Key Definitions

What are greenhouse gases (GHG)?
Greenhouse gases are natural or manmade gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the greenhouse effect which keeps the Earth at a habitable temperature for living organisms (humans, insects, animals, plants, etc). GHGs include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases.


What is a carbon footprint?
Carbon footprint is the total measure of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere by a person, family, building, organization, company, nation, product or service.


What are carbon emissions?
The amount of GHGs enters the atmosphere from natural sources like organic matters decomposition, animal and plant respiration; and human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, intensive livestock farming, use of synthetic fertilizers and industrial processes.

1. What is a Personal Carbon Footprint? Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions you generate from your daily activities. Whether it is the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the transportation you take or the electricity you use, all account to certain levels of GHG emissions when these goods or services are produced and consumed. Some GHGs can linger on Earth for thousands of years! We need to act fast to reduce our carbon footprint in order to reduce the greenhouse gases globally. You can checkout your carbon footprint using a carbon footprint calculator (powered by Carbonbase), as an example, check out your carbon footprint here: After answering a short survey, you will see your carbon footprint results, for example, let’s check out Jenny’s carbon footprint, from Hong Kong:
Look at Jenny’s carbon footprint - it is the same weight class as a Capuchin (her carbon animal); she is below average in the /region she selected, Hong Kong.

2. How much Carbon Emissions are produced per year?

The average global citizen emits approximately 5 tons of GHG emissions yearly which with a world population of 8 billion people, adds up to nearly 40 billion tons of GHG emissions added to the atmosphere every year!

3. What are Greenhouse Gases (GHG) and how do they cause Climate Change?

Greenhouse gases are gases in Earth’s atmosphere that trap heat. They let sunlight pass through the atmosphere, but they prevent the heat that the sunlight brings from leaving. Many of the activities that humans do – like driving cars, generating electricity, and cutting down forests emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The increasing atmospheric concentrations of GHGs produces a warming effect and results in a broader set of changes in weather patterns, the oceans, ice and snow, and ecosystems around the world.

4. What can I do to help prevent Climate Change?

There are many ways to help prevent Climate Change by reducing the amount of emissions you produce and your impact on the Earth. Make simple changes to your daily life, such as walking rather than driving, eat local foods, say no to single-use plastics, turn up the  thermonstat. For the remaining emissions, support carbon offset projects to become Carbon Neutral. 

5. What is Carbon Neutrality?

Carbon neutrality means having a balance between the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere with the amount that is absorbed or removed from the atmosphere. Carbon neutrality is vital if we want to stop and prevent catastrophic climate change.

6. What are Carbon Credits?

A carbon credit is an emission unit that is issued by a carbon crediting programme and represents an emission reduction or removal of GHGs from the atmosphere. They can be purchased by a company or individual to support environmental projects which facilitate this greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. 

7. How does Carbon Offsetting work?

Offsetting is the compensation of an entity’s emissions with climate mitigation outcomes that are achieved outside of the control or value chain of that entity. Carbon offsets are a form of trade. When you contribute to an offset, you fund projects that are working towards reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These projects also bring a whole host of other positive benefits, for example, they empower communities, protect ecosystems, restore forests or reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

8. How do I know the project I’m supporting has real impact?

Carbon offset projects go through thorough due-diligence processes to ensure that the project is real, verified, permanent and additional. For transparency, carbon credits are assigned serial numbers and are issued, transferred and permanently retired in publicly accessible emission registries. Remember to check and look out for the serial numbers to ensure legitimacy. 

9. How will purchasing Carbon Credits benefit me? 

As a conscientious global citizen, by purchasing carbon credits you are contributing to protecting the environment for the next generations to come. The emissions produced from your daily activities are being balanced by offset projects, reducing the negative impact to the Earth.

10. What is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a term used to describe a misleading or untrue action or set of claims made by an organisation about the positive impact that they have on the environment. Greenwashing most commonly occurs when a company purports to be environmentally conscious for marketing purposes but isn’t making any notable sustainability efforts.