There’s probably not many places on this planet where you’re not likely to have already heard something about Going Green. Even if you’re a Tibetan monk living in a monastery on the slopes of Mt. Everest, you’ve probably heard such phrases as Global Warming and Carbon Footprint. But what is this really all about? Sure, Global warming is a complex phenomenon and the full impact of it is all but impossible to predict. The overwhelming majority of all experts now agree, human behaviors and activities are adversely changing our climate. So, how can you help. What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint?
First off, what is your Carbon Footprint?
Consider your carbon footprint to be equal to the impact you are having on the environment around you. Each of us has a different footprint according to how we exist within our environment. Your carbon footprint is measured by the amount greenhouse gas emissions and carbon based waste you produce for different activities. Every business, every individual, even every animal has its’ own carbon footprint. If you know the size of your specific footprint, it is easier for you to assess and reduce it. When informed and aware of what makes up your carbon footprint, decisions you make in your everyday life, enable you to start making a positive difference on our environment. By reducing the amount of greenhouse gases you produce you will reduce your carbon footprint.
So, what are greenhouse gases?
Greenhouse gases are gases contained within an atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range. They consist mainly of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons. Also found within the atmospheres on Mars, Venus, and Titan, Greenhouse gases are essential in regulating the temperature of the Earth. Without any of these gases the Earth would be too cold to sustain human life. However, as we are beginning to see, when the mixtures of these gases becomes unbalanced due to human activities, greenhouse gas concentrations have, very likely been the cause of the increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century. Human activity has clearly had an effect on the levels of greenhouse gases now present in the atmosphere.
Now, how can you Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
Believe it or not, there’s plenty you can do. One of the largest contributing factors to emissions output are the gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines. That makes your car one of the first places to look to help do your part to reduce emissions. Consider how you can change your driving habits. Car pool, use mass transit or ride your bike. If you must drive, there is now a fuel re-formulator which will dramatically reduce your vehicles emissions. Of course, there are many simple things anyone can do around the home or office in everyday life that can also help reduce emissions. You can start by paying attention to how much electricity you use. It takes burning fossil fuels to make 90% of our country’s electricity. Turn off and unplug unused lights, electric devices and appliances. Install low watt CFL light bulbs. Insulate and weather strip your home. The list goes on.
While all this talk of going green, carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions may seem overwhelming at times, keep in mind, it’s all about the future of our planet. Even though it’s all about your kids and their kids, keep in mind what else happens when you start to find ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. By implementing these and other methods to reduce your carbon footprint you’ll also start to save some money. Everyone likes to save money.