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Now it's time for action!

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Now it’s time for action!

Moderated by Géraldine Fauville
This is an open discussion forum associated with the International Student Carbon Footprint Challenge (ISCFC).

All of you have calculated your emissions and you have surely discovered the unexpectedly high impact of some of your behaviors (eating meat, flying to a sunny destination, etc.) on your total footprints.
Are there any behaviors that you are really willing to change or to improve for the sake of the environment? What challenges do you encounter or think you will encounter while trying to change these things? What help, support, and insights from others would make your life easier with these new behaviors? Let’s discuss these issues and make our pledges here!
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Discussions Discussion Now it’s time for action!
Sean Harrison, Oct. 18, 2013

I believe this immense carbon footprint millions of us have is not a local problem, but rather a very unnoticed future international crisis. While people are beginning to realize the problem, and are beginning to conserve resources and gas fortunately, the vast majority of the human population continues to waste, pollute, and destroy the Earth. All the current method’s of educating the public, and going solar I think are a drop in the bucket. We need real change, and extreme measures. Sure we all live lavishly and luxuriously with no danger hardly ever. Is it worth a terrible Earth and future for our children and grandchildren and even future generations? Will they look back at us as the selfish infantile monsters that caused this mess? I think the risk’s too big too ignore, our lives are very insignificant in the longevity of the planet and human species. I want REAL action.

I want governments flexing their muscles, and humanity as a majority, not a small portion to severely alter our embellished way of life. I would trade some of my freedom, to help guarantee a clean earth for the future. What if it was mandatory for all vehicles to get 50mpg or you’d go to prison. It would sure cause a lot of chaos, but in the end it would force change, it’d get attention and would bring change. I don’t want governments to go full communist but I would like to see an individuals right to waste be diminished, and some freedoms limited in the cause of our future.

Is this idea necessarily good or will it just cause extreme outrage? I appreciate everyone who try to reuse, recycle, and protect the environment but its time to accept that, unless extreme change is made soon, all of everyone’s efforts will be a waste because climate change WILL happen with current trends and the results will be DEVASTATING to life on this precious world.

So please, encourage your family, neighbors and government to step up and cause the change.

Sean Harrison
Comments (5)
  • Scarlett Mijatovich Scarlett Mijatovich Oct. 20, 2013
    Hi Sean, I'm Scarlett. I am actually very intrigued by your ideas on how to reduce the world as a population's carbon footprint. I love your idea of having the government take charge because I also believe that they need to do so in order for us to see a significant change.
    You mention how we would all love to live luxurious lives, and I think that even if we went to extreme measures to save the world, we would still be able to achieve such lifestyles. Though things would be very different with all of the changes that you would put into effect, our planet would stay clean which I think is the definition of luxury.
    It is up to us to form good habits that will be passed on through the next generations and we need to start now. Joining organizations and even creating organizations that help to clean the world can only help. It's time to spread the word that we're killing our planet and MAKE people listen! One way to do this is to set examples ourselves in our daily lives by living 'green' and 'organic' lives. Be a leader! Lead the clean-environment-movement for this generation so we can make an impact!!
    Overall I love your enthusiasm and completely agree with your solutions! Thanks Sean for opening my eyes to even bigger ideas than I had thought of before!!
    -Scarlett
  • John F John F Oct. 25, 2013
    I like what you are saying and i agree that a serious change needs to happen, but the consequence of living in a developed nation is that we produce huge amounts of carbon waste. We are currently working on ways to change that but at our current rate i think it will be to late. i think it needs to become a personal reason for people to change their lives. here is where the big changes will be made with how the everyday person leads their life. i don't think it is the governments job to force people to live under strict rules, but i believe they could be doing more to convince the people to change and they could also could put more funding into research into to cleaner energy. I agree that we need to look at the big picture of things and need to live more responsibly but how do you convince everyone to do this?
  • Andrea C-US Andrea C-US Feb. 26, 2014
    I agree with your proposition to an extent I do believe change is needed for our world to continue existing the way it is now. I do not agree that governments should strong-arm us into change; this is not the way to get people motivated to make the earth a better place. Instead it would cause chaos and revolt against the government, which no one wants because people could get hurt. I think the government should give incentives for trying to make the earth a better place. Incentives would make people want to help clean the earth; some of these incentives could be raising the amount that you get from turning in recycling cans and other items that are recycled. Also the government could make incentives to composting food that we do not use. This would hopefully motivate communities around the world to recycle and try to reduce some of the world’s carbon footprint.
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Discussions Discussion Now it’s time for action!
Alan A USA, Oct. 14, 2013

