A carbon footprint is a practical measure of the impact that particular activities have on the environment and, in particular, on climate change. It also relates to the generation of greenhouse gases which in effect insulate our planet (as in a green house) and prevents heat from escaping into the outer atmosphere, thereby gradually heating the surface of the planet further. This increasing surface temperature is playing havoc with global climatic conditions, in particular causing ice caps and glaciers to melt, increased ocean temperatures and various severe weather anomalies.
Greenhouse gases are produced largely by industrial activity, but their prevalence also echo modern human activities. Electricity generation, through the burning of fossil fuels, is perhaps one of the biggest culprits, followed closely by exhaust emissions from millions of internal combustion engines in trucks, aircraft, motor cars, ie the whole transportation industry. Other industrial processes that may seem insignificant on a local scale, but nonetheless contribute significantly to greenhouse gas output into the atmosphere, include manufacturing, agriculture, storage, recycling and waste disposal.
A carbon footprint is expressed in equivalent tons of either Carbon or CO2 (1000kg of CO2 equals 270kg of Carbon) and would typically be the release in weight of either substance into the atmosphere, having been released as a solid from the earth.
Almost any choice made in business today, will impose a Green Dilemma, that of the business itself increasing its carbon footprint vs. the “greenness” (if at all) of the product which that business sells.
Consider a sustainable spa situated in a remote country location.
Whilst the building and products offered by it may be substantially green, a significant portion of these benefits is negated by the distances that guests are required to travel to enjoy the spa experience. The same holds true for organic produce imported from foreign countries and over large distances.
There are a number of carbon calculators available that will assist a spa business in determining its carbon footprint.
One was developed locally by Food and Trees for Africa and based on the Global Greenhouse Gas Reporting Protocol, which calculates the CO2 emitted by any business process or travel method and then assigns the number of trees that should be planted to offset that amount of Carbon. These calculators are useful tools to ascertain those aspects of the spa business that give rise to the highest emission of greenhouse gases. By planting trees to offset Carbon emissions, a substantial benefit is being realized, but the principle aim should always be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the first place.
Here are a few carbon reducing tips for spas to start with the process.
Buy good quality
Grow your own
Reduce meat in spa meals
Reduce and recycle spa waste
our initial perception that the strict lockdown measures in March 2020 allowed nature to sigh with relief was well placed.
as consumers’ demand for green and sustainable products and services grow, so do the incidents of greenwashing.
to fully appreciate the process of nourishment requires a different perspective and broader philosophy.
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