How to reduce my carbon footprint?

Dr. Manasi Mahabal-Sardesai

It is an extremely challenging task to reduce and control the emissions of toxic and harmful gases in the atmosphere once they are released. Unfortunately, the greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly increasing day by day by human activities involving control of temperature and humidity (air-conditioning) for various developmental and comfort needs. In fact significant amount of reported research work has pointed out the increasing use of air conditioning technologies in common places as the cause of the climate change. A recent publication in the journal Joule (referenced below) by researchers of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and XEROX PARC has addressed this issue.

Humidity in air can make people feel uncomfortable and attempts are made to control it. Humidity control is also essential is many industrial manufacturing establishments because it has negative implications on several chemicals and reactions. Unfortunately, as shown by the stated group of researchers, all attempts to control humidity led to nearly half of energy related emissions. Due to this, the world is warming very fast than at any point in the recorded history. If it continues this way, it will have devastating impact on the planet, causing flooded homes along the coast as well as wildfires, hurricanes, and droughts. But human beings have the ability to avoid worst of these effects. To do it, we must make all attempts to limit the increase in temperature to an average of 1.5°C above pre-industrial level and possibly try to bring it down by further sustained efforts. Ensuring a safe future below the 1.5°C mark requires the world to cut down 30 giga-tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually by 2030. Managing and controlling transport and industry related issues alone is not enough. We need to cut carbon emissions by managing our land and resources far more efficiently, including building smart cities and curbing deforestation and food waste.

So how can humankind get there? Smart and responsible management of six sectors have been identified as having the potential to reduce emissions enough to keep the world temperature below the 1.5°C mark. These are: 1) Industry, 2) Energy, 3) Agriculture, Food, and Waste, 4) Transport, 5) Nature-based solutions, and 6) Managements of Buildings and Cities. Energy production and use is the single biggest contributor to global warming, accounting for roughly two-thirds of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. It includes carbon dioxide, the gas most commonly emitted by humans, and others, including methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming. Usually, the bulk of an individual’s carbon footprint will come from transportation, housing, and food processing. Carbon footprint means the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that come from the production, use and end-of-life of a product or service.

You can start the process by calculating your carbon footprint here. (  

You will need to know the following:

  • Approximately how many miles you travel by car, bus, train and plane.
  • The energy usage in your home.
  • How much you spend on shopping.
  • The composition of your diet.

No matter how you scored, here are some things that could help you lessen your personal environmental impact. The world will need to pick up the pace, and put greater efforts in finding better solutions to pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss in order to truly transform societies and economies for a better tomorrow.

Sources : Scientists Show Controlling Humidity Has Big Impact of on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, ,

4 thoughts on “How to reduce my carbon footprint?”

  1. Dr Pratibha R Nikam

    Nice try to insist peoples to think over the Carbon, carbon emission and it’s bad impacts. Such a articles really needed to read and to implement. My very sincere and best wishes to Author Dr Mansi for her initiative.

  2. A new approach by linking reduction is Relative Humidity at the workplace as a reason for energy consumption. Most of the cities are in coastal areas with high humidity in tropical countries. Well documented thoughts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar

Dr. Mashelkar is only the third Indian engineer to have been elected (1998) as Fellow of Royal Society (FRS), London in the twentieth century. He was elected Foreign Associate of US National Academy of Science (2005) and also National Academy of Engineering (2003), Associate Foreign Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2011), Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering, U.K. (1996), Foreign Fellow of Australian Technological Science and Engineering Academy (2008), Corresponding Member of Australian Academy of Sciences (2017), Fellow of World Academy of Arts & Science, USA (2000), Fellow of US National Academy of Inventors (2017), the first ever Indian from India to be elected and TWAS-Lenovo Science Prize (2018), which is the highest science award of The World Academy of Science.

