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It's a lifestyle and a conscious decision
I was advised to write my first blog about being a Carbon Footprint Analyst, let me say that the title in itself does not mean much, but rather living and being it accordingly. It’s not a job it’s a lifestyle and a conscious decision, the essence of who you are. Are you the type of person that will look away if there is a piece of litter on the ground or the type of person who will pick up the litter? This is our planet, our earth and our home, it does not belong to any one person, it does not belong to the government or the ruling party it belongs to every individual who inhabits it, so everyone has a responsibility and a say.
This world is the perfect world with imperfect people in it, yes you read right the perfect world, due to the fact that it has taken about 4.5 billion years to evolve and create unique eco-systems, everything works together in mother nature, the plants, the trees, the wildlife, the soil, down to the tiniest little micro-organism, its brilliant if you take time to observe and appreciate it, you will be astounded at the everyday occurrence’s around you.
Now with human interference things are changing, it used to be minor changes that were not really impacted or noticed on a grand scale, but we can say since the industrial revolution that things have changed somewhat for the worse, now our planet can be deemed as quite unhealthy and sickly. But just as you can get sick you can be nursed back to health and taken care of, we can and need to do the same to our earth, as we only have one earth, just like we only have one body, so we need to be grateful or it, change our mind set and take care of it. The younger generation are already seeing the changes as now Carbon Foot printing is being taught in schools as a subject and that is great because education is key. What is a carbon footprint? It is the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product. GHG emissions arise from a number of different activities that an individual or an organization may be involved in. There are 6 main greenhouse gases as per the Kyoto Protocol but some of the most commonly named ones are Carbon Dioxide and Methane.
Carbon Dioxide is emitted during the combustion of fossil fuels and Methane is emitted during agricultural activities and from decomposing of waste at landfill sites, small amounts are also emitted during the combustion of fossil fuels. Now as I mentioned earlier the Industrial Revolution in the year 1800 played its big part, because as we figured out better ways of living due to us advancing in industry, transportation, medication and general wellbeing, the population sky rocketed from about 700 million people in the mid 1700’s to 1 billion people and now today around 6.9 billion people with an estimated 9 billion people by 2050. Now this would be all good and well if we managed the planet as well as we managed having babies, but it’s not possible at this point. The consequence’s linked to over population is horrendous, as people consume more, they need more land to farm and to live, more energy for production, more transport and more heating, more waste products are disposed of and pollution and contamination spreads. If you are present here on earth you will recognize the effects of this, effecting our everyday basic needs of food, water and shelter.
Farmers and government have seen that they cannot feed everyone, especially with all the soil degradation and over farming and off course not farming in a sustainable way, we have destroyed the soil over the years. So genetically modified seeds are in our everyday foods and we don’t even know it, many companies are realizing the effects of these foods and are stating it on their products if they are GMO FREE or not, but still many products do not give the consumer the education and choice of what they are eating. Genetic modification involves the mutation, insertion, or deletion of genes especially in certain products such as soya or maize. Now this is directly related to over population, you cannot expect an action without a reaction, more pollution, more water contamination, more air pollution, more asthma for instance. That is just a touch on some of our human basics, but what about the planet, global warming at its best.
Over the past 150 years we have added enormous quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – currently we add more than 30 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. These gases absorb the heat that is radiated by earth, but release only part of that heat into space, resulting in a warmer atmosphere. Anthropogenic or human forces are specifically contributed to the earth warming and especially the speed and at which it is happening, such as the direct result of burning fossil fuels which is contributed from our everyday electricity consumption.
So we need to as individuals and the lover of the earth we call home, take the responsibility back into our hands and do something about it – it is not too late to make changes in your everyday life for a better today and tomorrow. There are many things you can do which can reverse or help the situation which I will touch on in my next blog, but for now start off small, because it will put pressure on the big wigs and the major everyday polluters of our world, do not support those who destroy your home – Embrace change (Samantha Backstrom – GCX Carbon Footprint Analyst – Carbon Lodgic)