What Are the Causes of a Large Carbon Footprint?

Your carbon footprint refers to the impact that your activities have on the environment, reports Carbon Footprint, a website devoted to helping human beings reduce their impact on the earth. In order to determine the size of your carbon footprint, it is necessary to consider the activities you engage in each day that produce greenhouse gases. There are many causes of a large carbon footprint, and reducing them can help you help the planet.

Driving and Travelling

Driving a car is convenient and often necessary for travelling long distances. Time For Change, a website that focuses on improving the environment, reports that for each gallon of gas used, 8.7 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted 1. The more you drive, the more harmful carbon dioxide your car emits into the air. Travelling by other modes of transportation are also responsible for a large carbon footprint. For every 7 miles you travel using public transportation or every 1.375 miles you travel by air, 1 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted into the air. Simply reducing the amount you drive or travel can reduce a large carbon footprint, says Time For Change 1.

Appliance Use

You probably rely on a variety of appliances each day to complete different tasks. But according to Carbon Footprint, using electricity, coal, gas and oil helps create a large carbon footprint. Time For Change indicates that for every 32 hours you have your computer on, 1 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted into the environment 1. Carbon Footprint identifies several different household appliances as being the main contributors to a large carbon footprint: Electric dryers, refrigerators, freezers, ovens and dishwashers emit carbon dioxide each time they are used 12. Simply decreasing your use of household appliances or switching to energy-efficient ones can help reduce your carbon footprint 2.

Water Use

Carbon Footprint reports that consumers are wasting "huge quantities" of potable water by using it for non-essential purposes 3. Cleaning water also takes a great deal of energy to make it safe for human consumption. Carbon Footprint recommends collecting rainwater to use for purposes other than drinking. Paying close attention to how you use your water and how much you use can help reduce the size of your carbon footprint 3.