Hello Everybody, I am Jeevin from Oakland USA. I recently come across an extremely interesting proposal from the owners of the Beijing Subway. They have proposed to allow passengers the ability to pay their bills with plastic bottles. There are 4 machines in the underground of Shaoyaoju Jinsong that for each bottle that are placed into them, the person gets gets between .5 cents and 1.5 cents. If a person brings about 8 bottles, they will have enough money to travel 105 stations. This is just in the trial phase right now, but I believe that as it goes through a trial and error process, it will be extremely helpful in the future!
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I was looking and my carbon footprint and noticed that the category that was the second highest in terms of carbon emissions was the one about habits at home. Although it was below the American average, I think it’s still important to find new ways to reduce carbon emissions. I noticed that my family does not recycle very often. Although we do have a recycle bin, it’s not used any where near as often as the garbage bin is used. I know that recycling will help somewhat reduce my carbon footprint, but I want to try and go beyond that. Reusing items is actually more efficient than recycling. According to the EPA, the three R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle) actually hold ranks in terms of importance. Reduce and reuse are the most efficient ways to help the environment. My family does reuse some things. For example, we keep all plastic grocery bags to keep for later use. But I know that there are plenty of other things we could do.
Upcycling is a great way to reuse things. To upcycle something is to make productive use out of otherwise useless or discarded items. There are some great websites out there, such as Pinterest, that have great ideas about “Do It Yourself” upcycling.
Many people have old boxes, packaging or other items that seem useless but can actually turn out to be pretty handy if upcycled or reused. Finding a way to reuse items is so much more beneficial to the environment as opposed to just recycling them.
Hi my name is Maggie and I live in Texas. After doing my carbon footprint calendar I found that most of the light bulbs in my home are incandescent. I decided to switch the incandescent light bulbs out for CFL’s. Also, I will be more aware of when I leave rooms in my home and make sure I turn the lights out behind me.
I also will attach timers to the lights in my bedroom and living room, the lights that I use the most, to make sure I don’t use them more than the necessary amount of time.
Looking at my carbon footprint, I’ve determined that the smallest part of it comes from purchases.
One reason is that my family and I use reusable shopping bags when we buy groceries. We bring them into stores the majority of the time we go shopping and have been doing this for about a year now. In an earlier post, I read that you can save about 300 plastic bags in a year, so this is definitely a reason for the low amount of carbon I have from purchases.
Another reason may be that many of my clothes are hand-me-downs. I know most people like buying their own clothes and would never consider wearing something that once belonged to another person, but the manufacturing of just one sweatshirt or polo shirt can take about 3 kilograms of carbon. By taking just 5 hand-me-downs a year instead of shopping for brand-new clothes, you can save about 15 kilograms of carbon a year. The more you reuse clothes, the more carbon you can save. Even if you don’t want to wear old clothes, at least donate them or hand them down to others so that they can reduce their use of carbon. Also, another way to purchase less clothing is to swap with your friends; this way, you’ll all be wearing new clothes, and you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
I’ve noticed from my carbon footprint, that reusing and recycling was what i was best at. I learned that reusing and recycling is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, and make the world a better place. I think that in our society today, people are forgetting to reuse and recycle, causing much pollution in the world’s air and oceans. Too much carbon is not healthy for living organisms, and can even cause them to die. If everyone contributed in one way or the other to participate in reusing and recycling, then it can decrease a lot of the carbon produced by us. There are many ways to do this, some simple ways of recycling are: recycle all paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, electronics, clothing, and other recyclable products. There are also many different ways of reusing such as: reusing plastic bags as a lunch bag, using scratch paper for things that don’t require fresh paper, buying recycled paper, using environmental friendly products, drinking water in reusable water bottles instead of plastic bottles, making book covers out of paper bags, etc. If everyone doe at least one of these things (or others not mentioned), then the carbon footprint can easily be decreased.
