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Posts tagged "carbon footprint" - Page 41

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Discussions Discussion DISCUSS: Green products
Ryan P-USA, Oct. 5, 2013

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

I chose this discussion of green products because they are essential to a sustainable future and play a large part in the development of a clean environment. However, as the prompt suggests, green products are difficult to attain. They are often expensive and hard to find. For example, for my environmental science class, I was required to purchase a notebook made of recycled paper. The notebook cost four dollars, which was significantly more than the one-cent price of a regular notebook. Though some products may be environmentally friendly, it’s difficult to push ourselves to buy something over another item that essentially serves the same purpose. I think the best way to make green products more affordable is to find cheaper, alternative methods or materials to manufacture the object while also maintaining its eco-friendliness. To increase its availability, I think that the places that sell green products should promote them more, such as by placing them near the front door or behind the store window.

I did some general research about green products and I came across this interesting article, which presented some other problems about this subject. According to the text, many companies have been “greenwashing” people with firm environmental values by misleading them with their products’ titles of “green”, “environmentally friendly”, and other such names. The author makes known the fact that all products, regardless of whether they are green or not, have an ecological footprint. No item is actually environmentally “good”; each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Though some companies may claim that their product is green, they often do not mention the other processes required, such as production, transportation, usage, and disposal.

The article here may make one slightly depressed, especially as in addition to these problems, green products are expensive and often inaccessible. However, the author instructs us not to lose hope, but rather become knowledgeable of products and issues and circumvent the titles companies may place on their merchandise. Another way we can avoid buying the wrong manufactured goods is by asking ourselves if we really need them or if we could reuse something we already have.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to discern what is right and what is false. How would you determine whether a product is actually green or not? How would you solve this problem?

http://www.dailyorange.com/2013/10/callaghan-companies-should-resist-urge-to-mislabel-products-as-green-purely-to-appeal-to-customers/
Ryan P-USA
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Discussions Discussion Student footprints
Xenia P-USA, Oct. 5, 2013

Hi! My name is Xenia P. and I’m from California, USA. My Marine Biology teacher introduced this Carbon Footprint challenge to myself/classmates earlier this week. My total carbon footprint total is 12, 262 kg of CO2 per year compared to average footprint of 9727 kg.
Transportation: 4,855 kg
Home Energy: 3,094 kg
Food: 3,724 kg
Purchases: 589 kg
So as you can see the majority of my carbon footprint is transportation and that doesn’t really surprise me because I do go out a lot especially since I drive now. However, i do plan to reduce my carbon footprint regarding “transportation” by carpooling when I do need to go somewhere or traveling less. Hopefully by doing this I’m doing my part to help the environment.

Xenia P-USA
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Discussions Discussion Welcome to Einztein
Marco Masoni, Oct. 5, 2013

The world is currently on track to emit enough greenhouse gases by about 2040 to exceed the globally agreed upon temperature target of 3.6°F (commonly referred to in international negotiations as the 2°C target), beyond which the risks of “dangerous” consequences of global warming escalate… If climate change exceeds the temperature target, scientists warn, there is a greater risk that the world’s ice sheets will be destabilized, leading to sharply rising seas, and increasing climate extremes such as droughts, heat waves and floods, which could pose daunting challenges for food and water availability for growing populations. In less likely worst-case scenarios, feedback loops within the climate system could disrupt ocean currents.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/04/carbon-budget-ipcc_n_4045946.html
Marco Masoni
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Discussions Discussion Footprint Changes Season after Season
Reynolds S-US, Oct. 4, 2013

Hey y’all! I’m Reynolds and I’m from Texas. Since we only have two main seasons down here (not so hot, hot, and hotter) I know how much energy it takes to cool, and heat a house. The average temperature in summer in Houston is around 97 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re like my family and like to keep the house at a cool 72 degrees all the time, you expend a lot of energy keeping it at the desired temperature. Also, during summer, people travel more and that causes more emissions to be produced from cars, planes, and busses. This increases our carbon footprint. During winter, people burn coal, heat their houses, and drive more places because of the cold. Everywhere you go in winter in Texas, there are Christmas lights, heaters, and lots of burning fires. Each one of these common activities plays a part in the raising of a carbon footprint because they use energy and create emissions. In spring and fall when the temperatures are mild and everything is easier to get to, our carbon footprint does not really increase. Because of the lack of need to cool or heat a house, a lot of energy is saved. This is how I view carbon footprints as being affected by the changing season.

