A CARBON FOOTPRINT is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc.
Here is an interesting site to calculate your Carbon Footprint in the URL below
My estimated greenhouse gas emissions comes out to be 26 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. 2011's resolution is to reduce it.
Global warming is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases. 72% of the totally emitted greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide (CO2), 18% Methane and 9% Nitrous oxide (NOx). These gases are inevitably created more by burning fuels. The emissions of CO2 have been dramatically increased within the last 50 years and are still increasing by almost 3% each year.
Overwhelming odds of global warming are:
* Rising sea levels due to the melting of Himalayan glaciers, Arctic and Antartic ice caps. This would entirely wipe out costal cities like Mumbai, New York. Low lying countries like Bangladesh will be wiped out from the map.
* Tropical hurricanes will increase in severity due to warming of gulf regions. Drier weather is anticipated in much of Indian plains, the American West, especially in the SouthWest. Due to this Agricultural patterns worldwide are being affected as well.
* Wild life habitats are getting extinct along with extinction of several species of plants and animals. Polar bear, Arctic fox, penguins, several cold water fish and arctic reefs are in danger from warmer sea temperatures.
Lets understand what a ton of carbon means:
* Travel 5,000 miles in an airplane
* Drive 2,500 miles in a medium-sized car
* Cut down and burn a tree that was about one foot in diameter and 40 feet tall
The average American emits 22 tons of carbon dioxide every year, compared to the worldwide average of just 5 tons per year. Each person can make a difference because one small positive act multiplied millions of times produces immense benefits.
1. TIP: Travel light.. Walk or bike instead of driving a car. Save one pound of carbon for every mile you travel.
2. TIP: Teleconference instead of flying.. For office meetings, if you can telephone or videoconference, you will save time, money, and carbon emissions.
3. TIP: Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.. These energy-efficient bulbs help fight climate change because they reduce the amount of fossil fuels that utilities burn. You will save 100 pounds of carbon for each incandescent bulb that you replace with a compact fluorescent, over the life of the bulb.
4. TIP: Recycle and use recycled products.. Products made from recycled paper, glass, metal and plastic reduce carbon emissions because they use less energy to manufacture than products made from completely new materials. For instance, you'll save two pounds of carbon for every 20 glass bottles that you recycle. Recycling paper also saves trees and lets them continue to reduce climate change naturally as they remain in the forest, where they remove carbon from the atmosphere.
5. TIP: Inflate your tires.. If you own a car, it will get better gas mileage when the tires are fully inflated, so it will burn less gas and emit less carbon. Check your automobile monthly to ensure that the tires are fully inflated. Follow this tip and save 300 pounds of carbon dioxide for every 10,000 miles you drive.
6. TIP: Plant native trees.. A tree in the temperate zone found between the tropics and the polar circles can remove and store 700 to 7,000 pounds of carbon over its lifetime. A tree that shades a house can reduce the energy required to run the air conditioner and save an additional 200 to 2,000 pounds of carbon over its lifetime.
7. TIP: Energy saving appliances.. Make sure any new appliances or electronics you buy are ENERGYSTAR.
8. TIP: Buy renewable energy.. Install solar panels on roof tops, generate your own energy or even better to sell it to the utility companies. A growing number of utilities generate electricity from renewable energy sources with solar panels, windmills and other technologies.
9. TIP: Act globally, eat locally grown vegetables.. If you shop at a supermarket, the food you buy may travel in a plane from the other side of the world, burning fossil fuels the entire trip. Shop at a local farmers markets and you will find fresh and healthy food.
10. TIP: Most importantly, educate your friends and family about carbon foot print and its effect on global warming..
Lets strive to make this beautiful EARTH a sustainable planet and hand over to the future generations.
Wishing you all a very HAPPY and a PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR ahead.