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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

CARBON FOOTPRINTS



We all know that our planet needs our help right now, but we often feel unsure about what to do, where to make an effort, and what will really help. The good news is that we can heal the planet on a daily basis by merely watching our CARBON FOOTPRING. A CARBON FOOTPRINT is a "measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide" It is meant to be useful for individuals and organizations to conceptualize their personal (or organizational) impact in contributing to global warming. A conceptual tool in response to carbon footprints are carbon offsets, or the mitigation of carbon emissions through the development of alternative projects such as solar or wind energy or reforestation. A carbon footprint can be seen as a subset of earlier uses of the concept of ecological footprints.

REDUCING A CARBON FOOTPRINT - The carbon footprint can be efficiently and effectively reduced by applying the following steps:




  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to accurately determine the current carbon footprint.


  • Identification of hot-spots in terms of energy consumption and associated CO2-emissions.


  • Optimisation of energy efficiency and, thus, reduction of CO2-emissions and reduction of other GHG emissions contributed from production processes.


  • Identification of solutions to neutralise the CO2 emissions that cannot be eliminated by energy saving measures.

The last step includes carbon offsetting; investment in projects that aim at the reducing CO2 emissions, for instance biofuels or tree planting activities.


How about we REDUCE the energy usage in OUR homes by:



  • Reduce the use of electrical appliances.

  • When replacing appliances, try to buy appliances which use less power and have a good energy rating.

  • Turn things off when not in use.

  • Replace standard light bulbs with their low energy equivalents.


HOW ABOUT GOING GREEN? It is said that GREEN is a combination of the colors yellow and blue, each of which brings its own unique energy to the overall feeling of the color green. Blue exudes calm and peace, while yellow radiates liveliness and high levels of energy. As a marriage between these two very different colors, GREEN is a unifier of opposites, offering both the excitement of yellow and the tranquility of blue. It energizes blue’s passivity and soothes yellow’s intensity, inspiring us to be both active and peaceful at the same time. It is a mainstay of the seasons of spring and summer, thus symbolizing birth and growth. GREEN balances our energy so that, in looking at it, we feel confident that growth is inevitable. It also gives us the energy to contribute to the process of growth, to nurture ourselves appropriately, without becoming overly attached to our part in the process. GREEN reminds us to let go and let nature do her work, while at the same time giving us the energy to do our own.

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