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Last Updated: Tuesday June 05 2007 04:54 GMT

Find out about carbon footprints

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What is a carbon footprint?

Oil, gas and coal are fossil fuels. To get the energy to power the stuff we use in everyday life, we burn these things.

It's been happening for years and it's led to lots more carbon dioxide getting into the Earth's atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide is one of the so-called greenhouse gases which are warming up our planet.

Experts are concerned that - if we don't cut down on the amount of carbon dioxide we produce - warmer temperatures will really harm our planet.

There's a term to describe the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the stuff we use - it's called our "carbon footprint".

How can we measure our carbon footprint?

It's all about being aware of how what you do affects the environment.

This summer, kids are taking part in a national competition, going head-to-head to try to reduce their carbon footprint.

A website has been set up where kids can calculate their carbon footprint.

They will also be sharing their ideas and telling stories about how they're doing their bit to help the planet.

What can we do to reduce our carbon footprint?

There are lots of things you can do to make sure you aren't causing as much harm to our planet. Start by looking at:

  • How you travel - chugging around all day in big cars lets off lots off carbon dioxide - cycling, walking or taking the bus is less harmful.
  • What you eat - food that's been grown or made locally doesn't have as far to travel as stuff from foreign countries
  • What you do at home - why not put on a jumper when you're cold instead of turning up the heat, make sure you switch off stand-by buttons, or persuade your parents to get some energy-saving light bulbs?



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