What is Carbon footprint:
- The total amount of greenhouse gases (Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone etc.) of a person is stated as his/her carbon footprint. Carbon footprint is generally measured for countries, companies, people.
Causes for the increasing carbon footprint:
- Population growth. More humans result in increased usage of resources and things that cause the release of greenhouse gases.
- Due to improving living standards, vehicular usage is increasing. At present, most of the vehicles worldwide run on petrol and diesel. This is resulting in the burning of fossil fuels and hence increasing carbon footprint.
- Increasing electricity consumption too resulting in the burning of fossil fuels.
- Increasing materialism is causing increased production, which means more industries and the emission of more greenhouse gases.
- Increasing usage of electronic devices is causing more production as well as more electricity consumption.
Consequences of increasing carbon footprint:
- Once released, greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for 300 to 1000 years and heat up the earth. Some amount of greenhouse gases is necessary to keep the sun’s heat energy from escaping into space. Heat is required for living beings on earth. But increasing greenhouse gases are causing global warming and thereby causing rapid climate change. That means more natural disasters and hence more deaths.
- More greenhouse gases pollute the air, and air pollution causes respiratory diseases, which means the reduction of quality of life and also more deaths.
How to reduce carbon footprint:
- Increased usage of renewable energy resources – solar, wind, hydro energies, biogas etc, can prevent the burning of fossil fuels and reduces carbon footprint.
- Reducing vehicular usage whenever possible and preferring to travel on foot or on a bicycle for short distances.
- Replacing fuel-based vehicles with electric vehicles can reduce the carbon footprint. But it is only possible when the electricity is produced from renewable energy resources instead of fossil fuels.
- Our eating habits also affect our carbon footprint. Raising more animals means increased production of methane and other greenhouse gases. But non-vegetarian food is a source of protein. So, we can’t give it up completely. Reducing the intake of meat can reduce our carbon footprint.
- Consuming locally grown food prevents more vehicular usage.
- Using things for a longer time and keeping checks on increasing materialism also helps.
- Donating things can prevent more production and hence less carbon footprint.
- Planting more trees can compensate for the greenhouse gases we release and hence reduces our carbon footprint.
Small changes in our daily lives can reduce our carbon footprint. But the main responsibility is with the government. It should increase electricity production from renewable energy resources and also need to encourage industries that use renewable energy resources.
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