As our collective awareness grows about the state of our planet, it becomes increasingly important to take action to reduce the impact of climate change. One effective way is by reducing our carbon emissions. But what exactly are carbon emissions and why should we be concerned?
About carbon emissions
Carbon emissions refer to the total amount of carbon or greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced by various human activities. These emissions have a negative impact on the environment and our lives on Earth.
Several activities contribute to the release of carbon emissions, including:
- Fossil-fuel based vehicles: The majority of vehicles we use rely on fossil fuels such as gas, diesel, and petrol. These fuels produce carbon dioxide, which contributes to carbon emissions. The more fossil fuel vehicles are used, the greater the release of carbon emissions into the air.
- Electricity consumption: In addition to vehicle emissions, our daily electricity consumption also contributes to our carbon emissions. As of now, a significant portion of our electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels in power plants, releasing more carbon emissions into the air.
- Food production & consumption: The livestock and agriculture sectors play a significant role in producing greenhouse gases (GHGs). Activities such as expanding livestock farming, pesticide use in food production, and high livestock waste can contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming.
The impacts of carbon emissions
While these factors may seem small, if left unchecked, they can have detrimental effects on Earth, including:
- Increase in extreme climate events: As carbon emissions increase, the negative impact on the Earth intensifies. Carbon emission can lead to extreme increases in global temperatures, resulting in tropical storms (cyclones), as well as various natural disasters such as floods or droughts.
- Spread of diseases: Carbon emissions could also affect our health, such as the spread of infectious diseases like malaria. This is due to the expansion of tropical regions into subtropical areas, enabling the spread of tropical diseases to new regions.
- Degradation of marine ecosystem: Carbon emission also leads to the degradation of marine ecosystems. As more emissions are absorbed by the oceans, acidity levels rise, disrupting marine ecosystems.
- Melting polar ice: The rising global temperatures caused by increasing carbon footprint also result in the thinning of the polar ice caps. This disrupts the polar ecosystems and leads to rising sea levels.
- Clean water scarcity: Higher carbon emissions have the potential to increase global temperatures, resulting in climate change. This leads to a decline in clean water sources due to droughts and rising sea levels.
Ways to reduce carbon emissions
The negative impacts mentioned above can be mitigated by taking the following actions:
- Supporting local farmers and businesses by choosing locally-sourced and organic products;
- Limiting our usage of electricity, i.e. plugging off the electric devices that you don’t use at the moment;
- Switching to public transportation and/or walking; and
- Using your car or private transportation only when needed.
If you are already implementing the lists on a daily basis and want to contribute more, you can download our own JejakinApp to calculate your emissions and start to participate in our green programs! Join us in making our Earth greener by downloading JejakinApp and calculating your emissions easily!