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Carbon Neutral


#carbon neutral #Carbon Neutrality #net zero #terminology


Alidia Vane

A product being “carbon neutral” means that there was zero net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the manufacturing, shipping, or any other stages of producing and delivering that product. Think of it as a balancing act: for every bit of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, an equal amount must be removed or prevented from entering the atmosphere elsewhere. This concept can be applied on a variety of scales, from a single product or household to the whole world. Carbon neutrality is important because it addresses a root cause of climate change: the excessive emission of greenhouse gasses, particularly carbon dioxide, which contribute to global warming.

By working towards carbon neutrality, we can contribute to mitigating global warming and maintaining a healthy planet for future generations. Here are the basic steps you can take towards carbon neutrality in your home, school, place of work, or other endeavors: 

  1. Calculating Carbon Footprints: The first step is to understand your current carbon footprint. This involves a thorough assessment of all emissions across scopes 1, 2, and 3. Numerous tools and calculators are available online to help accurately measure carbon footprints; check out this article on carbon footprint tracking for some of our recommendations.
  2. Reduce Carbon Emissions with Sustainable Practices: Once your current footprint is known, the next step is to begin adopting sustainable practices to reduce emissions. This can include:
    • Renewable Energy: Switching to renewable energy sources like solar, wind, or hydropower.
    • Energy Efficiency: Implementing energy-efficient appliances, technologies, and practices.
    • Sustainable Transportation: Shifting to sustainable transportation modes, such as public transport, carpooling, biking, and walking. For businesses, this could also include optimizing logistics and supply chains to reduce transportation emissions (and, often, also reducing costs!).
    • Eco-friendly Products: Choosing products that have been manufactured with sustainable practices, such as using recycled materials.
  3. Offsetting Remaining Carbon Emissions: Despite your best efforts, you may find that some sources of emissions are unavoidable. In this case, you may consider carbon offsetting – programs that allow individuals and businesses to invest in environmental projects that reduce or capture emissions elsewhere, in order to compensate for their remaining emissions. Learn more about carbon offsetting here.

In conclusion, while carbon neutrality may seem complex, each and every of us can have an impact on reducing carbon emissions. By understanding the basic principles of carbon neutrality, assessing our own carbon footprint, reducing our own footprint, and sharing this knowledge with others, we can each have a real impact on our future.

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