Pollution Carbon Footprints Thesis

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Pollution

Carbon Footprints carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our everyday activities have on the environment, and in particular the affects they have on the climate. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our everyday lives by the burning of fossil fuels for such things as electricity, heating and transportation. A carbon footprint is made up of the sum of two parts. The first part is known as the primary footprint. This is a measure of our direct emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. These are things that we have direct control over. The second part is made up of the secondary footprint. This is a measure of the indirect CO2 emissions from the whole lifecycle of products we use. To put it very simply the more things that we consume the more we buy and the more emissions that are generated (What is a Carbon Footprint, 2009).

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To Calculate a personal carbon footprint, you need to know what emissions to include and what to exclude. You use miles traveled, distances, electricity usage, gas usage, kilowatt hours, and type of automobile you drive. These things will give you a good sense of your personal footprint. But in order to get a completely accurate picture you must also include your lifestyle which has an impact on the amount of greenhouse gas you produce. One example that you might take into account would be the amount of greenhouse gas that is released as a result of food production. If you partake in a meat diet the amounts of greenhouse gases are far more than if you are vegetarian (Carbon Footprints will Decrease in the Future, 2009).

Thesis on Pollution Carbon Footprints Carbon Footprint Is a Assignment

Our climate is definitely changing. Over the past century average global temperatures have steadily risen and we have experienced the 10 warmest years on record since 1990. It is believed that this warming is caused in whole or in part by an increase in the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Green, 2009). And it is because of this that we need to pay attention to what our carbon footprints are. Knowing how to calculate our carbon footprint will help us to identify the things that we can do to reduce them and thus reduce the changes that our climate is undergoing. Both of these will help to preserve our existence on this earth in the future for us and our children.

In order to do our part we must ask ourselves some basic questions. What can I do in the future to reduce my carbon footprint? What results will take place if I do? What will happen to our future if nothing is done? Starting with the last question first, it has been predicted that up to six degrees of global warming is expected over the next century. This climate change will occur because of the emission of greenhouse gases, predominantly carbon dioxide which causes global warming. Researchers have discovered that just six degrees of global warming was enough to wipe out 95% of the species which were alive on Earth at the end of the Permian period 251 million years ago (Carbon Footprints where will they all end?, 2009). When large amounts of carbon dioxide are released into the air it acts like the glass in a greenhouse. Just as the inside of a greenhouse gets hot, so does the atmosphere around the Earth. It gets hotter because of all the carbon dioxide that is being released on Earth. This is how the gases like carbon dioxide began being called greenhouse gases. The more carbon dioxide that is released into the air, the more the atmosphere heats up and the more global warming that we have. So if everyone keeps going down their current path of making bigger and bigger carbon footprints, the more our atmosphere will heat up. This will eventually cause the ice caps to melt and the seas to rise, thus resulting in flooding and the destruction of cities and villages around the world (Carbon Footprints where will they all end?, 2009). So if nothing is done, our future does not look very promising.

This brings us to the question of what I can do to reduce my own carbon footprint. Reducing the amount of carbon one emits is one of the fastest, most effective ways to save money. You don't need to make major alterations to see the difference. The right combination of small changes, many costing nothing, can reduce your energy bill by thousands of dollars (Why Save Carbon, 2009).

If you first look at the things that one can do that have no cost to them at all, you will find that you can do the following:

If it is available in your area, sign up for a green energy supplier. They supply electricity from renewable sources like wind and hydroelectric power. This will reduce your carbon footprint contribution from electricity to zero.

Turn things off when you are not using them, such as lights, television, DVD player, and computers.

Turn down the central heat or air a degree or two.

Turn down your water heater, a couple of degrees will make a huge difference.

Make sure that you run your dishwasher and washing machines only when they are full, this will save both water and electricity.

Unplug your cell phone as soon as it has finished charging.

Defrost your fridge/freezer on a regular basis.

Do your weekly shopping in one single trip.

Hang your clothes out to dry instead of using the clothes dryer.

Go for a run rather than drive to the gym (What is a Carbon Footprint, 2009).

The following is a list of things that one can do that may take an initial investment, but they should pay for themselves over the course of 1-4 years through savings on your energy bills.

Change to energy saving light bulbs.

Install a timer on your thermostat, remember there is no point heating or cooling the house after you have left for work or school.

Insulate your hot water tank with a wrap.

Replace your old fridge / freezer (if it is over 15 years old), with a new one with a high energy efficiency rating (What is a Carbon Footprint, 2009).

A third category in which one can reduce their carbon footprint is that of travel. It is smart to travel less and travel more carbon footprint friendly. This can be done by:

Car pooling.

Take the bus or train.

For short trips either walk or ride a bicycle.

Ask your employer to allow you to work from home one day a week.

When staying in a hotel turn the lights and air-conditioning off when you leave your hotel room.

Ask for your room towels to be washed every other day, rather than every day (What is a Carbon Footprint, 2009).

As well as your primary carbon footprint, there is also a secondary footprint that you must be concerned with. This one is caused through your buying habits. If you buy foods out of season at the super market, then these will have either been flown or shipped in from far away. This adds to both the cost and your carbon footprint. The following can also be done to reduce your secondary carbon footprint:

Reduce your consumption of meat.

Don't buy bottled water if your tap water is safe to drink, especially if it has been shipped in from far away.

Buy local fruit and vegetables, or even try growing your own.

Don't buy fresh fruit and vegetables which are out of season as they are sure to have been flown in from far away.

Try to buy products made close to home.

Buy organic produce if it is available.

Don't buy over packaged products, more is not always… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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