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Posts tagged "carbon footprint" - Page 40

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Rhianna R-usa, Oct. 6, 2013

Hi. My name is Rhianna. I am a high school student from Houston, Texas. When I calculated my carbon footprint, I expected it to come up as higher than the average for my region. Based on my input, my total footprint is 18981 kg of CO₂ per year, compared to an average of 24300 kg for Texas, USA, and 3791 kg (= 8358 lb.) worldwide. For my region, we give off about 6387 kg of CO₂. I give off 9115 kg this is most likely because I play sports and all of my games are a couple hours away. CO₂ given off from my home is 6893 kg while my region’s average is 9385 kg. My family and I are good about staying energy efficient. My average footprint for food is 2303 kg while my region’s is 5551 kg. This is most likely because I eat organically, locally grown food. My footprint for purchases is only 669 kg while my region’s averages at 2977 kg. I was surprised because I thought that I spent too much!

The only one of my averages that was above the normal for my region was that of transportation. An easy fix would be to carpool with people who are on my soccer team or are going to the same activity as I am. I already carpool with a senior and a freshman to and from school every day. I looked up the pros and cons of carpooling to see what others thought. The article was more directed at adults or older teenagers who have their license.

Carpooling is very beneficial for me. I don’t’ have a license yet and I don’t regularly have to run errands. I have a pretty predictable schedule so I can plan ahead for any changes in the carpooling times or pickup spots. For teens who don’t have a license, I can understand how it would be more sensible for them to carpool rather than for older, licensed drivers to carpool.

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-pros-cons-carpooling-303501.html
Rhianna R-usa
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Discussions Discussion Now it’s time for action!
Victoria S-USA, Oct. 6, 2013

I was trying to think of things i could do to reduce my carbon footprint. I realized, that even the smallest changes can make a big difference. So I decided to change my water bottle habits. This article talks about the troubles in using plastic water bottles. Another main problem is the fact that recycling is not available in many areas, this leads to littering and just throwing away of plastic water bottles. When plastic is not recycled, petroleum is produced. This is causing major problems for our environment. I am hoping to reduce my own footprint and help encourage other people to reduce their footprint by carrying around a reusable cup or bottle compared to the alternative of plastic. Hopefully this will become a habit in my home and I will be able to help save the environment.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5279230/ns/us_news-environment/t/plastic-bottles-pile-mountains-waste/#.UlG-KG1u2So
Victoria S-USA
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Discussions Discussion Family footprint
Chloe R-USA, Oct. 6, 2013

If I were to build my home, the structure would be made out of bamboo. Bamboo is a better source to build homes out of because bamboo is a grass, and if you cut down bamboo it will grow back, just like your lawn. Also bamboo only take three years to mature while trees take at least 30 years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vVvxJdQSEs
Chloe R-USA
Comments (1)
  • Isabella S-US Isabella S-US Oct. 6, 2013
    This is great idea! I hadn't read about this one yet, and it makes a lot of sense. Cutting down bamboo would be much better than cutting than a tree. Besides the difference in time taken to grow, large trees give out more oxygen and they are necessary to a healthy. Due to this, the bamboo would be better and not deprive the earth of as many necessary nutrients.

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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Anna C-USA, Oct. 6, 2013

After calculating my carbon footprint, I found that my highest total came from the home category, with 9080 kg per year. I feel that this is mainly a result of the light bulbs and light usage in my home. I counted a total of 75 light bulbs, 74 incandescent and 1 CFL. After questioning my parents about our lack of CFL light bulbs, I learned that the only one we had was from a school project in which each student at my sister’s school was given a CFL light bulb to try in their homes before purchasing many of their own. My dad expressed his discontent with the light bulb’s pricing and quality, so I did some research about CFL light bulbs.

To my surprise, I found many articles on the disadvantages of these light bulbs. First, there is the cost. After doing some online shopping, I found the average cost was about $3-$5 per 13 watt CFL light bulb and $1-$2 per 13 watt incandescent light bulb. It is claimed that CFL light bulbs will pay back this difference in the energy that they save and their longer lifetime, but this is only proven true in commercial and industrial cases, not residential.

