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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Julia W-USA, Oct. 17, 2013

My name is Julia and I live in California. According to my newfound research, my home energy is also a major contributor to the total amount of CO2 released. 3263 kg of light energy leads to increase my carbon footprint, so a good 142 hours of light are being used on an average daily basis. All this CO2 is being released from a single house. So in this entire world, think about how many houses and apartments there are. Millions. Every single amount of light emitted contributes to a increasingly high carbon footprint.
We could definitely reduce the carbon footprint regarding light energy by simply turning off the lights more frequently. It’s not as if there are people present in every single room where the lights are needed. Lights are unnecessary when unused, which they often are as they’re forgotten to be turned off. When you’re looking for lightbulbs, people may not realize the great effect a different light bulb may make. Fluorescent bulbs are the most prevalent energy efficient bulb that are available today. They consume an average of 75% less electricity than incandescent lights. Switching to energy efficient lighting represents a great opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint and help save money for you electricity bill. From now on, I will try to remember to turn off the lights after I leave a room. That way I won’t let the light sit there for hours wasting up the energy and giving off carbon. I will also try to buy more fluorescent bulbs, when we need to replace old ones. Those bulbs are able to save more energy and consume less electricity. Next time, I decide to test and see how much my carbon footprint really is, I know that I’ll see a difference in the home energy section.

Julia W-USA
Comments (3)
  • Olivia N Olivia N Oct. 18, 2013
    I have this same problem! Leaving lights on is a bad habit of mine and I have been more careful about turning them off when I'm not in the room or if they are no use to me. My parents already noticed a difference in the past couple of weeks and went out to get the fluorescent light bulbs so if they do get left on they still are better for the earth.
  • charlotte holbrook charlotte holbrook Oct. 24, 2013
    Hi Julia, i also have these bad habits of leaving the lights on and i agree that it is a easy and simple way of reducing the amount of CO2 released. Another bad habit i have is turning on the lights when it is still light out side and that adds to the reason why my light energy use had such a big impact on my carbon foot print. After reading your post i came to the realization of that most of the light bulbs in my house are not fluorescent and that is an easy thing i can change in my household to save more and consume less energy!
  • arni gudmundsson arni gudmundsson Feb. 14, 2014
    i have a bad habbit, that is i often forgett to turn off the TVi agree that it is a easy and simple way of reducing the amount of CO2 released. Another bad habit i have is turning on the lights when it is still light out side and that adds to the reason why my light energy use had such a big impact on my carbon foot print. After reading your post i came to the realization of that most of the light bulbs in my house are not fluorescent and that is an easy thing i can change in my household to save more and consume less energy!

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Discussions Discussion Wanderlust
Tim Foufas, Oct. 16, 2013

Just returned from Guatemala. Amazing place. Will post pictures soon.

Tim Foufas
Comments (2)
  • Bert Breton Bert Breton Oct. 16, 2013
    Guatemela - always wanted to go there!
  • Jason Hodin Jason Hodin Oct. 17, 2013
    welcome back Tim- Guatemala was my first foreign travel destination in 1991 (!), and I have never stopped since…

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Discussions Discussion Carbon Footprint - food
Vincent S-USA, Oct. 14, 2013

Hello, everyone. My total carbon footprint is below average, but my food is higher than most other people. I eat organic, I compost, and I purchase little to no packaged food items. However, I eat a whole lot more food than most other people in the USA. Still, I’m having trouble seeing how eating more food (unpackaged and unprocessed) is contributing that much to my carbon footprint.

Vincent S-USA

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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Karina L-USA, Oct. 11, 2013

After calculating my personal carbon footprint, I found that my dietary choices was one of the top contributors to my above average carbon footprint. I learned that meat and dairy products are a central part of my meals; about half of my meals included meat and dairy. Also, as an athlete, I learned that I eat quite a lot in general. Specifically I eat about 3,000 calories a day, a higher average than people in the rest of the world, especially developing countries. People in developed countries, such as America, should cut down on serving sizes and only buy the food that they will definitely use. Personally, I think it is ridiculous that obesity is such a pandemic in America and then world hunger is a significant problem for much of the rest of the world. If individuals reduce serving sizes and reduce waste, more food could be distributed to countries with less access to food. Further, manufacturers should donate food that is unsellable but edible to people in need. This would alleviate world hunger and obesity because there would be more food equality throughout the world. I read a very interesting article (link below) ranking different ideas about ending world hunger. One idea, that I was surprised to see, was targeting infant nutrition. According to the article, providing nutrients at an infant stage would decrease malnutrition later on in life.
Attached also is a series of photographs of the diets of various families throughout the world for one week. The variation of the amount and quality of food is astonishing.

