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Average human carbon footprint

How is your calculated carbon footprint?

Average human carbon footprint is the total carbon generated from an activity either by a person, company, product, or event. The carbon that is recorded is usually the carbon that causes Green House Gasses.

Average human carbon footprint
Average human carbon footprint

The carbon footprint value is expressed in kg CO2 equivalent. What it is mean? This means that every carbon emission is rated according to international standards. CO2 missile is given a value of 1 and Methane is given a value of 28. This means that every kg of CO2 and methane produced must be multiplied by their respective values.

Example: A production activity produces 10 kg of carbon dioxide and 5 kg of methane. Then how much total carbon footprint is generated?

CO2 10 kg x 1 = 10 kg CO2 equivalent

CH4 5 kg x 28 = 140 kg CO2 equivalent

Then the resulting total carbon footprint is 10 kg CO2 eq + 140 CO2 eq = 150 kg CO2 eq

How much CO2 does the average human carbon footprint produce in a year?

The global average human carbon footprint is 4 tonnes/year. This carbon footprint depends on human activities in each country. The transportation sector is the largest contributor to the carbon footprint, followed by household activities and food.

The countries producing the largest carbon dioxide are held by developed countries and have a large population. Top 10 countries contributing to carbon dioxide, among others

  1. China, 28% - 10,065 million tons CO2 released
  2. United States, 15% - 5,416 million tons CO2
  3. India, 7% - 2,654 million tons CO2
  4. Russia, 5% - 1,711 million tons CO2
  5. Japan, 3% - 1,162 million tons CO2
  6. Germany, 2% - 759 million tons CO2
  7. Iran, 2% - 720 million tons CO2
  8. South Korea, 2% - 659 million tons CO2
  9. Saudi Arabia, 2% - 621 million tons CO2
  10. Indonesian 2% - 615 million tons CO2

Is breathing bad for the environment?

Humans do need oxygen for their body activities. We breathe in oxygen, then the lungs transfer oxygen to the blood. Oxygen in the blood is sent throughout the body so that each cell can work properly.

The heavier the human activity, the higher the need for oxygen. Notice when we run, our breath will speed up, our heart pumps blood faster. Oxygen is needed by cells to break down nutrients such as carbohydrates, sugars, fats to be converted into energy. This means the average human carbon footprint we spend when our activities are heavier.

We don't need to be afraid to pollute the environment just because we breathe. Mr. Schwarcz from McGill University explains simply. Every carbon dioxide we emit is the result of burning food that comes from photosynthesis. We know that photosynthesis does the opposite - it absorbs carbon dioxide to produce carbohydrates

In contrast to carbon from burning fossil fuel. Fossil fuel is a substance that has been in the earth for hundreds of years and does not have any role in absorbing carbon dioxide in the air.

How much CO2 does a human generate?

The total amount of carbon dioxide released by humans in 2015 was 40 billion metric tons. The average human carbon footprint  comes from various activities such as deforestation, coal burning, the use of fossil fuels, cement production, and so on

What are 5 ways to reduce the average human carbon footprint?

Global temperatures continue to increase every year. This is due to the increasing number of human populations and the increasing number of activities that emit greenhouse gas carbon.

Ideal conditions in order to prevent 2 C global warming, by 2050, the average human carbon footprint from around the world must be below 2 tons/year. To reduce the value of the carbon footprint from 4 tonnes/year to 2 tonnes/year, of course, requires cooperation from the entire global community. Here are 5 ways to reduce your carbon footprint


Understand the waste management hierarchy

  1. Reduce means reducing the use or purchase of goods that are not too necessary
  2. Reuse means always trying to take advantage of unused items, repair them, and keep them in optimum condition.
  3. Recycle means trying to reuse items that are no longer reusable. Used plastic, paper, glass, and metal must be reprocessed so that they can be used.
  4. A landfill is the last way if the 3 steps above have been done.

The most frequent steps should be taken to reduce the average human carbon footprint, starting from reducing, reuse, recycle, and finally landfills. Because the landfill capacity is very limited. The higher we reduce reuse recycle, the possibility of landfills can be reduced to a minimum.

Drive less

Transportation is the biggest contributor to carbon in the world besides industry and electricity. Unfortunately, most people are more comfortable using private vehicles than public vehicles. When the corona pandemic is very clear, the reduction average human carbon footprint in vehicle smoke makes the sky brighter.

Using bicycles for short trips not only reduces the carbon footprint but also keeps our bodies in shape. If traveling long distances it is advisable to use public transportation, because it reduces congestion and carbon produced from burning fossilized fuel our cars.

Protect the water cycle

The water cycle takes a very long time. Some researchers estimate that the water we use today will only be able to return to the same place in decades. It will be reduce average human carbon footprint

Reduce the use of soaps that are toxic to the environment. Use an environmentally friendly herbal soap. Don't shower too long, about 5-10 minutes is a normal time. Reduce trash in the river so that the water flows more smoothly. Protect the forest because trees function as a buffer for groundwater.

Eat local food

Food originating from faraway places certainly requires transportation too. Eating food according to the location where you live will greatly help reduce average human carbon footprint.

Replacing sustainable energy

Solar energy is free energy available throughout the year. Using solar panels can save conventional electricity costs and reduce carbon footprint because some countries still use fossil fuels in generating electricity in their countries.


average human carbon footprint is the total carbon generated from an activity either by a person, company, product, or event. 5 ways to reduce it is to Understand the waste management hierarchy, Drive less, Protect the water cycle, Eat local food, Replacing sustainable energy.

What produces the most CO2 on Earth?

Human activity does produce a very large AMOUNT of CO2, especially electricity. but the world's largest producer of CO2 in the oceans. It is more than average human carbon footprint.

Many oceanic organisms use carbon dioxide for their survival. but the carbon dioxide is released back into the air again when the organism dies and sinks in the sea.

Before the industrial era, carbon dioxide was naturally recycled at about 750 gigatons per year. this is enough for the recovery of CO2 that the Earth naturally release.

But after the era of the industrial revolution, people opened land from forests and mined biological resources in the oceans massively. That means humans are adding 30 gigatons of CO2 to the earth.  

Source

https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/carbon-footprint-calculator/#:~:text=A%20carbon%20footprint%20is%20the,is%20closer%20to%204%20tons.

https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/environment-quirky-science-you-asked/humans-and-animals-exhale-carbon-dioxide-every-breath-why-not-considered-be-problem-far-global

https://co2living.com/five-ways-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint/


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