Carbon footprint


2019-09-16 00:00

Summary

Feifei loves to travel, but she’s concerned about the size of her ‘carbon footprint’. What does this phrase mean, and how is it related to the environment? And what can Feifei do about it? We explain all, in the programme. 

Transcript

Neil
Welcome back, Feifei! Good holiday? 

Feifei
The best, Neil! We flew to Mexico, then up to California, and then drove all the way across the States from LA to New York. 

Neil
Incredible. All in one week? 

Feifei
Yes. It’s just that… 

Neil
What? 

Feifei
I can’t help thinking... all that travelling can’t be great for the environment. 

Neil
I know. You must have a pretty big carbon footprint right now. 

Feifei
Enormous.

Neil

Let’s take a moment to explain this phrase ‘carbon footprint’. Then plan what to do about it. 

Feifei
Carbon dioxide is a gas that contributes to climate change. 

Neil
And your ‘carbon footprint’ is the amount of carbon dioxide you produce through your activities – things like how much electricity you use… 

Feifei
How much oil and gas you use… 

Neil
What you eat is another factor. And of course your trips by car, plane and so on… 

Feifei
If you take a lot of flights, then you have a large carbon footprint! Like me. 

Neil
And me. And the people in these examples. 

Examples
I used the air conditioning non-stop all summer. My carbon footprint must be huge.

Martina has the highest carbon footprint of all her colleagues. She drives everywhere, flies every weekend, and eats nothing but red meat. 

I downloaded an app to calculate my carbon footprint. The results are pretty shocking. 

Feifei
You're listening to The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. The expression we're looking at in this programme is 'carbon footprint'. OK, we’ve heard the examples. And Neil, I have a plan. It’s time to reduce my footprint. 

Neil
Great. That’s the verb we normally use: reduce. We talk about reducing our carbon footprint, by changing the way we live. So, what’s the plan? 

Feifei
I’m going to cycle to work, use less heating in winter, and… I’ve got these new shoes. 

Neil
Great. But, shoes? 

Feifei
They’re made of recycled plastic. Fantastic, aren’t they? 

Neil
Well, that’s one way to reduce your footprint! 

Feifei
I even brought you a pair – a little present from my trip LA. 

Neil
You’re so kind. I can wear them when I’m in Tokyo this weekend. And Paris next week. Oh, and Iceland tomorrow. Only kidding! 

Feifei
Yes, I want to hear your plan to reduce your carbon footprint, Neil! 

Both
Bye.