The quality of light is also much lower in CFL light bulbs. In fact, the average incandescent bulb is 64.5% brighter than the average CFL light bulb. One would think that in paying more for a light bulb, you would receive a better quality of light, but CFL light bulbs provide less light than incandescent. The European Union, after putting a ban on incandescent light bulbs, even admitted that the quality of light produced by CFL light bulbs is exaggerated in claims by the manufacturers.
Because of these facts, my parents do not purchase CFL light bulbs for our home.

While I agree with them that they are not beneficial in price or quality, I would like to find a way to decrease my carbon emissions in the home category. I will do this by turning off lights in my home whenever they are not being used, but I know that using CFL light bulbs could make a much bigger difference in the carbon footprint of my home in addition to just decreasing light usage. What do you guys think? How can I reduce the carbon emission in my home without using CFL light bulbs? Or is the high price and low quality of CFL light bulbs something that I should look past due to their energy-saving qualities?

I was unable to attach more than one link to my post, so below are the links to articles on this topic in addition to the article already attached to my post. I used these articles in the statistics and information in my post, and they offer insight on CFL light bulbs and their disadvantages that goes even farther than what I have shared with you.
http://www.richsoil.com/CFL-fluorescent-light-bulbs.jsp#CFL-bulb-light
http://edisontechcenter.org/CFLs-Rick.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/6110547/Energy-saving-light-bulbs-offer-dim-future.html (This article is already linked to the post.)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/6110547/Energy-saving-light-bulbs-offer-dim-future.html
Anna C-USA
Comments (5)
  • Nora B-USA Nora B-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    I have mostly CFL lights in my house and I have definitely noticed a difference of light when I go to other people's houses! I don't really mind though. Concerning the price, don't CFL lights use less energy and therefore lower your energy bill? In this case, CFL lights may save you money in the long run
  • Anna C-USA Anna C-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    Nora - I believe you're right that it is advertised that CFL lights will save money in the long run. However, according to an article attached to my post (http://edisontechcenter.org/CFLs-Rick.html), they are much more likely to save money in a commercial or industrial use, rather than residential. This video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKu6YZra5KQ) talks about how the amount of money you will actually save when using CFL light bulbs differs depending on where they are and how much you use them. To sum up the video, a CFL light bulb will save money if it is used for many hours and a long time, but not if it is used in small amounts. Perhaps this shows that it just depends on the household and habits of your family.
  • Olivia BH-USA Olivia BH-USA Oct. 10, 2013
    Thanks for your post! I didn't realize that the EU had put a ban on incandescent light bulbs, and I also did not realize that the issue of amount of light was such an issue when deciding between incancdescent and CFL.
    Personally, I think it is worth the money to use CFLs for their energy saving qualities since lights are some of the most common things we use everyday and can really add up in terms of energy and, consequently, carbon footprint. In my own home, we use almost entirely CFLs, though we used to have some incandescents. In my experience, CFLs do not offer necessarily offer a less bright light, just a different type of light. I think of CFLs as offerring a bright, white light that is more focused where as incandescents provide a light that spills out into a room. Incandescents can definitely light a large room better, but for things like reading lamps or in rooms with more than one light, I think CFLs work great without losing that much light quality. It is simply a matter of adjusting to the different type of light.
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Discussions Discussion Wants or needs?
Zehra J-USA, Oct. 6, 2013

As modern technology advances, the need for it does as well. Nowadays, people, especially the younger generations, have become more well-adapted to a lifestyle centered around technology. Some children may not even be able to imagine a life without technology, simply because they have never been exposed to it. According to a study that was done in 2010, elementary aged children spent about 7.5 hours using entertainment technology. Technology may be necessary to children who have never experienced life without it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/technology-children-negative-impact_b_3343245.html
Zehra J-USA
Comments (3)
  • Chloe R-USA Chloe R-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    I have two younger sisters and they love to watch TV. Everyday before school and when they come home from school they watch TV. But I also use a lot of technology because my school uses a laptop, so I am on it the majority of the day. Technology is great but just like everything else too much technology is bad. But balancing your technology is the key. You should not spend more than two hours in front of a screen. I know that sometimes you have to because of school or work, but when you aren't at school or work try to stay away from the TV or computer.

    http://www.globalstudentnetwork.com/blog/technology-and-kids-the-good-the-bad-and-the-balance/

