Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Recycling, Carbon Footprints and Survival
As a result of the efforts of Roz Savage*, I’m taking stock of how I can reduce my carbon footprint. For some years my family has recycled items. Local bylaws make recycling obligatory. My local Council provides an excellent recycling service. Rubbish is collected on a weekly basis. Items that can be composted are collected every week, and recyclable items and non-recyclable items are alternatively collected every second week.
By visiting the Carbon Footprint website I was able to calculate my personal carbon footprint for the past year, of which I am not proud. My footprint was below the national average, but was far larger than it ought to be. The website is geared more towards measuring CO2 emissions generated by business and commerce than by individuals, presumably because manufacturing, distribution and the consumption of goods account for the bulk of emissions.
I don’t understand the complex issues regarding offsetting carbon emissions and strategies to bring about a neutral balance by 2050, which some experts believe to be necessary for global warming not to get out of control. I am not convinced that the experts have got it right, because vast changes of global temperatures have taken place before man could possibly have had opportunity to influence them.
On the other hand, I am persuaded that the way we are going, there will be a great and irreversible catastrophe, because we are rapidly devouring natural resources such as oil, coal, and gas which are finite. Once they are gone they are gone for ever. We are consuming vast areas of rainforests, polluting our oceans and the very air we breathe. Population growth in areas of the world such as India and China will bring impossible demands for food, water and viable space for cities and towns.
So why should I bother about my carbon footprint? I believe, as Roz* does, that we can make a difference by doing little things. We can help change attitudes by our actions. We can influence world leaders, and we can influence our neighbours. Educating our young people is paramount if we are to bring about a state of equilibrium between the needs of man and the needs of the world’s ecosystem. Neither man nor the world’s ecosystem can survive, unless we do something about it, that’s irrespective of CO2 emissions and carbon footprints!
‘And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.’
[Biblical definition of ‘to keep’ in this context is to guard, protect, attend and preserve.]
Minimizing Carbon Footprints – actions that can be taken
The Carbon Neutral Company