Karina L-USA
Comments (3)
  • Angelina A-US Angelina A-US Oct. 11, 2013
    I completely agree with your argument. Why do Americans take excess food for granted while children in Africa would love to be served a small meal that our children might cry about? People in the USA throw away such large amounts of food without questioning it. If companies decided to make smaller packages of food, they would have more available and people wouldn't throw away so much. This idea is definitely something to think about.
  • Nadine Snyder Nadine Snyder Oct. 18, 2013
    I agree with you as Americans do eat way too much protein and dairy. Isn't a stereotypical American meal a hamburger and a milkshake? Anyway this diet is defiantly not helpful for the planet as in order to create beef tons of carbon dioxide is admitted. First all of the grain the cow eats must be transported from the farm to the pasture for the cow to eat it. Next the cow must be transported to the slaughter house where it is killed. Finally the beef is transported to a packaging plant and then your local supermarket. In this process tons of carbon dioxide were emitted into the atmosphere.
    Cows also eat a lot of food, which could be fed to the hungry. Many people go vegetarian to protest the fact that American cows eat more than African children. If Americans ate less beef than more of this grain could be donated to countries that are going through famines, or wars. This could help no child be hungry.

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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Natasha S, Oct. 11, 2013

Hello, my name is Natasha and I agree with many of the posts here about wasting food. Honestly, so much food that is thrown away is not bad, we just throw it away because we’re done with it! Oh you only ate half of that sandwich? That’s fine, just throw it away in the trash can, no need to save it for later. I find it simply amazing how much food we waste on a daily, not even yearly, basis and on the other side of the world people are STARVING for the bit of food we threw in the trash. Do supermarkets and restaurants really need to throw out food that is still perfectly edible just because someone is done with it? I mean, I understand not wanting to eat some other person’s leftovers, but how about cutting down from Jumbo servings to just Regular? And bring that extra food to say, a homeless shelter and therefore we’re not actually wasting? Native Americans used almost every single part of any animal they killed and they did NOT waste.
Americans waste over 33 millions tons of food each year, all that food, rotten or not, is getting thrown down the trash chute every single year. Several researchers agree that America actually has the ability to feed all the people in the US and keep them full. There is no excuse why some, children and adults alike, go to bed hungry every night when their country has more than enough in the first place. That’s an extremely huge problem, America has the ABILITY to do so many great things such as stop hunger but the thing is that most Americans don’t even know that they HAVE the ability to help. We need to spread the fact of what is going on with the environment, what humans have to do with it, and what humans can do to help stop it. This goes beyond wasting food, and expands to all the other categories of our carbon footprints, people need to know about it ALL.

Natasha S
Comments (1)
  • LeeAnne W-Usa LeeAnne W-Usa Oct. 11, 2013
    I am in full agreement with you. According to http://www.keepkingwoodgreen.org/FunFacts.html, “Americans dump the equivalent of more than 21 million shopping bags full of food into landfills every year.” You are correct in saying that this is just sad. Many of the times, food is thrown away in restaurants, it is not composted. This greatly attributes to the world's carbon footprint. If we had to throw out food, composting what could be composted would reduce the amount of waste and carbon emitted into the air. While at the same time, returning the nutrients back to the earth. I agree with you in that Americans eat jumbo servings. This is part of the problem of why America is struggling with obesity. If Americans would cut down on their serving sizes and throw less food out, the world would be a better place.

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Discussions Discussion Living the Healthy Happy Life
Meredith D-UnitedstatesofAmerica, Oct. 11, 2013

I think we should start to use more solar and hydro-power. Both of these are re-usable easy non-pollution sources of power. Solar power can fuel large building and its easy to use. Once you instal the solar plates on your house, you are golden. Hydro-powered cars are very useful. They can go as far as a normal car and only have to to to the gas station once a month. Unlike wind power these form of power do not mess with migration patterns nor any other animals. They are a great way to reduce your carbon foot print.

Meredith D-UnitedstatesofAmerica

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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Märta W-Sweden, Oct. 11, 2013

According to jordbruksverket.se, which is a Swedish site about the agriculture’s environmental impact, each person in Sweden eats in average 48.6 kilos of pure meat a year. This is below the average for EU countries. The meat consumption is very high in Europe compared to the rest of the world, almost twice as high. That means that Europe has something to work on if we want to reduce the emissions. Do we really need to have a daily intake of meat or is it just convenient? I think people eat meat mostly because of the taste and because it is “normal”. I am not saying it is wrong, but maybe we don’t have to eat it that much? We all can agree to the fact that we need to change what seems to be “normal” if we want to reduce the emissions. Important to add is that USA’s average consumption is far above EU’s. Americans might therefor consider their habits too. Unfortunately America is not the country putting in most effort to reduce emissions even though they are a big cause to the issue! The world has more food to offer than hamburgers.

