You probably hear the term "carbon footprint" a lot these days, but what is it really? Your carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide that you create on a daily, weekly or yearly basis. There are many ways that you are releasing carbon including driving, eating foods that need to be shipped, and using electricity. You carbon footprint is basically a measure of the impact that you are having on the environment through your lifestyle and actions.
Offsetting your carbon footprint means performing enough environmentally friendly items everyday that it offsets any amount of carbon you are responsible for releasing. A basic example would be powering your home with solar panels and directing any excess power to the grid, thus offsetting driving your car and burning fuel.
You can probably imagine that accounting for the impact of everything you do can get pretty complicated. There are many free environmental impact calculators available online to help you figure out what your impact is and areas that can easily be improved.
The best way to figure our how to offset your carbon footprint is to get a total picture of your lifestyle and what it produces, and then evaluated what the easiest changes you can make are. For example if you are thinking of buying a new car, why not get a hybrid instead of an SUV? Or use video conferencing instead of flying to visit clients. Once you've made the simple changes you can start being more ambitious and try adding solar to your home, planting trees, or biking to work.
Now, more than ever, its important to reduce our impact on the earth and environment. Take the time to figure out what your carbon footprint is and how you can bring it down to a manageable level or offset it altogether. Helping the environment needs to be one of the top priorities for people today, or our children will grow up in a much different world than the one we know today.