“What are these carbon emissions I keep hearing about?”, you ask. Welcome to the post where I attempt to make you understand what the fuss is about emissions and climate change.
Carbon emissions are one of the products of certain reactions that involve burning. Reactions could be part of using up fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil), burning up solid waste, trees, and also chemical reactions such as cement production. The production of carbon dioxide, which is a member of the green house gas crew, is as a result of mostly human activities. These are not the only agents when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, as we’ve learnt through elementary science: “We inhale oxygen and exhale….” can I hear it? If you said something like cowygen, I believe you’re in the wrong room bro. Carbon dioxide sis, say it with me, carbon dioxide (aka CO2). This CO2 is from a natural source, unlike the human activity sourced-one from using up fossil fuel.
For the longest time, the earth had a balance when it came to CO2 gases. Cos these gases trap heat when in the atmosphere, trust muva earth to know how to keep her home safe, she found a way for CO2 emissions to be absorbed by plants etc and made sure every one got what they wanted.
Fast forward to industrial revolutions around the world, and the balance was upturned. Earth was not familiar with all the stuff going on in the electricity, transportation and manufacturing industries, and thus didn’t have enough room for the CO2 that was produced on a larger scale. Long story short, these emissions escaped into the atmosphere and trapped heat around the globe.
Good thing was, scientists discovered the issue (hopefully not too late) and have been able to come up with several ways to slow down this warming of the globe.
So if you happen to burn fossil fuel for heat, electricity or transportation (or you have a supplier of these services that does), you are contributing; but there are remedies for your sins to our dear muva.
So how do I start reducing my carbon footprint when all of it comes from everything I use on a daily basis?
I gatchu boo.
So reduction does not mean eliminating the use of the above mentioned culprits and going back to the age of living in caves and wearing animal skin for warmth (scratch that). We only have to find efficient ways of using them.
For example, we are in the age of ride sharing services such as Uber, Lyft etc. Carpooling has always been a thing, sometimes we just want to have our own space but may be sometimes its best to be selfless and share a ride(vetted or legal) with people going your way. If you live in a city/town/village that has a public transportation system, you’re well on your way to reducing your footprint. Or you could purchase a bike, they do not cost much and they do not use up fossil fuels. Chicago for one has the Divvy, a bike riding system. And there’s the good old, tested, tried and true LEGedes Benz. Only thing it burns is calories.
In temperate regions that experience really cold winters, investing in insulating your home would be a good idea, so as to reduce consumption of gas for heat during the season.
Another way would be to purchase energy efficient appliances, countries like the USA have utilities that provide incentives (rebates) to consumers that use such appliances. There are also suppliers that provide clean energy supply (non-fossil fueled energy) that one can support.
These are just a few that I could cover today, are there any other ones that you know of that I missed? Share in the comments section.
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