Märta W-Sweden
Comments (2)
  • Julia W-USA Julia W-USA Oct. 14, 2013
    Hi, my name is Julia and I totally agree with your post. Society has definitely increased its meat intake, which increases the carbon emission. Meat is tasty, but we can live without it. However, as that measure is way too impossible to achieve such drastic measures with the community we live in today. Meat is just too valuable a commodity for our meals these days. Eating meat so often is really just more convenient; it's a more difficult lifestyle being a vegetarian or vegan. At the same time, their diets reduce carbon emissions sevenfold as compared to diets that include meat and dairy. So in actuality, we're releasing CO2 on a daily basis based on convenience. Therefore, we should focus on aiming to lower our meat intake. We should add in more healthy options that would not increase our carbon footprint, such as vegetables and fruits. But at the same time going vegetarian can reduce your carbon footprint by a ton. By cutting out the factor of meat, like a cow, we can get our nutrition directly from plants, rather than waiting for those plants to be processed through an animal, with all of the emissions, pollution and wasted resources that the process entails. Meat processing also consumes a great deal of fossil fuels, which contribute carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Studies have shown that diets that include meat involve nearly twice the amount of carbon emissions than vegetarian diets.
    You are also right about how America's daily nutrition consists a lot of red meat. According to studies, meat consumption has continued to rise in the U.S, European Union and developed the world. Red meat still represents the largest proportion of meat consumed in the U.S(58%). Twenty-two percent of that meat is processed. All this meat is more than three times the global average. Hopefully, overtime we will be able to reduce the amount of meat and add some vegan meals into our daily consumption. That way we can have a good balance of meat and dairy with vegetables and fruit.
  • Lizzy H USA Lizzy H USA Feb. 28, 2014
    It's also important to remember how our food is getting to us. I completely agree with everything you said about vegetarian meals being more effective in reducing admissions, but if those vegetables have to make miles and miles of international trips to arrive at our tables, are we really helping the environment at all? Just some more things to consider when approaching this incredibly complex problem with no easy solution! Thank you for your thoughtful input on this issue!

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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Elana S-USA, Oct. 11, 2013

Not only are the types of food we eat and the way we produce food damaging to the environment, the amount of food wasted is causing hunger, suffering, and unnecessary harm to the environment.

Most food that is thrown away in western countries is not bad or rotten, but fresh and edible, simply unwanted. Researcher Tristram Stuart estimates that the United States has two times as much food than it actually needs to feed the population. When the amount of food edible by humans that is used to feed livestock is included, the U.S has four times as much food as it needs.

With an abundance of food, why do people in the United States still go hungry?

We have no need to increase food production. We cut down forests, produce fossil fuels, and harm the environment in numerous ways to produce more and more food, yet we are throw away so much of it. We are reaching the ecological limits of the U S.

There is NO need for hunger. The U.S has 4 times more food than it needs to feed the population; we do not have a quantity problem, but a distribution problem.

Earth cannot sustain these conditions for much longer. Food production, waste, and distribution MUST change.

Elana S-USA
Comments (2)
  • Karina L-USA Karina L-USA Oct. 11, 2013
    Elana, this is a great post and link! I completely agree that it it unnecessary to produce more food even though the world will need more and more food to feed the growing generation. Each year, one- third of food produced in the world is lost or waste. Not only is this an economic waste, but the resources used to raise, processing, distribute, and market the food is also wasted. The key to ending world hunger is to reduce food waste. In fact, a new study by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization found that limiting food waste globally could reduce the need to produce more food by 60 percent. The most wasted food are vegetables and cereals in industrialized Asia. There are many things people can do to reduce food loss and waste. Food retailers could reduce prices on misshapen vegetable and donate unsellable but edible food to those in need. Additionally, food not fit for human consumption can be reused to feed animals. Finally, individual consumers can buy only what they will eat, use better methods for storing and recycling food, and ask for smaller portions at restaurants. Thanks for bring up such an interesting topic!
    This is an article on the matter by Forbes that I found particularly interesting.
  • Karina L-USA Karina L-USA Oct. 17, 2013
    *bringing up

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Discussions Discussion Home grown
Jordyn VUSA, Oct. 10, 2013

My family has a vegetable garden and a compost pile in our backyard. Composting has a lot of great advantages to it. One, it reduces the amount of waste you throw out and two, it provides a natural fertilizer for your garden or even just your grass. While a lot of store bought fertilizers have many chemicals in them fertilizer made out of compost is organic and can’t harm the earth or our water ways in any way. As for our garden, it reduces the amount of fruits and vegetables that we use when they aren’t in season. Instead we use the ones that are easily accessible from our garden.

Jordyn VUSA
Comments (1)
  • Celeste D-USA Celeste D-USA Oct. 10, 2013
    I think it is great having a vegetable garden in the backyard. It shouldn't take up a lot of space. It is good to have fresh produce right from your backyard and save you money too! Fruit-bearing trees should be good too!

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Discussions Discussion Transportation
Anastasia K USA, Oct. 10, 2013

A commonly used statistic in the US when talking about the distance food and produce often travel is it takes 2400 km for to get from the farmers to the customers. If foods bought and sold are from local farmers then the average distance traveled would only be 72 km. According to the U.S. Department of Energy 2 billion metric tons of CO2 was produced over all for food transportation throughout the country. If more people in the United States bought locally grown food then this would greatly decrease our amount of carbon emission. Buying locally grown food also skips the long process that other foods go through called the supply chain. The supply chain saturates and preserves food, which can be really unhealthy for us. I’ve learned the better way to go to increase health and decrease carbon emission is to buy local produce.

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6064 http://www.cleanmetrics.com/pages/Ch9_0923.pdf
Anastasia K USA

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