(pronounced KAR-bohn FUT-prihnt)
A popular term that has nothing to do with leaving sooty scuffmarks on your grandmother’s cream-colored carpet. This virtual footprint is a bit less tangible in that you can’t take a Polaroid of it for evidence in a crime scene, but it’s no less real. The term refers to the amount of carbon dioxide that one contributes to the atmosphere, thereby potentially contributing to global warming. Every time you hop in a vehicle or use electricity, you generate some carbon dioxide emissions. Though it’s almost impossible to avoid making “footprints” altogether, you are capable of lessening your impact by taking a variety of actions, none of which we’re going to go into here as it’s time to tippy-toe to the next definition.
Example: By rollerblading to work everyday, Ricardo, an AutoCAD whiz who spent hours in front of a computer, was able to accomplish three things: save money by not having to pay for parking; fit exercise into his otherwise sedentary lifestyle; and reduce his carbon footprint on the planet.