Reynolds S-US
Comments (1)
  • Katie T-USA Katie T-USA Oct. 17, 2013
    Hi I'm Katie from Northern California. I agree with your reasoning as to how carbon footprints are affected by the changing season. It is true that the more energy spent heating or cooling a house, the worse it is to the environment. Where I live, the temperatures are more mild. It doesn't snow, but it can get pretty cold sometimes. Also, in the summer there are heat waves and days where it is above 100 degrees. My carbon footprint was pretty low, and part of the reason for that is because my family doesn't use a lot of air conditioning or heating. In the summer, we make sure the blinds are down on windows and doors, but open the windows during the cooler nights. In the winter, sometimes it gets cold, but the temperature is usually tolerable. If I need to, I put on more layers of clothes. It is interesting to see how a variety of climates from different places in the world can affect our carbon footprints.

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Discussions Discussion Wants or needs?
Simal M-USA, Oct. 4, 2013

In modern society, technology is more of a want than a need. It is a desire for the “latest and greatest” gadgets that are able to make life easier for us.
At my school, for example, we are required to use laptops. The majority of our curriculum is found online, and almost all of the students use them as a way to take notes during class. Since we are required to buy a certain model through the school, this has now made it so that I have two laptops of my own - the one I had before for personal use and the one I got for school. This added use of technology has obviously had a bigger impact on the environment, especially considering that many other students may be in a similar situation.
As for other types of technology, cell phones are a major source of carbon emissions. In 2009 alone mobile phones gave off about 125 million tons of CO2 emissions. However, with new models of phones coming out so often, this amount is steadily increasing. New programs have also been implemented with some cell phones companies where they are able to replace your phone every six months.
The carbon footprint created by technology in this era is growing rapidly. Many people today have become extremely reliant on it; they are so used to the convenience of the Internet. Finding a solution to this problem will be difficult.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/8063994/Eco-technology-what-is-the-carbon-footprint-of-your-gadget.html
Simal M-USA
Comments (6)
  • Ryan P-USA Ryan P-USA Oct. 5, 2013
    Like you, I also have a school-issued laptop. It is very useful because it carries many Ebooks, note-taking programs, and other applications. However, I have begun to notice that other students at my school have more than one laptop, and after reading your post, I realize that the purchase of two laptops may hurt the environment. Like cell phones, these laptops emit carbon dioxide. I have a question, though. How do electronics (and web searches, as stated in the link) produce carbon dioxide? Is it produced by the generation of electricity required to charge and operate the device? If so, could one reduce the carbon footprint of technological devices by modifying the electricity source to make it rely more on renewable resources or perhaps by enhancing the battery quality of the device itself?

  • Kylee S-USA Kylee S-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    .Ryan, I also go to a school that requires a certain type of laptop to be used. Many of my friends now have two laptops and don’t use the other one very often now. I was, too, curious of how they produce carbon dioxide, so I researched it. I found out that electricity is the most significant source of energy in our daily lives in America. Carbon dioxide is emitted through the combustion of fossil fuels that are used to generate electricity. Depending on the type of fossil fuel, different levels and amounts of carbon dioxide will be emitted. Burning coal produces more carbon dioxide for electricity than oil or natural gas. Some ways to reduce carbon dioxide emission through our electronics would be creating more energy-efficient device’s and getting more energy from renewable energy. More in-depth information can be found here: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/co2.html
  • Simal M-USA Simal M-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    Hi Ryan, I agree with you when it comes to the convenience of laptops in school. Staying organized and keeping all of your materials in order is much easier when they can be searched for by the click of a button.
    As for why technology produces carbon emissions, it is due to the fact that is runs on electricity, which is mainly produced by power plants burning fossil fuels. The computers themselves do not create carbon dioxide; rather, it is the electricity required to operate a computer that produces carbon emissions.
    This website shows a great table for each country: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.CO2.ETOT.MT

    Your idea of modifying the electrical source could potentially lessen the carbon emissions produced by technological devices. However, how could one go about doing that? Do you know of any resources that are able to take the place of the current power source?
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Discussions Discussion Wants or needs?
Ahmed Mohamud Norway, Oct. 4, 2013

hello, my name is Ahmed Mohamud and i living in norway. my opinion about that is that many and many people travel to buy new smart phone and mp3, because some of them thinking that is so cool to buy it and some of them do that because they want to be the first to get it. the problem is that they use too much of the earths resources. it is not smart to buy a new phone every years. it two thing that annoys me little bit, the first thing is that when people be the first to get a new phone or mp3 and the other is that when people having many phones and they not using. it is okay to buy one phone in one year.

