Hello and welcome back to Eco Bravo's blog. Today we are going to talk about how a reduction in your carbon footprint can reduce CO2 levels.
The term carbon footprint refers to the sum of greenhouse gases released, which are primarily made up of carbon dioxide or CO2 into the environment due to human activity.
This number is used to approximately measure the effects which a person, organization, family, or a state has on the environment. This metric is typically expressed in tonnes each year.
Reasons You Should Be Concerned About Your Carbon Footprint
To be able to understand just how this affects the environment, we have to first understand how radiation works in the atmosphere.
The earth’s atmosphere consists of numerous radioactive gases; these are the greenhouse gases. The major greenhouse gases are:
- Carbon dioxide
- Water vapour
- Nitrous oxide
Every one of these is able to emit and absorb radiant energy, thereby increasing the mean surface temperature of the earth. This creates a greenhouse effect which causes the temperature to rise. Scientists have estimated that without this happening, the average surface temperature of the earth would be around -18°C rather than 15°C, which is the current average.
But hold on, if we require the greenhouse effect to survive, why does it always get a bad rap? The truth is it is not a negative thing of itself. Instead, it is what the industries of the world have done that has caused it to be seen in a negative light.
The US National Research Council claims that strong, credible research has been conducted a number of times to show that the climate is changing and human activity is predominantly responsible for this change. Apart from that, scientists have shown that we do not at this moment have the technological capacity to reverse this change.
As time passes and industries become more advanced, things such as fossil combustion, cement manufacture, aerosols, land use, deforestation, and ozone depletion have largely contributed to the global increase in carbon dioxide levels. The 18th century saw the start of the industrial revolution, and since that time the earth’s atmosphere has seen over 40% increase in carbon dioxide levels. This amounts to 410 parts per million back in 2018 from a relative low of 280 PPM.
While nature has quite a lot of inbuilt carbon sinks, they are not enough to keep up with the massive increase resulted in our industrial activities.
Research released in 1981 stated that global temperatures saw a rise of 0.2°C from 1960 to 1980, which then led to a warming effect resulting in a rise to 0.4°C in that century. The same research also stated that temperature increases were consistently parallel to the higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
How You Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Concurrently, lowering your carbon footprint actually correlates with the bulk of wellness and healthy living tips available on the blog. When you adopt a minimalistic and cleaner lifestyle, creating distance between yourself and dangerous chemicals and toxins, you get one step closer to reducing the CO2 levels you release into the earth’s atmosphere. Below are a couple of tips you can use to reduce your carbon footprint:
- Switch to minimalist packaging. This means avoiding paper and plastic packaging, instead opting for reusable glass jars and reusable produce bags instead.
- Always recycle what you can. The simple truth is no matter what you do, you are bound to create waste. However, if you recycled just half of your household waste, you could stop 2,400 lbs of carbon dioxide being released into the environment annually.
- Less air conditioning and less heat. One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to insulate your home. This not only helps to massively lower your heating expenses, but it can also enable you to keep your heating a couple of temperatures lower. Just a difference of 2° can save around 2,000 lbs of carbon dioxide annually.
- Select the correct light bulbs. Choosing to go for energy-saving bulbs will not only save money (since they last longer than regular bulbs) but it will also lower your carbon footprint by saving energy.
- Walk more. You should try your best to limit how much and how many times you drive. When you drive less it means you are releasing fewer emissions into the atmosphere. This doesn’t just lose your own carbon footprint, or save you money, waking is actually a great way to remain in good physical health.
- Purchase appliances that are energy efficient. The bulk of manufacturers of home appliances today offer models that are energy efficient. This ranges from bulbs to refrigerators and ovens. There are a plethora of choices and opportunities which you can use to lower your carbon footprint.
- Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to turn things off. There is a reason why appliances come with an off button or switch. Little things such as turning lights off when you are about to leave the room can contribute greatly to lowering your own carbon footprint. You can also turn your television and computer off when they are not being used. This is particularly important when you are about to head for bed, as your electronics should be turned off so you can get the best sleep.
- Plant trees. Planting trees is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. If you are able to plant a tree and have the necessary space and opportunity to do so, then you should get a shovel and get to digging. Trees are just one of the ways nature handles CO2. The average tree is able to absorb around a tonne of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.
These are just a couple of ways, not large and small which can be used to reduce CO2 emissions all over the world.
Lowering your carbon footprint is something that can be easily done once you commit to it.
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