Most people have reusable bags, but they don’t know what good it is to the environment. And some people who have reusable bags don’t even use them. People also think oh I will be “green” and use paper bag, but paper bags are just as bad a plastic bags. Paper bags come from trees and to make paper bags you have to cut down trees which is bad for the environment
Here are reasons why you should NOT use plastic bags. Plastic bags are not biodegradable, they can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Plastic bags can also get into the ocean very easily and cause harm to marine life. It is amazing how many plastic bags you can save by using a reusable bag. You can save 6 plastic bags a weeks, 24 bags a month, 288 bags a year, and over 22,000 a lifetime.
If one in five people in the USA used reusable bags you could save over 1.3 trillion bags in our lifetime.
I think that in today’s society, many items we use everyday we can reuse. Everyday, we use things that can re-used but do not know it. One example is printer paper. After it is used, many people with throw it away or even recycle it. A better way to help the environment could be to re-use the paper. It could be reused by simply flipping the sheet over and using the empty back side to print more on, or printing on both sides of the paper in the first place. Another way to reduce your paper use could be to buy the online/ e-reader version of a book instead of buying the paper version. By reducing the amount of paper we use, we can use less trees for our paper, and reduce the carbon emissions!
Here is a link with more information: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/living-green/living-green-citizen/reduce-reuse-recycle/reuse-it.html
In my opinion, it isn’t what we do with our plastic or paper when we are done with it that matters, really. The real problem is why we produce so many products that cannot be used again and again, or using resources that pollute our world. Now these sort of issues will not be resolved in the near future… so what we can do is use our knowledge and imagination to think outside of the box in order to reuse and reduce what we have and what we are going to use. Sites like this: http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/20-more-ways-to-reuse-old-plastic-paper-bags-10000001088458/index.html are great tools to use in order to manageably reduce our footprints in the long run. Creativity is our best tools as ever learning and adapting people.
I’m sure all of us have thrown away scraps of paper recently, whether it has been notebook paper, index cards, or copy paper. You may or may not know this, but you can actually make your own paper out of those scraps! I recently found a website that shows you a procedure to make your own paper. That’s pretty cool! I can take about 20,000 trees to make a Saturday edition of a big city newspaper, which is equivalent to more than a million trees a year! You can use the recycled paper to make things such as greeting cards or letters to write to your family. So before you go and spend money and waste trees on new paper, try to make your own!
While many of us know about the common things we can recycle (paper, plastic, glass), there are so many other things that we can recycle to reduce our carbon footprint.
Technology is a majorly controversial topic when looking at carbon emissions. Here on Einzstein, there is even a discussion group about whether technology is a want or a need. Many students have expressed that they believe upgrading to the newest technology is not a need based purchase and should be avoided. However, if you do upgrade your phone or device, you can still attempt to reduce your carbon footprint while doing so. Technology can be recycled, and in more ways than one! Many companies accept used devices, including Goodwill and Verizon (http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/splash/electronicdevicerecycling.jsp), so that when someone needs a new device, rather than purchasing a new one, they can have your used one. Technology that cannot be reused can also be recycled. These devices are either refurbished to be able to be used again, or recycled for their steel.
Recycling your clothes can help reduce your carbon footprint too. You can not only hand your clothes down to a sibling or even refurbish them for yourself, but donate them to places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, charities, or local thrift shops. According to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textile Assn, 45% of recycled clothes are sold to other countries, 30% are turned into cleaning rags, and 25% are turned into fibers for stuffing or insulation. Many clothing companies (including Levi, Gap, and Patagonia) use recycled clothes as well. Patagonia spokeswoman Jen Rapp says that recycling clothes, rather than making them from raw material, saves 72% in energy costs and 76% in CO2 emissions. Clothing recycling really can make a huge difference because the plastic that is used in textiles saves 57% of the energy used to make them from virgin materials, or about 1 ton of CO2 emissions for every ton that is recycled (according to the Natural Resources Defense Council). See the link attached to this post for more information on the opportunities and effects of recycling clothes.
So if buying less technology and clothes to reduce your carbon footprint is “off the table” for you, you can still help to reduce carbon emission even globally by recycling your old devices and apparel.
For more information on things you didn’t know you could recycle, see the link below.