Hello, my name is Alan, I like most of us who have taken this carbon footprint challenge were shocked by my results. Even though my carbon footprint was lower than the American average, my family and I still account for American’s huge amount of carbon emission. You try not to look at yourself and say I am one of the main reasons why our country creates so much emissions. We try to blame it all on big oil and car companies but as people of the world we need to realize even if you are create emissions below your countries average you are still part of the problem. Yes, it’s great if someone doesn’t create the average amount in their country. Every little bit helps but how will you help your neighbor who you creates huge amount of carbon emission.

If we really want to tackle our problem of carbon emissions in the world. We need to educate student/ the future with stuff like the carbon footprint challenge. But on a larger scale make it a requirement to all students so no one in our future will go without seeing the how much carbon emission they create an how they can stop this problem. If we make this change then more of our youth will see a gas guzzler and see a major contributor to carbon emissions and not an awesome car to ride around town. Which could lead to more people buying fuel efficient cars helping one of the major contributors of carbon emission in transportation. Which was my biggest contributor because I have to drive 15 minutes a day to baseball. If everyone says how much carbon they create our world might see a huge drop in carbon emissions.

Alan A USA
Comments (2)
  • Vincent S-USA Vincent S-USA Oct. 17, 2013
    Agreed, Alan. My carbon footprint was much lower than the average American, but when I looked at the world average, I was above their average by quite a bit. While it is nice to be able to say “I'm not polluting as much as the other people in my country!”, it is important to remember that on a global scale, we still pollute more than most people, and in order to change that, we'll have to change the way we live. As for the driving to sports and such, that is something that is hard to change, because I personally know how important sports are to me. I also completely agree that if people only knew how much carbon they were producing, it would make them more aware of how much they are polluting, and changes they can make to lower that.
  • Caoimhe Gallahue Caoimhe Gallahue Oct. 20, 2013
    I totally agree! Educating the public about carbon emissions is the first step in reducing carbon footprints. It is important for you to know your impact on the world as well as your country's impact so you can take steps to help yourself as well as your community. After taking part in the Carbon Footprint Challenge, I feel as if it is my duty to take action and lower my carbon footprint. As Vincent said above, if the public is more aware of how much carbon they are producing, they will feel more likley to take action and reduce carbon emissions.

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Ximing X-USA, Oct. 13, 2013

According to Frank Murray Jr, the president and chief executive of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, 29 percent of all energy is used by residential houses. Things such as living lights in empty room would cause a huge waste on electricity. Therefore, we will have to save energy by start correcting our daily habits.
First energy-saving strategy is to turn off electronics that are not in use, such as TV or DVD player. We could always use remote to turn off electronics so we need not to crawl around on the floor. And we should also have a quick scan before we leave our room. Second, we should control temperatures. For example, a home water heater should not be higher than 120 degrees. And a refrigerator should be set around 35 to 38 degrees and a freezer at 0. Refrigerator consumes the most energy of all electronics in our home, so we should do everything that can reduce cost of energy of refrigerator. For instance, cleaning the condenser coils of dust and grime could reduce energy. Another example would be to wash clothes with cold water instead of warmer water. Lighting has been a source of energy waste for long time. People should use Energy-saving LED to replace incandescent bulbs. After finding all the flaws, we should then focus on improving our homes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/realestate/reducing-your-carbon-footprint.html
Ximing X-USA
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Celeste D-USA, Oct. 8, 2013

I am glad to have done the carbon footprint challenge. This has made me more aware of the unnecessary use of energy and more importantly, realize and figure out what I can do to improve it. Transportation is one thing I need to change. My parents drive me to and from school and to after-school events. Carpool as everybody is saying, is an alternative. Another option is to stay at school and wait for the after-school events before being picked up. Number of lights used and length of time is another. I can probably loosen some of the bulbs to just get adequate lighting and not forget to turn them off when done using them. This seems to be just common sense to do but is easily overlooked. Keeping the TV or radio on even though I am doing something else is another. It is hard not to watch TV every day. At least I should watch only when I am not busy doing something else (if the pile of homework still allows me to). Having said all these things, I think the hardest thing is to initiate action.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/ways-to-reduce-carbon-footprint.html
Celeste D-USA
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Anna C-USA, Oct. 8, 2013

