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Reduce Carbon Footprint

Give your best bit to save the environment without making drastic changes to your lifestyle.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Increased amount of Greenhouse gases (GHGs) is the main reason for global warming. Carbon dioxide is one of the important gases that contribute to it.

A lot of things said and done but the sad part is the situation has worsened with each passing year.

When I read news about climate change or global warming my heart bleed. I fear to imagine what the world will look like in 20 years.

Whenever my parents share stories of their childhood, they always brag about the availability of pure air, water, and food in abundance. Do we have such beautiful stories to share with our children? It’s high time to take charge of this situation and save the environment for our coming generation.

If you are the type, who fusses about recycling or other drastic change to save the planet. So good news is one’s lifestyle, in particular, bring the most radical changes rather than difficult methods recommended in textbooks.

What is Carbon Footprint?

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A carbon footprint is defined as the amount of Greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission to support each human activity. Carbon dioxide is one of the Greenhouse gases that has the most important impact on the environment. So, the emission of the carbon dioxide is called a carbon footprint.

To understand carbon footprint, let’s take an example of a product, say computer. To calculate the carbon footprint of computers, you need to calculate the energy requirement to manufacture each part of the computer, transportation of parts from different places in the world, assembling the parts, packaging of computer, and finally energy requirement while working. So, it not easy to calculate carbon footprint and there are different techniques to calculate it.

The interesting fact is many agencies and organizations provide the service to calculate the carbon footprint. The most interesting and easily available ones are online, such as carbonfootprint.com and timeforchange.org that help in calculating the carbon footprint of individuals and organizations.

How Individual Can Reduce Carbon Footprint?

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Eat vegetarian food: Raising animals for human consumption or transporting different types of meat across the world is a resource-intensive process. This results in a huge amount of carbon footprint. Reducing consumption of red meat such as Beef or Lamb, can alone reduce carbon footprint by a quarter. Also eating vegetarian food is good for health.

Buy local product: A lot of food on our plate traveled long distance. Transportation is contributing to a lot of carbon footprint. Buy local products to shorten this distance. As a result, you will get fresher and seasonal products and it will help the local economy as well.

Choose your Transport Wisely: Choose your transport by being more considerate. Keep your feet moving for a small distance. Select a bicycle for transport as compared to a car for frequent and short travel. If it is not possible to travel by bicycle due to distance, try car share or public transport. This seems difficult in starting but its very effective in reducing carbon footprint.

Reduce fossil fuel usage: Fossil fuel contributes to a large amount of carbon dioxide emissions. Use renewal energy such as solar or air for your electricity consumption. If it is not possible to completely use renewal energy, practice habits such as:

· Switching off lights while leaving the room.

· Upgrade your light bulb to energy-efficient bulbs.

· Do not keep the tap open while brushing your teeth.

Final Words

So, we can bring a drastic change in carbon footprint just by choosing our lifestyle wisely. If each one of us become a little more considerate about our day to day activity, we can leave behind a beautiful planet for the coming generation.


Reduce Carbon Footprint was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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What the Russian Oil Spill Will Mean for Environmentalists

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Yet another oil spill, and I think everyone knows it’s terrible for the environment. But this is the worst oil spill for Russia in modern history. So bad that Russia has had to declare a state of emergency. It’s like the tragedies and disasters keep happening, one after the other. It’s like 2020 has had it out for us.

There’s been so much environmental and climate change activism, but that hasn’t stopped major accidents like this from happening. Every time we think that it couldn’t get any worse, we are proved wrong.

Just to be clear about what happened, there was a leak of about 20,000 tonnes of diesel in a power plant, which proceeded to discharge into the Ambarnaya river. And guess what? The Ambarnaya flows right into the oh so fragile Arctic Ocean. As you read this, that river is flowing, and it will almost surely reach the Arctic Ocean.

But there are thousands of other companies that cause similar damage to the environment. The problem is, the world can only consume one or two issues at a time. You can’t have more than two problems in the spotlight. For the world to see the damage being done to our environment, are we going to have to have more accidents like this? And when, if at all, will this come to an end? How are we going to stop huge companies from harming our environment?

This oil spill is the icing on the cake to all the climate change problems we have been worrying about for the past few years. The power plant is owned by Norilsk Nickel, which produces metals like nickel and copper. The company is home to quite a few environmental disasters, like the leak of industrial waste causing a river in Siberia to turn red, and turning it into a dead zone “twice the size of Rhode Island”. Its plants have also belched tons of sulphur dioxide, a leading cause and component of acid rain. Norilsk Nickel is one of the world’s most polluting companies.

This disaster is being compared to the likes of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, which is the worst oil spill ever, having caused the most damage to the environment. 37,000 metric tonnes of crude oil were spilled.

Right now, these statistics don’t even leave me in awe. It’s almost routine for me to wake up to a new disaster everyday, and there isn’t anything being done about it. This decade itself, a grand total of 164,000 tonnes of oil were spilled. Just to put it in perspective, that’s about sixteen times as heavy as the Eiffel Tower.

The question is not whether or not we have a problem at hand; the question is, what are we going to do about it? Environmentalists and activists must take this opportunity to demand reform. Not just for one country, or for one part of it, but the whole world. Let’s be clear, Russia isn’t the problem. They’re part of the problem, just like all the other countries. Industrialization is the real problem. Industries are the leading cause of environmental disasters and accidents, and it’s no surprise.

Russia is currently warming at 2.5 times the rate of the whole world. They had the warmest December last year, and had to resort to fake snow! Even after all that, Russia is still doing much better than the United States in terms of beating climate change, having formally adopted the Paris climate accord.

While we may think there’s nothing someone like you or me could do about anything like this sitting at home, it’s up to us, to our generation, to be creative and come up with new ways to fight all the new problems the world throws at us.

Sources:

Originally published at https://energyconscious.weebly.com.


What the Russian Oil Spill Will Mean for Environmentalists was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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