Ahmed Mohamud Norway
Comments (1)
  • Aperila Toleafoa Aperila Toleafoa Oct. 6, 2013
    Hi Ahmed, I think that is very annoying also! Everyone here are stuck to their phones but once they see that the newest iPhone came out, they HAVE to get it, which is not good to do. You make a really good point!

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Discussions Discussion Wants or needs?
Andrea r Norway, Oct. 4, 2013

Wants or needs:
I think that most people by new stuff like IPhone, IPod´s, I Pad’s or stuff like that because they want them! Maybe because they want the same thing as everyone else and don´t want to stick out.
I am not saying that people just by stuff because they want them, somebody actually needs them, everyone needs a mobile, but maybe not the newest IPhone 5, that soon will bee on the market!
I´m not denying that I personally, want an new IPhone. Because I does, maybe not because I need it, my IPhone 4 works perfectly fine, but there is IPhone 5! The newest, best and prettiest IPhone of them all. It has better camera, more stuff you can do to it and, yeah its IPhone 5!
This was just an (true) example of how people can think about this! So I am not exactly a exception of “those people”.
I think people should evaluate if they need to by that phone, or if they need to by those clothes. It is just a matter of time until something newer and better pups up. And then they have to throw away the things they bought for maybe less then a year since.
We have to slow down the purchases and just not think about ourselves but the earth.

I think the people on the world should change they behavior when it comes to what they want and what they actually needs! I think this is a pretty easy task, if everybody just do it!

Sources:
http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/economics/wantsandneeds1.htm

Andrea r Norway
Comments (1)
  • Anastasiya Boyko Anastasiya Boyko Oct. 14, 2013
    I agree with you Andrea! Rather than focusing on the materilistic, we need to think about how our purchases affect the Earth. Every time we buy something new we are helping to degrade our natural resources. If we could hold off on getting the newest items and instead buying products that are made to last, we could reduce the demand for brand new things and slow the excess manufacturing of products. This would relieve our environment from the stress of carbon emissions from factories, and it would conserve more of our resources.

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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
larsole hetland, Oct. 4, 2013

Hello, my name is Lars Ole. I eat a lot of food, because I train a lot. I eat about 5-6 times a day. If I did not do that, I would not be able to train as much as I do. Therefore, food is very important to my training and me. When I eat all this food, I usually do not think about that many people around the world die of hunger. I can just go into the kitchen and take what I want, and other people have to hunt for their food, for maybe 2-3 hours. Sometimes they don’t even get to eat that day. So that is something to think about.

larsole hetland
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Discussions Discussion Wants or needs?
Hege H.I Norway, Oct. 4, 2013

I really dont think that people need the newest technology, it more that people want the newest. It more important with the image with having, like an Iphone 5s. What really people want is to have the phone in their hand, so other people can see it, its not because they want the technology in the phone.

Today, the most of the people with smartphones, use the phone much more to playing games and a lot more stuff then call and send messages, and that’s why everyone want the newest to. We use the phone the hole day and night, and we use a lot of current, which is not good for the earth.
Off course, there are actually people who really need the newest technology, to their work and other things, but 95 % of the cases , its just something they all want and not something they need, although the youth say to their parents. I think it is important to think a bit before you buy a new phone, or something like that, because it infect the world and the next generation.

Hege H.I Norway
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Discussions Discussion Wants or needs?
Sunniva R Norway, Oct. 4, 2013

Today, everyone wants to have the latest technology. Technology can be positive, but also negative. That is why we need to think before we run out to buy the newest smartphone or gadget. A smartphone can be very useful and help us stay connected to our friends, but that does not mean that we have to buy the most expensive phone. One of the cheapest phones on the market can do almost the same as the expensive ones. Also we do not have to buy a new phone every year, a phone should last at least last two years.
Many people say that they can`t survive without their pc or smartphone, but do they ever think about what people did before technology exited? If we only go 50 years back in time, computers did not even exist. A family only need one computer, but most families today have three or four, one computer for each family member! A smartphone can do almost the same as a computer today, so if everyone in the family has one, they do not need a computer. The co2 would go down a lot if we only change this.

Sunniva R Norway
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