What are Carbon Emissions?
Let’s talk about carbon.
Carbon, in its most essential shape, is an element. Truth be told, it’s the most widely recognized element for life on Earth! From the air, we inhale to the yields we grow, and the chemical cosmetics of our own bodies, carbon is literally the basis for life.
So, why are we so concerned with carbon emissions?
When we discuss carbon emissions, we’re concentrating on carbon dioxide or CO2. Normally, CO2 discharges into the atmosphere in a huge amount of ways. The biggest wellspring of normal carbon emissions is from the trading of carbon dioxide between the oceans and the atmosphere. Animals and plants additionally emit CO2 through the process of respiration (breathe in oxygen, breathe out CO2). Also, when these plants and animals decay, organisms within the soil respire to produce energy and emit more CO2 into the atmosphere.
Nature, as nature has a tendency to do, keeps the most of these emissions in balance. Plants ingest CO2 through photosynthesis, and seas ingest pretty much as much carbon dioxide as they let off. Carbon pushes through our air, water, and soil in a persistent process that supports life on earth.
Here’s where it gets tricky.
Humans don’t play by the same rules that nature does. When we extract, refine, transport, and burn fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and oil, we release extra carbon and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. We also cut down large expanses of CO2-absorbing trees to make way for agriculture and new developments, or collect lumber to create new products. When these trees burn or decompose, they emit even more CO2. By removing forests, we also effectively remove the natural systems that absorb and store carbon.
So, why does it matter if there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere?
Try not to stress, we’re not going to go all “Bill Nye” on you. Long story short, CO2 is one of the ozone-depleting substances that assimilates radiation and keeps warm from getting away from our environment. This overabundance warm makes upset climate designs, higher worldwide temperature midpoints, and other *ahem* changes… in the atmosphere.
Presently, don’t be mixed up. There are other ozone harming substances (nitrogen, methane, and even water vapor) that we could invest energy concentrating on as well, yet allows simply stick to carbon at the present time.
What can we do?
It’s no secret that lowering levels of atmospheric carbon is a *hot* topic (pun intended). As with most things in life, there are two main ways to fix a problem. The first, and safest option, is to avoid the situations that cause it in the first place. The second is to revert what’s already been done. When you apply this thinking to carbon emissions, it means you can either lower your carbon footprint, or offset it.
On the personal level, there are many ways to lower your impact. Bike to work (make your commute easier here), eat less meat, buy less stuff, the list goes on and on. If you’re interested in seeing what your carbon footprint is, and ways to lower it, take a quiz using a carbon footprint calculator.
When companies get involved, the impact gets even bigger. Powering factories through renewable energy, reducing transport between different steps of production, and sourcing materials that aren’t made from petroleum are all awesome ways companies are making changes in their footprint. If you nerd out on companies doing cool things (like we do).
We offset carbon through a process called sequestration–and no, this isn’t just a tricky spelling bee term. Sequestration is the process of finding ways to negate the carbon that’s being emitted. Both individuals and businesses can join organizations that implement energy efficiency, reforestation, and renewable energy programs to offset a portion (or all) of the carbon emissions created.
How you can make a difference?
From turning out lights when you leave a space to driving through transport or bicycle, you can diminish your impression. Investigate how you shop, and try to settle on more economical decisions. Purchase items that make you cheerful, however make them last. When you do shop, shop with organizations that stand firm to lessen their own particular impression. By shopping with organizations that care, you’re sending the message that you give it a second thought, as well.
The planet’s great at dealing with itself. When we over-burden it with a lot of any a certain something, in any case, it can begin to lose its adjust. By making strides presently to lessen our own particular carbon impressions, we can enable the Earth to find that adjust once more, so we (and our youngsters) can proceed to appreciate and value its magnificence for a considerable length of time to come.