Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Carbon Footprint Controversy

For our next GREEN topic, I thought I should start by breaking down some very important terms. So today we are tackling the Carbon Footprint Controversy! Now I was surprised in today’s times that I can find people that don’t exactly know what a Carbon Footprint suggests. However at the same time I am not that surprised, with so many confusing definitions and information out there the word Carbon Footprint is loosely tossed around with no real thought processes behind it. So, to simplify the term it is literally the amount of energy used to create or develop. For example if I walked in a straight line to the other side of the room I would use less energy then if I zigzagged; to really simplify the meaning. So when products come from over seas they have created a larger foot print then a product from North America. Which make complete sense in laymen terms; however there is a controversy to everything and this one can be tricky. Just because something takes longer to ship does not always equal a larger Carbon Footprint. You must also look at how the product is produced and the materials that are used within which can lead to a larger Footprint. So if a North American company had to order a certain type of wood from a company overseas before they can ship it to you in another Province. The amount of energy to have both companies involved is greater then buying direct from the overseas company.
Wow, I feel like I am talking math equations here. However to really understand the power of the Carbon Footprint, you must think of it as a math formula. I know not that glamorous or fun, however once you get it, you are completely reshaping the environmental movement by keeping track on the Carbon Footprint. Hence the reason why Farmers Markets have become once again popular. Not just because it is supporting your local economy but because it has the lowest Carbon Footprint. When weighing out the math formula of a Carbon Footprint you must take in consideration the materials within the product and ask where they are from to figure out the amount of energy used. Where is the fabric produced and shipped from or wood that is used to make your sofa and so on and so on.
You might be surprised to find out that most of the big retail stores that are claiming they are GREEN actually have the largest Footprint. Due to the fact that most of them have had to rely on multiple countries to create the materials used within. Or the process that they have had to use to create a fibre or material within North America uses more energy then another country. To use Hence again, look at the oil market. Canada has one of the largest oil supplies in the World; however it is very evasive to produce which also mean more expensive, which is why we rely on our relationship with our Oil friends overseas.  I know this can be confusing but mostly more time consuming then anything to figure out the Carbon Footprint. However it is one of the best steps to in becoming GREEN!  The Carbon Footprint is just as important as the GREEN materials used within the product if not more! So next time you go buy a product find out the actual size of the Footprint before trying it on.  To quote Kermit the frog “it isn’t easy being GREEN!”

Until next time,

w&c designer girl!


  1. An eye catching post. Thanks for this post and I have created my blog, Please have a look at this

  2. You did well on clarifying and addressing issues behind the carbon footprint controversy. That part where you clearly and simply defined carbon footprints is impressive. Thank you.


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