How to reduce Carbon Footprint?

I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense aroad. Otherwise what is there to defend? ~Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985

Numerous assessment reports published about climate change leave no room for complacency.Such reports also warn that warming and resultant sea level rise will continue for centuries even if we stabilise emissions. The layman too now knows that such scientific consensus means we are in trouble and it is high time we act now to reduce our Carbon Footprint. We are already facing the threats in the form of malnutrition, disease, and flooding and the major health burden of climate change is borne by children of the developing nations.

Traditional medical practice generates considerable carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases through travel. Yet many medical interactions can be delivered by telephone,videoconferencing, or email (telemedicine) as effectively as face to face. Thus health professionals can do lot about climate change by effectively using telemedicine. It is estimated that even a 20% cutback in travel of all UK specialist doctors would reduce tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Information and communication technologies can also help abate far more emissions than their own production and use generates. For example in the manufacture sector, smart controls can make motor systems in factories more efficient and in the power sector, sensors in grids can monitor the distribution of power more efficiently and help reduce losses. Furthermore, smart transportation systems, such as the technology used to manage complicated truck logistics, could reduce emissions globally by 1.52 metric gigatons a year.

Globally, more smart buildings that use sophisticated technology to monitor lighting, heating,and ventilation system could cut emissions by 1.68 metric gigatons a year. Apart from that the technology when used to ‘dematerialise’ physical goods and processes by use of elecommuting, video conferencing, internet shopping, and downloading content can also help cut carbon emissions by 0.5 metric gigatons a year.

However, we need to remember that simple ways also work in reducing Carbon Footprint. These simple ways could be while buying a desktop get an LCD screen or even better buy a laptop as it consumes five times less electricity. Thermostat of the room air conditioner at 25°C will save about 900 kg of carbon dioxide a year. By recycling paper and bottles and thereby reducing garbage by 25% can reduce CO2 emissions by 1,000 pounds a year.

Apart from that the simplest of ways that one can follow on day to day basis to reduce Carbon Footprint would be: switching off electronic devices when not in use, planting more trees, using alternative means of energy like solar, keeping vehicle tyres inflated to achieve fuel efficiency or better use radial tyres to save 3 to 7 % fuel or further better if one can reduce driving, replacing regular bulbs with CFLs, use rechargeable batteries, buy locally made products, not using bottled water and more such eco friendly ways.

Modern sustainable green technology of establishing green roofs on rooftops and green walls on urban indoor and outdoor walls provides numerous ecological and economic benefits, including energy conservation, and increased longevity of roofing membranes, as well as providing a more aesthetically pleasing environment in which to work and live. These numerous benefits have made this green technology extremely popular in European nations and its reputation is fast increasing in other developed and developing nations.

Green roofs and vertical gardens help reduce Carbon Footprint in following ways:
• Reduce food transportation
• Reduce wastes by generating less packaging
• Recycle organic wastes by composting
• Mitigate urban heat island
• Increase biodiversity
• Improve air quality
• Improve urban stormwater management
• Sound insulation and noise absorption

There are plenty of ways in which each one of us can help reduce Carbon Footprint and thereby ensuring a safe environment for the future generations.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094190/

http://origin.mckinsey.com/clientservice/sustainability/pdf/how_it_can_cut_carbon_missions.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1800982/

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2008-06-05/global-warming/27745217_1_carbon-dioxide-carbon-footprint-solar-energy

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