics, investigate options and commit to decrease your use of plastics.