How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

We all know that California has made great progress in order to improve our air quality. This has been a big job when you consider the number of industries and vehicles that are active in this state. Now many products even have a carbon emissions label, and this helps consumers encourage producing low-emissions by voting with their pocketbooks.

What is a Carbon Emissions Label?

The world's first carbon emissions label was created in the United Kingdom in the last decade. A variety of UK manufacturers, which include food producers, support this system and use it on their own products. California tried to introduce similar legislation back about the same time, but it has not passed yet.

A short history of California Carbon Labeling efforts:

  • California state representative Ira Ruskin sponsored a carbon labeling bill—the Carbon Labeling Act of 2009—in the California state legislature, which has been voted out of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. The act would require the State Air Resources Board to develop and implement a program for the voluntary assessment, verification, and standardized labeling of the carbon footprint of consumer products sold in the state.
  • In July 2009, Wal-Mart announced an environmental labeling program for its products.[8] The intent is to create over the next five years a universal rating system, that scores products based on how environmentally and socially sustainable they are over the course of their lives. Wal-Mart’s goal is to have other retailers eventually adopt the indexing system.

The United States is at risk of being left in the dust in the clean energy race. But we can catch up. A Clean Energy Standard, or CES which mandates that electric utilities generate a certain percentage of their power from clean energy sources, is an essential first step.