Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Causes of Carbon Footprints

Carbon footprints are the measure of the green house gasses released by everyday living practices of human beings. Conscientious people like us are naturally curious regarding how much we are contributing to the Global Warming via the production of the Green House gasses. So, what are the causes of Carbon Footprints? The causes are numerous and stupendously surprising. The choice of what we eat, to how and where we travel to, to how we wash our clothes or utensils all directly or indirectly leave a Carbon Footprint on the environment.

It is common knowledge that COAL and OIL burning causes greenhouse gasses and are bad for the environment but is it also common knowledge that they are not the only causes. Yes, there are a thousand other causes of Green house gas emissions. Before any further discussion it must be kept in mind that Methane and Nitrous Oxide are as lethal for the environment as CO2, if not more so. When Green house gasses are mentioned, these are the main three gasses, produced by humans, their animals and their machines that are being referred to.

CO2 is basically released by:

• The direct burning of all fossil fuels i.e. coal, gas, petroleum etc.
• The use of any vehicles i.e. cars, busses, trains etc.
• The Aerodynamics industry i.e. the flying industry, planes, helicopters jets etc.
• The electric industry, while producing electricity use coal or petrol.
• The heating or cooling plants like Air conditioner and heaters either commercial or private.

Methane is basically released by:

• The landfills, where the world dumps garbage.
• The agricultural industry, yes the vegetables release it (Only trees help in decreasing CO2 by taking it in and releasing Oxygen but they are being cut off too).
• The digestive systems of grazing animals, especially the flatulence of cows.

Nitrous Oxide is basically released by:

• The use of fertilizers.
• The use of various gases in freezers and cooling units, commercially and/or by the consumers.

A single bus (public transport) trip of around 10 miles or a drive in the car for the distance of only 6 km adds around 1 kg of CO2 to the environment. If we keep a single kg of CO2 productions as our base than the production of just five plastic bags or two plastic bottles adds the same amount in the air. The production of a single American hamburger contributes around 3 kg of CO2 to the atmosphere. Just a 4 km flight trip can produce up to 2 kg of CO2.

The breakdown of the most important causes of the production of Greenhouse gasses shows that, directly or indirectly, all the humanity is contributing to the dilemma known as Global Warming, every second of their lives. The extravagance of our advancement, technologically and scientifically, in just half a century has in fact contributed to this ruination of earth’s ecological balance. Americans produce the most CO2 in the world, that was around 5773 Mio tons of it in 2002 (the figures have increased by 12 to 15 % now), the number two contributor was China with it’s production of around 3700 Mio tons in just 2002 but the least CO2 producing country is Iceland, it contributed around 2 Mio tons in the year 2002.

A Public Awareness Message by:
Yellow Lite


The Data provided in this article was directly or indirectly taken from a website called “Time for Change”.

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