What is a “Carbon Footprint” anyways?

To understand what is meant by your carbon footprint, you also need to know why you should care (beyond its the right thing to do). The United Nations Global are a set of 17 commitments made by 193 world leaders, to end extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. Canada is among the world leaders who have committed to the change. Bottle reNew focuses on #12 & #13 to introduce a wine bottle reuse system for wine bottles in the British Columbia wine sector.

Wineries have been demonstrating how they contribute to reducing climate change or “reducing its carbon footprint”. But what does that actually mean?

Carbon + Footprint and you envision little carbon atoms with feet walking all around. What it is closer to is if you imagined the footprint you leave when you walk on the sand. Some are heavy and deep and some light that wash away with the first lick of the shore. It is the “ecological footprint” and was a term coined in the 1990’s by Willam Rees & Mathis Wacknergel working at UBC in Canada.

Walking the tightrope of Carbon emissions

The Nature Conservancy defines a carbon footprint as the total amount of greenhouse gases, either methane or CO2 generated by our activities. This is indirectly or directly emitted from the things you buy, the fuel you use or the electricity in your home. Reducing a carbon footprint involves how something was produced, distributed and what happens when they are no longer being used. The average Canadian produces about 14.2 tonnes of CO2 each year per person. Compare that to the UK at 8.5 or the US at 16 and you can see how much actions can impact outcomes.

Natural disasters are becoming more frequent because of climate change. Each year this forces about 25 million people to migrate due to natural disaster-related causes each year. The poorest countries are usually the ones who emit the least amount of carbon by are most impacted.

Our choices have a real impact on those across the globe. Small actions can make a huge impact. Walk more instead of taking the car, eat less meat, use fewer lights and more candles. Add them all up and they make a lasting effect.

For those who produce wine there are a multitude of ways they can contribute to reducing GHG. The biggest source is the wine bottle. That does not mean we have to do away with it. We just need to look at it differently. How we produce it, how we use and ultimately reuse it is one solution that has significant impact. An eco-friendly glass wine bottle is possible.

~Trina Plamondon is the project lead for Boutèy. Boutèy mission is to reduce the amount of virgin glass bottles being manufactured to the carbon footprint of the wine bottle. Find out more at http://www.boutey.ca

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