  • Caite R-USA Caite R-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    According to this article, http://www.technewsworld.com/story/52677.html , 31% of children ages 3 and under are already using computers. Too much visual stimulation by screens are bad for kids, and it can get to the point where if they are in absence of these stimulations, they can irritable and sometimes angry. Even my cousin who is 4 years old knows how to work sites such as YouTube. I think that parents really need to be careful about what they allow their kids to use, because it could be detrimental to their health in the long run.
  • Kayla L-United States Kayla L-United States Oct. 6, 2013
    I also have a younger sibling who loves tv and video games. I believe that we should embrace the advantages of technology with children but be aware of consequences when over-using technology and take precautions when allowing a child to use technology.
    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/children-and-technology-should-you-be-concerned.html

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Discussions Discussion Off the table?
Anna C-USA, Oct. 6, 2013

When looking at my carbon footprint, I found that transportation was a major factor in increasing my carbon emissions each year.
I travel about 30 km each day to and from school. I feel that it is completely “off the table” to reduce this part of my carbon footprint as school is a daily necessity. This of course could be reduced if I were to live closer to my school, but such a drastic change as moving my home seems to be too much.
The largest part of my transportation footprint comes from traveling for vacations. My parents are both from different parts of the world, my mom just across the country, but my dad from across the Atlantic. My family travels to visit relatives at least once or twice a year, if not more. We often drive if possible, but sometimes driving is too pricey (with gas, hotels, etc), too far, or impossible due to the transcontinental trips we sometimes take. According to the New York Times, air travel can account for up to three quarters of one’s carbon emissions yearly. Attached is an article about the effects of air travel and its carbon emission, which is surprisingly high. When is this air travel really a necessity and when is it just a want? Many families or students travel across the globe for enrichment and learning about different cultures. Seeing the world and historical landmarks and places are extremely educational opportunities for people. Last summer, my family traveled to Newfoundland, Italy, Turkey, Germany, Czech Republic, and Iceland for the purpose of experiencing different countries, cultures, and ways of life. Some students travel to foreign countries for language programs, studying abroad, and even service projects to aid those in need. Is this air travel something that should be reduced in order to reduce our carbon footprint, or is it a necessity and “off the table” to remove? For me it is a very difficult topic, because these kinds of traveling can be greatly beneficial in our lives, but they are also hugely impacting the environment. What do you think? Should people limit their unnecessary travels for the sake of the environment, or are they important, beneficial, and educational enough to be “off the table?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/sunday-review/the-biggest-carbon-sin-air-travel.html?_r=0
Anna C-USA
Comments (12)
  • Sarah G-USA Sarah G-USA Oct. 7, 2013
    I feel like although we do need to watch our carbon footprint, it shouldn't prevent us from broadening our horizons and benefiting our education. I feel like air travel is “off the table” because it can be very beneficial and we should focus more on watching and limiting the other parts of our life but not going overboard on traveling.
  • Olivia BH-USA Olivia BH-USA Oct. 7, 2013
    Like you, Anna, the largest portion of my carbon footprint came from vacations since I flew from one coast to the other. Viewing these comments now, I feel like we could have road tripped across the country to reduce our carbon emissions, but if we had decided to go somewhere outside of the continent we would not have had any choice but to fly. I think air travel in this sense should be ''off the table” because of the cultural enrichment travel offers. Maintaining a sense of global community, in my opinion, is more important than remaining isolated due to a financially restrictive air travel market like the article mentions. With a global community comes a greater sense of responsibility for our world as a whole and to our environment, as well as the opportunity to share the varying ideas and lifestyles that help foster environmentally conscience policies and individuals.
  • Mary G-USA Mary G-USA Oct. 9, 2013
    Victoria, I completely agree with you. There really is no other way to travel across the ocean. I have used both plane and road travel to get to places. Although road trips are longer, I find them more enjoyable since you can enjoy the scenery, stop whenever you want, and you can converse with everyone in the car.

