Our Planet In Dire Situation. We Need To Reduce Our Carbon Footprints

Massive flooding in Lagos, Nigeria

Melting of Glaciers everywhere. Warming of the earth atmosphere. Extreme weather condition - severe drought and terrible storm. Massive flooding even to areas that have not flooded before. Bush fires.

Most of it are the result of human activities. Illegal logging, irresponsible mining, abusive practices of industries, and ignorance of the people to know more about carbon footprints.
Climate scientists and activists have long been predicted these phenomena due to human activities that abuse nature but we never really cared, until something horrible would happen in the environment.

Global warming is happening

People are quick to offer sympathy to anyone who suffered from these phenomena but never realized how bad they have contributed to make those awful things happened. Global warming is happening. It's a major concern in the planet next to wars and hunger.

But we never cared to help how to slow it down. Others even mock us if we promote our environmental advocacy or talk about climate change or warming of the atmosphere or reducing our carbon footprints. 

We're part of this environmental problem and hopefully we should also be part of the solutions by doing things in our own way through reducing our carbon footprints.

Although we cannot control the warming of the atmosphere due to globalization, we can at least help control the greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide in particular - being released to the environment by business establishments and other groups. 

We can help mitigate this by being watchful with our carbon footprints.

What is Carbon Footprints?

Global warming is inevitable. It's part of globalization and modernization. Industries in technology, mining, manufacturing, chemicals, coal plant and transportation are major emitters of carbon dioxide. 

This cannot be controlled by the government since we are operating under the free trade capitalism, but we can help minimize its effect and slow down the process by being conscious and watchful with our carbon footprints.

Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas released to the atmosphere by a certain human activity. 

In part, each of us is responsible for the warming of the earth. It is usually measured as tons of Carbon Dioxide emitted (released) per year.

Fossil fuels used in vehicles, airplanes, trains and other means of transportation, are the primary sources of greenhouse gases, once released will shoot fast to the atmosphere and blended with  other pollutants and gases to produce heat, thereby warming the planet and breaking the ozone layer.

How we manage our carbon footprint depends on our lifestyle. 

Example, a trip to the grocery store by car releases tons of carbon dioxide compared to by just walking or riding a bicycle. 

Consuming meat also contributes to the warming of the atmosphere because slaughter houses are emitter of carbon dioxide too.

It takes tons of fuel, electricity and hazardous chemicals to maintain a slaughter house, this factor distributes to whoever consume the products of the meat produced from slaughter houses. 

It increases your carbon footprint if you regularly consume meat rather than fish or natural vegetables grown in the backyard or in a farm without using modern farm technology. 

It also releases more greenhouse gases if you ride in a car or in a taxi rather than on the bus, train or jeepney since the carbon dioxide releases by mass transportation can be divided by commuters in that particular vehicle or train.

Having an air-con releases more carbon dioxide than having only an electric fan because the higher the electricity consumption the bigger the release of greenhouse gases. 

Technology industry is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases because it is run with computers and electronic equipment.

How Carbon Footprints is Calculated?

Climate scientists admitted that it is very difficult to measure one's carbon footprints because the consumption differs based on the product consumed. 

Although we are being advised to limit our carbon footprints to 2,000 tons per year, it cannot be computed accurately. It is only based on points.

However, scientists developed an online calculator to give a rough estimate on the carbon we released in the atmosphere based on our lifestyle. 

This is based on the size of household appliances we have, the electricity consumption of each appliance, the distance of going to and from work and what type of transportation we used. 

The food we take everyday, for example if we consume meat that's a bigger point of carbon footprints consumption than eating fish or any seafood. 

Our behavior towards recycle and reuse. If we reuse and recycle the bottles, plastic cups we bought that's a lesser point in carbon footprints compare to the practice of throwing plastics or cans to the garbage.

How Can We Help Reduce Our Carbon Footprints?

We can help minimize our carbon footprints by doing the following:

1. Be a conscious citizen towards recycling, reusing containers and plastic materials. If it still can be used in daily basis then do not throw it in the garbage. It helps save tons of plastics and other waste materials that go into the landfills and ocean.

2. If you have a private vehicle, use the environmental-friendly fuels and make sure it is properly maintained. However, public transportation is still the most effective way to minimize carbon footprints.

3. Choose organic and cut off on meat and dairy products. Increase seafood and fish consumption. Consuming vegetables naturally grown (without chemicals) in the farm or backyard also helps. 

Meat and dairy productions are responsible for the 15% greenhouse gases that released into the atmosphere due to feeding production and processing. 

If you don't eat meat, dairy products, poultry in a day, you help reduce the carbon dioxide by eight pounds.

4. Insulates home to reduce heating and air-conditioning consumption.

6. Unplug devices when not in use. Electricity consumes too much heat and fuel which release greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Electronic gadgets contain radiation that blends into the atmosphere.

7. Consume less meat and choose seafood, fish and naturally grown vegetables and fruits. Cultivate a small garden at home. Plants and leaves consume carbon dioxide.

8. Minimize patronizing imported products. These consume tons of fossil fuel, a form of greenhouse gas, to transport the goods to the country. Air transportation is one of the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide.

9. Recycle and Reuse. Always bring eco-bag when you are out of the house. In case you just want to go shopping you have something to use for your grocery. Avoid patronizing plastics that cannot be recycled.

10. Use laptop instead of desktops. Laptops consume less energy and fuel compared to desktops.

11. Always look for energy stars products in the market when buying for appliances or electronic devices. Switch lights off when not in use.

12. Buy products at establishments and stores that are environmentally-responsible and have great sustainability program. Here's my review about milk tea brands that used sustainable plastic cups. CLICK THIS LINK

13. Avoid using or patronizing products that produce waste larger than the average. This will go into the landfills that ultimately emit carbon dioxide regularly.

I am taking my own habit changes by switching to more environmental friendly products. Example, when O brought products in plastic materials, I always make sure I reuse and recyle it. So far, I only bought milk tea from brands that offer recyclable cups like Sakura Hanami, Dakasi and Macao Imperial. For toothbrush, I am using the one made from bamboo.

I am currently using metal straw instead of plastic straw. I also bring everyday an eco bag in case I can hit the grocery out of the blue. For toiletries, I check the labels if it's organically made.

More on Carbon footprints discussion HERE. 

Here's where you can compute your carbon footprints. 

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