Challenge #1: Carbon Footprint

Image by Freepik

Hi friend! Here is our first challenge.

In today’s world, where environmental concerns are increasingly urgent, understanding and reducing our carbon footprint has become a crucial aspect of responsible living. The carbon footprint represents the total amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs), primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), emitted by our daily activities.

By calculating our personal carbon footprint, we can identify areas where we contribute the most to GHG emissions and take steps towards a more sustainable future. We need to explore the significance of personal carbon footprints and the importance of advocating for systemic change alongside individual efforts.

The carbon footprint is measured in metric tons of CO2 equivalent per person per year (t CO2-eq/person/year). It serves as a metric to quantify our impact on the environment. By examining global averages, we gain insight into the scale of the challenge at hand:

  • ๐ŸŒ The world’s average carbon footprint is 7.7 t CO2-eq/person/year
  • ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ It goes up to 14.6 t CO2-eq/person/year in the US
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ It goes down to 2.4 t CO2-eq/person/year in India

While these figures provide a comparative overview, it is important to remember that guilt should not accompany the assessment of personal carbon footprints. Instead, we should view them as indicators guiding us toward areas where we can focus our efforts to make a positive change.

In the next 20 days, you will complete many challenges showing you new ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint.

A study by Carbone 4 calculated that if all French citizens adopted necessary lifestyle changes, it would still not be enough because most of the GHG emissions come from collective and systemic actions, from companies and governments. This graphic explains it well:

Carbone 4 Doing your fair share for the climate

As mentioned there, our lifestyle and how much we can change is “constrained by the social, technical and political environment that we live in“.

How can you cycle if there are no safe cycling lanes?

Therefore, as youth leaders, we should try our best to reduce our carbon footprint, while also advocating for systemic change and pushing companies/governments to take action!

๐Ÿ’ช The challenge of the day:

Calculate your carbon footprint using: Carbon Footprint Calculator

โœ๏ธ If you have done it before, itโ€™s always good to refresh it. Once you are done, you can share your reflections like “Did you learn anything new or find something interesting with today’s content and activity?” in the comment section below and in the WhatsApp group too, it will help us track your participation!

Feel free to share the screenshot of your actual carbon footprint in the WhatsApp group, only if you feel comfortable doing so.

๐Ÿ“š Additional Resource: TED Talk – This country isn’t just carbon neutral — it’s carbon negative

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