    Sarah, I agree with you on focusing on the other aspects of our lives instead. We can't change the CO2 emissions of planes but we can change the amount we recycle, for example. If we work on the small things they can make a difference as big as cutting out a plane trip.
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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Kylee S-USA, Oct. 6, 2013

American’s Carbon Footprint vs. The Worlds:
Although the United States is not the leading country in the amount of carbon dioxide it produces yearly (China is), it is the leading producer per a person. An average person in the United States carbon footprint is equal to 20 tons of carbon dioxide compared to the world average of 4 tons per a year. This may be because of our transportation and lack of a good public transportation system like in Europe. Also most things are hard to get around to and not connected by biking, walking, or bus paths. Another reason is that America’s use a ton more technology than most developing countries. The exercise that we are doing has helped me to realize how our carbon footprint is greatly affected by the type of culture we live in.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions
Kylee S-USA
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Discussions Discussion Off the table?
Simal M-USA, Oct. 6, 2013

One of the main sources of carbon emissions today seems to be transportation, and it is generally something most people are unable to control. For many people, including me, transportation would be something considered “off the table.” Though there are certain instances where we are able to walk/bike, it is often hard to reach most places without a proper vehicle. In America alone there are about 8,320 pounds of carbon released per vehicle per year.

There is, however, a great website [http://visualization.geblogs.com/visualization/co2/] that shows the general carbon emissions for a variety of different activities. If people are interested in narrowing down their carbon emissions, this would be a good place for them to start. It may be more helpful for them to see what impact each of their activities has on the environment before deciding what they are and aren’t willing to give up.

http://www.americanforests.org/a-carbon-conundrum/
Simal M-USA
Comments (3)
  • Kylee S-USA Kylee S-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    I agree with you. Transportation is needed most of the time, such as traveling to faraway places. I have to drive to school each day because my school is about 15 minutes away from where I live, but I reduce my carbon footprint by carpooling. I feel like if we have to travel or take a car somewhere we should try to carpool or take public transportation as much as possible. This will not only lower our carbon footprint, but it will also reduce traffic in many places. The website you posted is also very alarming and will help me focus on areas of my life that I don’t need a much that produce more carbon dioxide.
  • Sarah G-USA Sarah G-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    Same here. I have to take a car to school and sports practices that are far away, but carpooling and taking the bus to games can reduce that. Even though i need to take a car sometimes I can easily reduce my carbon footprint by riding my bike or walking to a friends house or the grocery store. And that can also be fun. The link you posted is a great visual for me to see how much carbon I produce when I do things as simple as talk on the phone. Being aware of the effects of my actions will help me limit the amount of carbon I produce.
  • Venessa A-USA Venessa A-USA Oct. 9, 2013
    I completely agree. For many people, it's just not practical to find another method of transportation. We have to often consider what is most convenient for us. And sometimes some people couldn't take a train or ride a bus. However the link posted made me realize that if possible, I should try to find other methods of transportation such as biking or carpooling to close places.

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Discussions Discussion Wants or needs?
Ryan P-USA, Oct. 5, 2013

Hi, my name is Ryan Poon and I live in Oakland, CA.

For the majority of the time, I believe that technology is usually more of a want than a need. When we purchase the latest technologies, they are usually improvements of products that already exist. For example, we buy better computers to replace older computers. In these cases, buying is more of a need. However, sometimes we do actually need the latest technology, such as at the start of the smart phone revolution or when laptops were invented. Nonetheless, there is point when buying this merchandise becomes unnecessary, especially when we start getting new cell phones and electronics simply because of one or two new features. I, personally, do not often go out to shop for the latest technology. I am perfectly content with a “dumb” phone and the school-issued laptop. Despite my resistance of the temptation to buy new technology, I have learned about the environmental impact of the production, distribution, and disposal of new and old electronics. When I see people buy the newest machinery for one basic additional feature, I don’t usually understand their decision.

Today, I read this article about why someone should purchase an iPhone. Though I do not agree with the author, I was interested by the fact that people may buy new iPhone for the exact reasons stated in the article. Simple features, such as a larger screen, may drive people to get the new iPhone, but other factors, such as societal pressure, are involved. The author uses the bandwagon persuasive technique, emphasizing the fun that everyone is having with the newest smart phones and the fun that the readers can have, too, if they buy them. In addition, the author stresses the importance of switching phones, even though the oldest smart phones perform better than phones without internet, application downloading, and touch screen capabilities. For these reasons, a customer would purchase the latest technology. However, the author also presents an alternative to spending more money, especially if an individual has the smart phone of the generation before. He offers a viable solution to this problem: downloading the new iOS7 software. This sparked my interest; programming has no effect on the environment because it is often done on a computer. It simply modifies something already existing and makes it better. Maybe we can start amending and enhancing what we already have rather than get something completely new, not only with phones, but other items.

