Human activities are one of the main causes of some gas emissions. Since the Industrial Revolution began factories, power plants, and cars have burned fossil fuels releasing huge amounts of gases into the atmosphere. These gases have a huge impact on climate change globally, resulting in an increase in carbon footprint on the earth. In today’s topic, we will focus on what is carbon footprint, the reason behind them and how can we reduce these carbon footprints from our earth.
What is the Carbon footprint?
In 1990 William E. Rees and Mathis Wackernagel introduced the term carbon footprints to the world. Basically, it was derived from the ecological footprint concept. The carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases that are generated by human activities. These gases can be emitted through the burning of fossil fuels, land clearance, and the production and consumption of food, manufacturing goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, transportation, and other services. Carbon dioxide, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide, these gases are a few examples of greenhouse gases.
In simple words “the total amount of Carbon Dioxide and methane emissions by a specific population, system, or activity is known as carbon footprints”, the global average annual carbon footprint emission per person in 2014 was estimated to be around 5 tones.
Reasons for Increased Carbon Footprints on Earth
In developing and industrial countries like China and the US, carbon footprints are higher. For example, the average carbon footprint of a person in the United States is 16 tons. However, some natural causes are also behind these emissions but as long as industrialized nations continue to burn fossil fuels, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will increase. Here we are providing details of the most contributing reasons of high carbon footprints on earth;
- Population Growth- With a growing world population, there is a growing demand for material goods, and manufacturing is necessary to meet this demand. The production process in various factories and industries releases large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere increasing greenhouse gases level on earth.
- Growth in Energy Consumption– With the population growth demand for energy is also skyrocketed; most of our technologies depend on electricity. To cater to this huge demand for electricity thermal power plants are running 24/7 creating humongous emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
- Transportation– Transportation is one of the biggest reasons for the growing carbon footprints on the earth, Vehicles, Railways, Aircraft, and Ships mostly are running on fossil fuel. This burning of fossil fuels creates tones of carbon emission which led to growth in greenhouse gases.
- Agriculture and Cattle Farming– To cater the world’s food demand, growth in agriculture and cattle farming is also increasing. Cutting of forests for the agricultural land and cattle grazing farms is a very common thing nowadays.By cutting down forests, we release massive amounts of CO2, a factor that strongly contributes to global warming. Trees also act as a natural carbon storage space, so cutting them down releases large quantities of CO2. The use of fertilizers and pesticides on crops is also leading us to the destruction
- Industrialization– Industries all over the world are running day and night to meet the demand and to book monetary profit but we want to tell you that nearly half of the emissions of greenhouse gases are from coming from these industries. Processes involved in these energy industries, iron & steel industries, oil refineries, and chemical industries emit thousand of tones of carbon on daily basis, resulting in increased carbon footprints on the earth.
How to Reduce The Carbon Footprint on Earth
To reduce the effect of greenhouse gases or carbon footprints, we must use renewable energy sources for our energy needs. Awareness about carbon emissions and their dangerous effects on earth will also help us to reduce carbon emissions on earth. Here we are discussing the way to reduce the carbon emission or carbon footprints on the earth. This way we can contribute to Mother Nature and moves towards a better future.
- Awareness- Awareness of carbon emissions will lead us to a better future. Using public transport instead of a personal vehicle, using a bicycle instead of a motorbike, and less use of plastic items, these are some little-little things that lead us to reduce a significant amount of carbon emission. The awareness of this issue should start in school at an early age. By introducing young children to ways to reduce our CO2 emissions to them early on, these children are also likely to convince their parents, which may lead to a situation where parents will also be more receptive to changes in their consumption behaviors to reduce CO2 emissions and their adverse effects.
- Reducing Energy Consumption- Reducing energy consumption within a household can include lowering one’s dependence on air conditioning and heating, using LED lamps, recycling, using cold water to wash clothes, and avoiding a dryer.
- Using Electric Vehicles– By switching to electric cars, we could reduce the emission of CO2 to a large extent and mitigate the implied negative consequences. Developing electric cars is still undergoing development, but in the near future, they may prove to be a good alternative to conventional cars.
- Using Renewable Energy– Using renewable energy sources for our energy needs is one of the most effective ways to keep our carbon emissions down. Dependency on fossil fuels for our energy needs must be lowered. Renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind energy, etc are clean energy. These energy sources do not emit greenhouse gases upon generating energy. Using solar panels for electricity production is one of the cleanest ways to produce electrical energy.
- Recycling- Recycling and reusing also help us in reducing carbon footprints on the earth. As a result of recycling, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. Recycled materials can be used to make new products, reducing the need for virgin materials. The extraction of or mining of virgin materials would result in greenhouse gas emissions. By comparison, a product made with recycled materials consumes less energy than a product made with virgin materials
Increasing carbon emissions or carbon footprints is an enormous problem for our environment because they create many negative effects on our planet. But we can overcome this issue of carbon footprint by awareness and using more renewable sources of energy like solar and wind etc, this will eventually reduce the carbon footprint. We hope we will not have environmental concerns in the future.