Eco Chic - Carbon FootprintTuesday, March 15, 2011
Jo Alcorn of Whitewash & Co returns for another hot topic on our path to becoming Eco Chic.
For our next ECO topic, I thought we could get to the bottom of our Carbon Footprint. It’s not surprising that in this day and age not many people really understand what it’s all about, with so many confusing definitions and information out there the term Carbon Footprint is loosely tossed around with no real thought processes behind it. It can be defined as the amount of energy used to create or develop. Simply, if I walked in a straight line to the other side of the room I would use less energy then if I zigzagged.
When products come from overseas they typically create a larger foot print than if they are produced locally. This of course, is common sense. However there is 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 explore how the product is produced and the materials that are used within.
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.
You can see why Farmers Markets have become popular once again. Not only is it supporting your local economy but it also has the lowest Carbon Footprint. When weighing out the math formula of a Carbon Footprint you must take in to 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? Where are the trees cut? How far do they have to be shipped to manufacture into furniture? How far is the finished product from where you live?
Until next time,
Images: whitewash & co, woodcraft, random