Day 357 – You might have someone on your Christmas list that is a bit difficult to shop for. So, waiting until the last minute to make that purchase is even more challenging. Well, I have an idea that just might make the perfect gift.
This gift is ideal for the following person:
The individual who never wants anything for Christmas.
The individual who is concerned about the current climate crisis.
Give the gift of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere this season. Climeworks offers a variety of gift options.
Nordic Explorer Gift – removes 25 kg (55 pounds) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for $28.
Lapland Discovery Gift – removes 45 kg (99 pounds) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for $51.
Arctic Expedition Gift – removes 85 kg (187 pounds) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for $96.
Just to give you an idea, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. So, this gift will only make a very, very, very small dent, but nonetheless, it will help us move in the right direction.
Day 273 – I have written about composting on numerous occasions (Day 2, Day 118 and Day 149). The posts talk about an easier way to turn your food scraps into rich soil, without needing to do much work. The process is commercial composting and all you have to do is put your food scraps into a bucket and someone comes by and picks it up. No turning of compost piles and no worms necessary. It’s all very easy and so very important. Keeping the food out of the landfill helps reduce carbon emissions. My family of 6 can fill a 5 gallon bucket each week. I can only imagine what the local restaurants are throwing out. Imagine the impact if we could keep all that food from entering the landfill.
Well, a new pilot program in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood is trying to make this a reality. WasteNot Compost has partnered with the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce to launch Clark Street Composts. The program started on September 13th and includes over 20 restaurants, bars and other businesses, wanting to keep their compostable waste out of the landfill. The hope is that this program will be the gold standard for sustainable business practices and will encourage other businesses to start composting.
“Chicago’s 2.7 million residents rank final in the nation in phrases of recycling habits, with meals waste estimated to make up over 50% of landfill contents, and 17% of greenhouse gasses produced in the U.S. are a product of meals waste rotting in landfills.” – USA News Lab
It’s time Chicago starts becoming a leader in the environmental movement. We have been dragging our feet long enough.
Day 68 – A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by our actions.
“The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world. Globally, the average is closer to 4 tons. To have the best chance of avoiding a 2℃ rise in global temperatures, the average global carbon footprint per year needs to drop under 2 tons by 2050.” – The Nature Conservancy
By using a Carbon Footprint Calculator we can start figuring out how much greenhouse gas emissions we produce through our daily activities. Once we figure out where we are with our production of greenhouse gases, we can better understand how to reduce those emissions.
So what goes into calculating your carbon footprint? Information like how much electricity and natural gas your home uses in a year. What kind of car do you drive? Do you take public transportation? Even what kind of food and beverage you consume and the clothes you wear can affect your carbon footprint.
Earth911 recommends various Carbon Footprint Calculators. If you choose to use one, be sure to use the same one throughout your calculations. Jumping around from calculator to calculator will not be beneficial.
Carbon Footprint – This calculator is described as “extremely thorough”, which makes me a little apprehensive. It also uses British currency and measurements. So, conversions will be needed. I would rather not do extra math if I don’t have to.
World Wildlife Calculator – This is offered by the British division of the WWF. So, I’m guessing extra calculations would be needed to convert to U.S. currency and measurements. They do offer advice on reducing your carbon footprint available on their site.
CoolClimate Network – Created by the University of California Berkley, this calculator illustrates the breakdown of emissions across individual categories of activity.
I’m going to start using the The Nature Conservancy Carbon Calculator. I’ve chosen this calculator because I’m familiar with this organization. I really don’t know any specifics about the calculator, but will definitely update everyone on how it’s going. Please be sure to share how your carbon footprint calculator experience is going, too, if you choose to do it. I would love to know what kind of changes you have made to reduce your carbon footprint.
Day 58 – Today is International Polar Bear Day! Those absolutely majestic arctic creatures that are endangered of extinction because of global warming.
“Every winter, Arctic sea ice grows around the pole, its frozen tendrils threading along northern coasts. Right now sea ice has just passed its peak coverage for the year, and will begin to shrink with the coming of spring. It’s a crucial time for polar bears, whose food supply is inextricably linked to sea ice. And in recent decades, sea ice has been shrinking faster than ever. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, 2019 has the seventh-lowest sea ice cover in the Arctic since they began collecting satellite data 40 years ago.” – National Geographic
Global warming is that gargantuan problem that seems impossible to tackle, absolutely absurd to comprehend and inconceivable to think that any of us could actually help the situation. But what if I told you, you could make a difference in your everyday life? And that the choices you make on a daily basis could help the polar bears?
Some of these suggestions have been mentioned in past posts. They are practical, easy and do not require much effort. If they are followed on a regular basis, they could have a huge impact on decreasing global warming.
Waste less food. Composting and/or making sure you eat your leftovers, can make a huge impact on the amount of food you throw away.
Eat less factory-farmed red meat. As mentioned on Day 15, reducing the amount of red meat in your diet can reduce greenhouse gases.
Consume less energy and water. On Day 10, I shared a list of ways to reduce your energy and water use.
Shop local. Not only are you putting dollars into your community, but you are reducing carbon emissions. By shopping local goods do not need to be shipped to you.