Every year in the U.S. over 3.2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions are released into the air, most of which are from human activities. The increased levels of carbon dioxide has been shown to cause global climate change (global warming). So how can you personally have an impact on global warming and the sustainability of the environment? First, you need to recognize how you contribute to the problem. Then you need to figure out how you can reduce your carbon dioxide contributions and increase your green practices. In order to do this, you will need to know your carbon footprint. Go To the following website: http://www.greenstudentu.com/encyclopedia/carbon_footprint
1. Read the information on the front page then provide a definition for the following terms: Fossil Fuel
Fossil fuels are non-renewable oil and fuel sources that are created in the most outer layer of the Earth. Carbon footprint
Your Carbon Footprint is the amount of Greenhouses Gases created by human actions. Primary footprint
Measure of direct releasing of carbon dioxide, by humans, produced by the burning of fossil fuels. Secondary footprint
Measure of indirect releasing of carbon dioxide, by humans, that are created by the shipping and manufacturing of merchandise. Carbon Credit
A carbon credit is a way to help people and companies decrease their amounts of carbon dioxide released by putting them on track to a more environmentally friendly way of life. It is basically a fiscal value given by an association that can be bought and used to pay for carbon dioxide offsetting services that fund renewable energy research and development and other environmental practices. 2. Now go to the top left side of the page and click on “Calculators”. You will see a list of several calculators that will help you determine your footprint. You will need to choose two(2) different calculators to run through (I really like the Nature Conservancy Carbon Footprint Calculator). The purpose of doing two is for you to get the most accurate estimate of your family’s carbon footprint. List the two calculators that you used and write a brief summary of what you found from each one. #1 The Nature Conservancy Carbon Footprint Calculator
Your Estimated Emissions (6 person household)
United States Average per Person(6 person household
World Average per Person(6 person household)
Woww! I was a little shocked! But both my parents work in Erlanger….
How do the results for each compare? Does one of the values seem more accurate than the other? Explain why or why not. 3. Now click on “Reduce Footprint” on the upper left side of the original screen. Read the information provided to find out how you can reduce your footprint. Click on the highlighted words to find out more and summarize what you have found. Benefits of recycling
* Conserves natural resources like wood, water and minerals * Saves energy because less energy is used to manufacture brand new products * Produce less CO2
* Recycling costs less than dumps.
* You can get money from recycling cans.
* Recycling centers create 4 jobs for every 1 job in the waste disposal industry. * Recycling programs keep 70 tons of waste from being dumped into landfills each year. * Prevents the destruction of natural habitats by making new paper out of old paper. * Decreases the amount of soil erosion created by mining and logging.
We need to rely on the renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy and tidal energy to supply power to our homes, businesses and automobiles instead of fuel. This prevents extreme mining!
You can recycle glass, plastic, metal, paper, computers, and tires. This saves us from overflowing our landfills and dumps. It also reduces amounts of CO2 and greenhouse gases.
Green Vehicle Guide
Green vehicles use alternate energy sources to run. They reduce air pollution.
Manage your Waste
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!!!
4. Think about other ways that you can reduce your impact on the environment by reducing your carbon emissions. Buy only recycled items, like Dasani water bottles, which are like 30% recycled materials! Stay home more, less travel. Buy a SmartCar!
5. List three things that you are willing to do to reduce your impact. What three things can you commit to doing? How are these things helpful in reducing carbon emissions? Why is reducing carbon emissions important?
1. I will use less bottles and drink water from the tap.
This keeps plastic out of landfills.
2. I will recycle any cans or bottles I use.
This keeps aluminum out of lanfills.