carbon footprint

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carbon footprint

The contribution of environmentally harmful gases, commonly known as greenhouse gases, produced by human activity. I always thought planting lots of trees was a good way of offsetting our carbon footprint, but apparently it's not as straightforward as that. The carbon footprint caused by the burning of fossil fuels has been colossal.
See also: carbon, footprint
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

carbon footprint

The total contribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by a particular activity, enterprise, or product. The increasing concern about the harmful effect of human activity on the environment has promoted the use of this term, which may soon be a cliché. The Boston Globe travel section headlined an article on “green” (ecologically harmless) vacations: “Leave Your Carbon Footprint at Home” (June 6, 2010). Gregg Hurwitz’s novel They’re Watching (2010) has the lines, “‘What’s a lifestyle coach do, exactly?’ I asked. ‘We’re working on reducing Keith’s carbon footprint.’”
See also: carbon, footprint
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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