Everything we do in modern life entails a carbon footprint, and this carries a high cost to our environment.
Our carbon footprint is responsible for global warming, and if it is not drastically cut our planets warming will escalate and become irreversible.
Our enormous carbon footprint has become the characteristic of modern times and it is not a model of sustainability.
Much of our carbon footprint is avoidable. Cutting down unnecessary consumption is one way to do this; using greener choices such as public transport, low-energy bulbs and minimising the consumption of transport-intensive goods will also contribute to reduce your carbon footprint.
It is even possible for an individual or a business to achieve a zero carbon footprint. We do not need to give up modern life to achieve this. We can rely on improved technologies to help us produce greener electricity and a low-carbon economy. By recycling and through sensible choices in our consumption we can minimise our footprint.
What remains of it can be completely cancelled out through carbon offsets.
The average person in the UK emits about 11 tonnes of CO2 in a year. It takes roughly about 11 fast-growing trees at tropical latitudes over a trees lifetime of about 40-50 years to offset that amount of carbon. Given that the UK population is 60.9 million (as of 2008), one would need to plant about 670 million such trees every year to make the UK a zero carbon footprint country.
Tree planting in such a vast scale would bring wonderful benefits to the global environment, in addition to completely eliminating our carbon footprint.