The total amount of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases generated by our actions is known as Carbon Footprint. We all create a carbon footprint as a result of our day to day activities.
To ensure that global temperature doesn’t rise over 2˚C by 2050, the per capita carbon emissions need to be below 1.87 tonnes for every country on earth.
This is a tall order considering that countries like USA, Canada and Australia are at over 15 tonnes. Countries like China and UK are at over twice the recommended value. In terms of absolute annual emissions, China at 9.8 billion tonnes needs to aggressively work on controlling Carbon emissions. USA and Canada are at a high 5 billion plus too.
India’s per capita Carbon emission is at 1.84 tonnes and total annual emission is at 2.46 billion tonnes.
Data on Carbon Emissions
The highest carbon footprint generator in the present day is the energy production sector which accounts for over 70% of the Carbon emissions. This is followed by Agriculture at 11%. Deforestation and Industries together produce around 12% of the total emissions.
The world is in a critical stage, very near a point of no return. Now, more than ever, it is important for every person to contribute to the cause of environment protection. What can we, as common citizens, do to reduce our Carbon Footprint?
Here are some simple steps that we can easily make a part of our lives.
Steps to reduce energy consumption
- Switch off lights, fans, laptops, air conditioners and other appliances when not in use. A computer that is turned off uses at least 65% less energy than that left on idle.
- Unplug appliances when not in use. Many electronic devices like chargers, televisions, printers etc. continue using energy even when powered down.
- Switch to Solar appliances wherever possible for heating, lighting and other purposes – It is renewable, abundant and free.
- Use energy efficient appliances – check for star rating. Star rating indicates the energy efficiency of electrical appliances. The higher the number of stars, the more efficient it is. The star rating system was devised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) India, with a range of 1 to 5 stars.
- Use LED for lighting – They are more energy efficient and environment friendly than CFL and other options. They also last longer and emit less heat.
- Walk, cycle or use car pools and public transport as far as possible.
Steps to reduce wastage
- Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Around 3% of the global carbon emissions are a result of waste disposal. Higher amount of emissions result from products that need advanced methods of disposal. Be it plastic, cloth, paper, metal or any other household waste, try reusing, donating or recycling it to contribute in your own way to reduce global warming.
- Carry a cloth or jute bag when you go shopping instead of picking or buying a plastic bag with every purchase.
- Save water – treating and pumping water requires energy. Additionally, getting safe water is also a challenge in many geographical areas.
- Reduce food wastage and compost vegetable and organic waste as far as possible.
- Save trees – Each year about 15 billion trees are cut – leading to increase in greenhouse gases and soil erosion. Deforestation also impacts local ecosystem of the forest area.
- Save and recycle paper and wood furniture as much as possible.
- Participate and volunteer in reforestation drives and tree planting activities in the community.
- Restrict use of disposable plates, cups and cutlery and switch to reusable utensils.
Spread the Word
- Finally, You can be a champion of environment protection by just spreading awareness about these simple steps to reduce Carbon Footprint and save our planet.