How big is your carbon footprint?

Carl Sagan, American astronomer, cosmologist and astrophysicist wisely said

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbour life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand

For centuries, nature was a background player that influenced humans and other living beings and their behaviours. We merged with landscapes and climates, adapting to them seamlessly. Clothes, utensils, housing, cooking and even celebrations, all of these were determined by the whims of mother Earth. 

But our brain — restless and the most powerful existing machine on the planet — played its cards over centuries of evolution and hit the jackpot. We happened to learn how to influence the universe around us, and in turn found ourselves in possession of an unbeatable power. 

But if the human brain is restless, so is our spirit. That has taken us to a present where we’re confronted with the limits of our planet. Nature has unwillingly taken the front stage more like an injured mother than an imposing one.

Climate change, industrialisation, deforestation, large-scale agriculture and record-breaking greenhouse gas emissions, these are defining issues of our time. The shifting weather patterns, rising sea levels, water pollution, ocean acidification, and desertification are all pressing concerns. 

We’ve reached a point where Nature’s demand for help has grown too big to be ignored any longer. Our planet’s resources don’t have a snooze button. We have finally understood that there is a limit and there is an end. 

Several global initiatives have been put in place to tackle these issues, and slowly but surely, humanity is making some progress.  

However, there’s a limit to what international institutions and governments can do, so far the most relevant actors of the long treatment to cure mother Earth. Citizens have to act too. Few can deny that it’s  fundamentally up to us to take tangible action to help the planet, but there is a caveat. Whatever the endeavour we decide, it calls for change.

Change has never come easy. It takes a long time for us to get rid of our comfortable routines and escape our comfort zones. 

“What will change even if I, one among billions, do things differently”, one may think. That’s precisely the question that we have to rewrite to “how much can we change if each of us, a team of billions, do things differently?”

The old saying “Unity makes strength” isn’t just some cliché sentence.  It suffices to see the impact that certain influential individuals had and have when it comes to matters that need to be brought forward. 

You may have heard of campaigners like Greta Thunberg, Charles Windsor, Prince of Wales and Leonardo Dicaprio, for their constant, environmental battle.

Yes, sure, we can’t all be like them but we can surely change our habits and influence our close circles for a better and greener future. Small but meaningful behavioural changes in our personal and professional lives can have a massive global impact.  This article’s central focus is what we can do in our workplace to have a positive impact on the environment.  

We’ve created a simple and short quiz on carbon footprint, for you to measure how your work habits affect the planet.

The objective is to earn the lowest points. The lesser your points, the greener your footprint. 

There are no good or bad results, because, in the race to save the planet, we all swim or we all sink. Together. 

Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases (mostly carbon dioxide, almost known has CO2) released into the atmosphere by human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide. It can be a broad measure or be applied to the actions of an individual, a family, a business and even a country. It’s measured as tons of CO2 emitted per year, a number that can be supplemented by tons of CO2-equivalent gases, such as methane, nitrous oxide, and other greenhouse gases.

Important! We guarantee that, after taking the quiz, you’ll end up learning something that you probably didn’t know before.

Are you ready to see how big your carbon footprint is?

How big is your carbon footprint?
How do you typically go from your house to work?
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*If you come by car, how much time do you spend on the road? (Skip answer if it doesn’t apply)

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*If you drive, what do you use as fuel? (Skip if it doesn’t apply)

 
 
 
 
 
How is your diet at the office?
 
 
 
 
 
How do you usually take your lunch at the office?
 
 
 
 
 
If you have to organise a team meeting including people from different countries, which method do you prefer?
 
 
 
 
What do you recycle at the office?
 
 
 
 
 
How much food do you manage to eat?
 
 
 
 
 
How do you drink your coffee/tea/water/beverages?
 
 
 
 
When you wash your hands, do you leave the water running?
 
 
 
 
 
Which of these behaviours matches with you?
 
 
 
 
 
Do you turn off your electronic devices before you leave the office?
 
 
 
 
 
How is the temperature at the office?
 
 
 
 
 
Where do you usually go on holiday?
 
 
 

Question 1 of 14

How can you lessen your impact on the planet?

It’s important that each individual understand his or her impact on the future and work to make it more positive.

Certainly, some solutions require action on a global scale, but there are small actions you can take daily to lessen your personal impact on the environment. No matter how you scored when taking the quiz, here are some things that could help you lessen your personal environmental impact.

  • Lights on, lights off

Let’s start with something simple: turn everything off before you leave the office, from your computer to the office lights. The same applies to a habit most of us have which is to leave the phone charger on the plug even after charging the phone. 

Why do you leave them on, anyway? Long-distance wifi charging tech may be coming, but it isn’t quite there yet. 

  • Foot power rocks

We know. Using the car is comfortable and practical. But it’s also very harmful to the environment, especially when you get stuck in traffic during rush hours. A possible solution is to only use the car for distances you can’t cover on foot or to take advantage of public transportation solutions.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, right”. But why not? Try it out once or twice a week, or even once per month. You can walk, take a bike, a scooter or even a skateboard to go to the supermarket, or through the city. It’s good for your health and the planet’s!

  • Don’t waste water!

This one is a no-brainer. Remember that water is a precious commodity, one that 785 million people still lack access to. 

According to WaterWaste.org, by leaving the water running while brushing your teeth for two minutes, you waste over 24 litres of water a day. It’s more than the average modern dishwasher cycle!

Also, if you take up to 20 seconds to wash your hands, you could save at least 6 gallons per day by turning off the tap while you scrub.

It’s a closed deal, then! Close the tap when you’re scrubbing your hands, brushing your teeth in the office or when you’re washing your home tapware after lunch.

  • From paper to digital! 

This particular action is one we are all familiar with. But how much are you aware of its environmental impact? 

According to The World Count statistics, an average person in Europe uses more than two pieces of paper every hour, and between 250 and 300 kilos of paper every year. That’s, well, quite a bit.  There are a number of things you can do to reduce the amount of wasted paper:

  • When you can’t avoid printing something at work, print double sided.
  • When writing hand-notes, use both sides of the paper.
  • Store documents electronically rather than in printed form. You save both trees and space!
  • Instead of printing material to distribute during the meeting, share the presentation or the material beforehand in a digital format.
  •  Always proof-read and preview your work before printing it, especially if you’re planning on printing a large document. If you miss a mistake, you’ll need to print it again. It’s time consuming for you and it greatly affects the environment.

So let’s join the league to save mother Earth! 

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