Climate change is a hot topic these days. It has now been proved by the scientific research that climate change is occurring worldwide. Does this buzz of climate change and how we will have to suffer because of it make you ask yourself the question “What can I do?”
Here is the answer. You can fight climate change by dropping your contribution in enhancing it and this can be done by reducing your carbon footprint.
Your carbon footprint is an estimation of the amount of carbon dioxide emissions which your activities either directly or indirectly release into the atmosphere.
The term “carbon footprint” is defined as the amount of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide) that are emitted into the atmosphere each year by a person, a household, a building or a company. These greenhouse gases trap heat within the atmosphere which could have a serious impact on the global climate by raising global temperatures.
William Rees invented the term in his 1992 paper published in the journal, Environment and Urbanization. Rees asserted that the impacts of one’s activities reach far beyond one’s immediate dwelling. A carbon footprint calculation attempts to quantify your effect on the environment.
Given below are some simple things. By adopting them, you can minimize your impact on climate change in a considerable way.
Turn off incandescent lights, computers, and TVs when you aren’t using them. Seventy-five percent of all electricity consumed in the home is standby power used to keep electronics running, so unplug the appliances as soon as you stop using them. Paint walls as white, this will reduce the need for lighting. Use thermostats to control temperature at 26 oC in summer and 24 oC in winter.
Change the Fittings
Replace the light bulbs you use for general lighting with Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL). A 60-watt incandescent light bulb can be replaced with a 13-watt CFL, which is five times more efficient and will last almost three times longer.
Using cars make up a large part of direct emissions. Every mile less you drive in a compact car can avoid approximately 1.1 pounds of CO2 emissions. By using public transportation, carpooling, biking or walking instead of your car you can incredibly minimize the amount of emissions you cause everyday.
If public transportation is not an option, try to change your driving habits. When you drive at speeds over 95 km/h you greatly reduce your car’s fuel efficiency. Moreover, sharp accelerations and idling also reduce fuel efficiency. That’s why avoiding rush hour is a great way to reduce emissions.
Use less paper
The pulp and paper industry is the third largest emitter of GHG emissions. Use less paper at work and at home, use more post-consumer paper products, and recycle your cardboard and paper wherever possible.
Buying items from farmer’s markets as compared to buying from supermarkets is unbelievably less energy intensive. So try and buy local stuff whenever possible and you can do a great job of reducing your carbon footprint.
“The Case for Local Food in a Global Market”, a report of Worldwatch Institute, Home Grown states that the food you eat travels an average of more than 1,500 miles to reach your plate. By eating food that was manufactured in your country or even more locally, you are not only helping your nation’s economy (and supporting farmers directly) but you are also reducing how much pollution you are causing indirectly through consumption.
If you stop buying products that contain powerful greenhouse gases (high GWP gases), you can reduce your impact and you’ll be doing something smart for the environment. You can do this by simply not using or using less air conditioning (in the car, at home or work), refrigerators (if you have more than one), foam products (styrofoam cups/containers, foam packaging, foam based home insulation, etc.) and aerosols (hairspray, shaving cream, etc.)
Plant more trees
A single mature tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 48 pounds per year and release enough oxygen to support two human beings. Try to plant as much trees as possible.
Avoid Using Plastics
Avoid buying products which use too much plastic. The plastics and chemicals industries are energy intensive and large emitters of GHG emissions. Try to get in the habit of reusing and recycling your plastic bags or using cloth bags.