They are trying to balance the amount of carbon released with the amount sequestered, which means neutralising the total amount of carbon released by them in the environment.
Rishika Das Roy, a Class XII student of Modern High School has already become the Climate Champion from India after winning the International Climate Champions contest organised by the British Council. She will soon be speaking at the Global Humanitarian Forum in Geneva in the presence of Kofi Annan.
Rishika came across the concept while interacting with none other than Nobel Prize winner Dr Rajendra Pachauri. “We met Dr Pachauri at a camp organised for Climate Champions at TERI (the Energy Resort Institute) in Gual Pahari on Gurgaon -Faridabad Road. He told us about many interesting ways to help save our environment,” she said.
“I also came to know that Donnachadh McCarthy in the UK has become carbon negative. He has brought down his carbon emission to a point where he sells it to the London Power Grid to earn Carbon credits. I immediately decided to try it,” said Rishika.
She added, “When I checked my carbon footprint, I saw that I have exceeded my limit by 2.3 tonnes”.
Carbon footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on environment. It is calculated in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced.
The average footprint for Indians is 5.2 tonnes annually.
“We need to make a lot of changes in our lifestyle,” said Harshita Sood, who came to know about the concept from Rishika and immediately got interested. She added that the changes mean buying second hand books, using CFL bulbs and eating boiled food.
“I don’t use nail polish, synthetic clothes, and aerated drinks. Plasma television and laptops are also a strict no. Using electricity adds to our carbon footprint. But right now, I can’t afford solar panels for my entire house. I wish I could,” said Rishika.
Parents of both the youngsters are supportive in their endeavours. “I am very happy that she has learnt the value of saving energy. Cabon neutraily would mean a lot of sacrifices. But it’s surely worth it,” said Ishita Das, Rishika’s mother.
Calculate your carbon footprint
* Carbon footprint calculators are easily available online. The most popular one being carbon footprint.com.
* One needs to maintain a dairy with intricate details of daily activities for a week to allow the site to calculate the footprint.
* Details could include one’s food preference, vehicle type and use of plastic, etc.
* Electricity usage, air conditioners, laptops, synthetic clothes, nail varnish, aerated drinks and fried food only add to the carbon footprint.