‘Carbon Footprint’ is one of the many phrases that have warmed their way in our daily conversations from the climate research papers. As we grew more aware about our own environment, it happened naturally. What it means is the amount of greenhouse gases that are dispersed in our atmosphere through direct or indirect (human) activities.
Till January 21st 2017, global daily CO2 emission levels stood at 406.47 ppm (parts per million). Transportation, manufacturing goods, consumption of fuels, construction, are few of the activities that emit greenhouse gases on a large scale. From large scale to small daily requirements like cooking food and turning on the light, everything adds up to our carbon footprint.
Facing facts: Activities that add at least 1 kg of CO2 to the environment:
- A 7-mile travel by public transportation (train or bus)
- 375-mile air travel
- Manufacturing 2 plastic bottles
- 32 hours of personal computer usage
- 5 plastic bags
Immediately abandoning production of certain items (plastic, etc.) and reducing energy wastage can slow down the spread of carbon footprint for a bit, but with increasing population (estimated to be 7.5 billion in 2017, 1.11% growth rate), it will soon pick up pace and spread beyond safety levels. Additionally, records show that China, India, and United States are at the top of coal-related CO2 emissions, and are projected to account for 70% of global CO2 emissions in future. India’s CO2 emission is increasing by 2.7% every year, which is a huge amount considering our booming population. So, taking preventive measures is certainly not enough to stop the spread of growing carbon footprint.
To reduce and eventually eliminate carbon footprint, we need to change our energy source, which is clearly the reason behind CO2 emission. Voting for green energy transition seems to be the only option at this juncture. Now when we talk about renewable energy, we need to focus on solar energy as a viable replacement of conventional energy, as it is easy to install, affordable, requires little to no maintenance, and globally accepted.
Solar Power is the Answer
Effects of increasing carbon footprint is a not so subtle a question anymore. We all know how dearly our environment and our society is paying for continued fossil fuel usage. Although, solar energy wasn’t new to us, we have wasted decades thinking that the development potential of fossil fuel usage outweighs its dangers. However, the current environment scenario has proven otherwise.
As we have already pointed out that conventional energy usage choices are the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions, simply selecting solar energy can cut down the carbon footprint of a household by half. Solar panels are capable of generating power with zero emissions. The generated power can be used to feed your energy demand, perfectly replacing conventional energy needs with green energy. Every kilowatt of green energy can reduce your carbon footprint by 3,000 pounds annually. So, even a 5KW solar plant can save approximately 15,000 pounds of CO2 every year, making huge contributions in protecting our environment from global warming and related issues.
Yes, our countries have a long way to go to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emission by using green energy, but accepting and using solar energy is the right start. And now that we have entered the transition phase, consistent pursuit of this goal will ensure a greener, healthier future for us, our future generations, and our planet.