How could we resist buying the latest technologies and persuade others that purchasing them hurts the environment? How could we decrease the negative environmental impact these technologies have? One idea that came into my head was that rather than getting an entirely new phone, companies could simply replace the parts we need. However, there are several problems with this, especially since manufacturers would probably want more money from the purchase of entirely new phone. What do you think?

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/who-should-shouldnt-buy-new-iphone-4B11205314
Ryan P-USA
Comments (1)
  • Anna C-USA Anna C-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    I agree with you that in many cases, the purchase of technology is more of a want than a need. However, in society today it is becoming more and more of a necessity to have recently developed technologies, such as a laptop or smart phone, in order to keep up with the times. Perhaps this pertains more to adults in the business word than us as students, due to their need to be receiving emails or having documents, spreadsheets, etc available to them wherever they go. I'm sure that you've experienced (maybe in your own family or just seeing a stranger) that even on vacation, working men and women are still having to keep in touch with coworkers and clients and work on projects from miles away. With this capability to always be “plugged in” and the great numbers of people participating, one may fall behind in their job if they were not to possess the necessary technology. I feel that this is a very difficult topic as just wanting to always be connected with everyone else is not a valid reason to be purchasing new technology, but with so many people doing so, it can become necessary to be able to keep up. This being said, I completely agree that purchasing the newest iPhone just for show or pure entertainment is most definitely a want, and that updating the software (such as to iOS7) is a good solution in which you still get the new technology, but without the purchase of a physical device. Lastly, on your comment about companies simply replacing the parts we need - I agree that manufacturers will most likely not be willing to provide this as an opportunity for us, as it would decrease their profits, especially in such a hugely successful and worldwide company as Apple.

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Discussions Discussion Wants or needs?
Adriana V-USA, Oct. 5, 2013

Everyone these days feel like they need the newest iPhone, iPad, iPod, or any new gadget they have these days. Kids these days feel like they need the newest iPhone out there. Where I live, in Texas, USA, you can find ten year olds walking around with the latest iPhone and when you ask them why they need one, their reply is usually, “Because all my friends have one.” I’m not saying that I didn’t do the same thing. That was MY excuse for having the iPhone I have now. But really…we don’t NEED it. Well these days, we do need a phone, but it’s not like everyone necessarily needs an iPhone. I used to have a sliding phone and if all my friends didn’t have an iPhone, I wouldn’t have felt the need to get one too. With this is peer pressure. It’s like your friends (and the world) pressure you into wanting the latest gadgets. I get a new electronic device at least once a year. This year, I received my iPhone and a new laptop. Everyone these days WANTS the latest model of a phone or laptop or tablet. Some people need these, like for work or high schoolers for school, but do 10 year olds necessarily need an iPhone at this age? I think society is pressuring us into thinking that we need the latest devices.

Adriana V-USA
Comments (8)
  • Mary G-USA Mary G-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    I don't see why it's necessary for a little kid to have a phone in the first place. It would only give them something to get distracted by. I didn't get my first phone until I was in 7th grade and it isn't an iPhone. I don't understand why parents will just keep getting their kids a new electronic every year. Some of these “new” features are so tiny they're barely any different from the “older” version. I feel that people get them just to know they have the new one.
  • Mary G-USA Mary G-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    I don't see why it's necessary for a little kid to have a phone in the first place. It would only give them something to get distracted by. I didn't get my first phone until I was in 7th grade and it isn't an iPhone. I don't understand why parents will just keep getting their kids a new electronic every year. Some of these “new” features are so tiny they're barely any different from the “older” version. I feel that people get them just to know they have the new one.
  • Kayla L-United States Kayla L-United States Oct. 6, 2013
    I also agree that the newest and best phone is not a necessity. Because of the false advertisements and promotions of these new technologies in the media, it makes us feel obligated to buy new things. I think parents of young children need to give their children phones when they are at least 12 or 13, and the phone does not need to be the most popular phone, but just be for communication purposes.
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