In 2006, he received the ‘Star of Asia’ Award at the hands of former President of USA, George Bush (Sr). The President of India honoured Dr. Mashelkar with three of the highest civilian awards, namely Padmashri (1991), Padmabhushan (2000) and Padma Vibhushan (2014).

Prof. Satishchandra Ogale

Prof. Satishchandra B. Ogale has had a long 40 years of experience in higher education and research.  He has over 500 publications in international journals, three co-edited books with Springer, Wiley and Elsevier, and 10 granted US patents based on research done in India. 
He is a Reviewer as well as Advisory Board member of many high impact International Journals and is also a popular science writer in regional language marathi.
He has won many Awards, Prizes, and National and International recognitions. He has given numerous invited, plenary and keynote talks in National and International conferences and has supervised over 65 Ph.D. students. 
Prof. Ogale has been a Visiting Professor/ Scientist in many institutions in the USA and Europe on several occasions.

Anupama Engineer

She has previously worked as a Scientist at Agharkar research Institute and at higher management level at Thomas Baker Bioscience Private Limited. She has also taught graduate and post graduate students in Biotechnology & Microbiology during her tenure as a lecturer in Royal College, Mumbai and as a Counselor for IGNOU Biotechnology course. Anupama, is a multitasker with few roles like, entrepreneur, Scientist, manager, a doting mother and many more. Teaching and educating is her passion and she takes every effort to encourage fundamental learning. Anupama holds a vast experience in Start-up processes.

Dr Smita Chaturvedi
Smita is an experimental condensed matter physicist. The quest for multifunctional materials motivates her. Smita finished her PhD from RDVV Jabalpur and BARC Mumbai in the year 2002 and worked as a research associate in IIT Mumbai and Oakland University, Michigan. Smita was awarded as a Fulbright Nehru Academic and Professional excellence fellow in 2018-19. Smita holds more than a decade of research and teaching experience. She possesses good knowledge about education system and research opportunities in India as well as abroad. Music and gardening are her mindful meditations.
Dr. Priyadarshini Karve
Dr Priyadarshini Karve has worked in the areas of household energy, decentralised waste-to-fuel technologies, climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable and climate-ready urbanisation, etc. She runs her own social green enterprise Samuchit Enviro Tech in Pune, focused on enabling access to sustainable products and services. She is also a co-founder of OrjaBox, a startup promoting solar thermal technologies. Dr Karve is a Founder Member of Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN - a multi-state society of decentralised renewable energy practitioners and entrepreneurs) and Cleaner Cooking Coalition (CCC - an international organisation focused on promoting user-centric cooking energy technologies that are good for health as well as climate). She is also the National Convener of Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change (INECC - focused on climate justice issues and working to bring people's voices in policy choices). Her work has been recognised by several national and international awards and honours.
Sanjay Khare
Sanjay Khare ,after his graduation in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1986 has been associated with major Japanese & European Automotive OEMs in Indian Subcontinent for 35 years . Widely travelled across Europe & Asia , he has held positions across diverse functions of Automotive Corporations.
In his current role as Board Member and Vice President at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India , he is Chief Sustainability Catalyst to guide actions at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India along with the sister brands Audi, Porsche & Lamborghini.
He leads an active Climate Resilience program where the automotive major in India has already achieved Zero Waste to Landfill, Water Positive & Zero liquid Discharge Certification, Zero Accidents , targeting an 18.5 MW of installed Roof Top Solar plant at a single Automotive site in India in 2021 and fully Carbon Neutral Production by 2025.
Sanjay has done his Executive MBA from Management development Institute ,Gurgaon specialising in Strategy & Marketing . He has active interests in driving Cultural Change, Competency building , Human Motivation topics while adopting/ innovating the technological advancements and total quality revolution.He is also a Qualified Independent Director registered with Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India. An active speaker on Automotive & Sustainability topics on National & International forums.
In personal life, he is an Endurance Cyclist having participated in many adventure ride expeditions . He also spends his time in developing mastery on Indian Classical Music instrument Sitar.