Carbon footprint information for kids

Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

The term "carbon footprint" is defined as the amount of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide) that are emitted into the atmosphere each year by a person, a household, a building or a company.

These greenhouse gases trap heat within the atmosphere which could have a serious impact on the global climate by raising global temperatures.


Almost every activity of our daily lives contributes to our carbon footprint. This includes anything that requires burning of fossil fuels, from lighting and heating homes, schools and workplaces to having parents drive you to a soccer game or other after-school activity.


The rising global temperatures could lead to drastic climate changes such as changes in rainfall patterns (more rain in some places, less rain in others) and melting of ice worldwide which could result in a rise in sea levels.

Using Alternate Energy

Using renewable energy sources such as solar power, hydropower and wind energy can reduce our carbon footprint. Using biofuels such as ethanol to power vehicles also reduces carbon footprint. Kids can talk to their parents about what options are available at home.


Recycling common goods such as aluminium cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles and paper reduces greenhouse gas emissions and consumes less energy by cutting down on the amount of manufacturing required to create an object from raw materials. Reusing and recycling products reduces carbon footprint.

Other Methods of Reduction

Unplugging appliances when not using them, turning out lights when you leave the room, taking a bus, train or plane instead of a car, carpooling with other families and using bicycles when possible are some other methods of reducing carbon footprint. Another stategy is to plant trees wherever possible since trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen into the atmosphere.