carbon footprint


Definition of carbon footprint

: the amount of greenhouse gases and specifically carbon dioxide emitted by something (such as a person's activities or a product's manufacture and transport) during a given period

Examples of carbon footprint in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Production of meat and dairy foods can drain our natural resources and these foods have a higher carbon footprint compared to plant foods. NBC News, "Trying to eat more plants? Follow a flexitarian diet," 7 Jan. 2020 That means this one plant, with its 600 jobs, will wield a carbon footprint one-third the size of Pittsburgh (population 301,000). Sharon Kelly,, "What the petrochemical buildout along the Ohio River means for regional communities and beyond," 6 Jan. 2020 The Shift Project, a French think tank, reported that, in 2018, online video viewing produced a carbon footprint comparable to that of Spain. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, "The Mail," 30 Dec. 2019 But with a little patience, intrepid travelers can use public transportation to get their dose of awe without a car—and with the additional benefit of leaving a lighter carbon footprint at local parks and nature reserves. Libby Leonard, National Geographic, "How to see the wonders of the West Coast—without a car," 14 Dec. 2019 Intrepid Travel With more than 1,500 itineraries in over 120 countries, Intrepid Travel combines authentic tours and a minimal carbon footprint. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "All the Hotel, Cruise, and Tour Deals to Book on Cyber Monday," 1 Dec. 2019 While outdoor cannabis grow sites threaten animals’ habitats, indoor cultivation comes with a massive carbon footprint. Andrea Michelson, Smithsonian, "The Cannabis Industry Is Not as Green as You’d Think," 26 Nov. 2019 Every additional 100 pounds of fuel carried burns an extra four pounds of fuel, leading to flights with a greater carbon footprint. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "A common cost-saving practice of airlines trashes the planet in the process," 11 Nov. 2019 Tree Fairfax champions the slow fashion movement, which boasts a manufacturing process that leaves a low carbon footprint. Nandi Howard, Essence, "November Style Dispatch," 4 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carbon footprint.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of carbon footprint

1999, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for carbon footprint

Time Traveler

The first known use of carbon footprint was in 1999

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Statistics for carbon footprint

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Carbon footprint.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for carbon footprint

carbon footprint


Kids Definition of carbon footprint

: the amount of greenhouse gases and especially carbon dioxide given off by something (as a person's activities) during a given period

More from Merriam-Webster on carbon footprint

Spanish Central: Translation of carbon footprint

Comments on carbon footprint

What made you want to look up carbon footprint? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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