When I calculated my carbon footprint, I found that most of my carbon emissions were in my home category, more specifically, lighting. My house has a total of 75 light bulbs, 74 incandescent and only 1 CFL. Due to the lack of energy saving lights and my busy life at home with a big family, our light bulbs are surely on and using lots of energy every day. (For more information on my thoughts about CFL versus incandescent lights, see this post I made in the Student Footprints discussion – http://einztein.com/user/anna-costantini-c-usa/post/f24a2afc-2eba-11e3-aa73-fefdadfff0d1/) I want to take action and decrease the amount of light usage I cause daily. I plan on doing that by making sure to turn off lights whenever I leave a room and turning off lights that I see aren’t being used. This, of course, is easier said than done. With leaving the room and not turning out the lights and walking past an unnecessarily lit room without a second thought being common habits, it will be most likely difficult to remember to take a second to flip off the switch. However, this problem can be easily solved. I will leave bright sticky notes (maybe with a few words or a picture to remind me) on the light switches nearest to doors in the rooms of my house. By doing this, I can increase my chances of remembering to turn the lights off as I leave. The sticky notes will serve as a constant reminder in the corner of my eye as I walk by or exit that I need to evaluate whether that light is being useful at the moment or not. These notes might also help to remind my family remembers and friends to help in my efforts, too. I also think that the shocking facts I have learned about how important reducing our carbon footprint really is will serve as a reminder in the back of my mind, because they truly are frightening. My school does something very similar to my idea. All around the halls, there are brightly colored signs that read “STOP! Can that be recycled?” Students are always conscious of their disposal of trash due to these signs serving as a constant reminder to be green whenever possible. Using little reminders like signs or sticky notes can help both you and your community reduce your carbon footprints in a simple and cheap way.

Anna C-USA
Comments (1)
  • Cara D-USA Cara D-USA Oct. 9, 2013
    Anna, I love the idea to use sticky notes on the light switches. I am the worst about remembering to turn off the lights after leaving a room, and often, by accident, I end up leaving them on almost all day. I am often a very forgetful person, and this idea will really help to remind me to turn my lights off.

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Cara D-USA, Oct. 7, 2013

The Clean Air Act is an act that many environmental groups including the NRDC are supporting. It is a national campaign that will help to prevent children from being exposed to pollution for all of their lives. The EPA implemented the Clean Air Act. They are the reason that, since 1980, our air has over 92% less pollution in it. Also, by being enacted, the clean air act, between 1970 and 1990 has prevented “205,000 premature deaths, 21,000 cases of heart disease, and 843,000 asthma attacks.” This information is according to http://www.nrdc.org/air/cleanairact/?gclid=CLCFnqTQgroCFa1FMgodrS4AHQ.
The Clean Air Act is just one way our society is making an attempt to keep our environment clean. We should engage in activities often that prevent our environment from having a depleted ozone layer and that keep our air clean.

Cara D-USA
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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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Marcus B, May 6, 2013

Join Now It’s time for action! (disscusion) it is interesting

Marcus B
Comments (2)
  • Jason Hodin Jason Hodin May 6, 2013
    I agree, Marcus. But why are you interested? What actions are you committing to take?
  • Marcus B Marcus B May 8, 2013
    I am interested because I believe that we as a “developed country” have been affecting the Earths atmoshpere at an extremely large rate and as we develop more technology it just gets worse and worse, even though most of my friends find this topic irrelevant it has been on my mind for some time now. The actions i am willing to take would be ones involving the foods why I choose to ingest on a daily basis also I realize that the amount that I travel really can be minimized because it does really affect our planet even if it is small. Everyone can make a difference …

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Pam Miller, May 3, 2013

I’ve been listening to a book on tape that offered a simple suggestion to making some of the changes we would like to make. The author John Izzo suggests that we write a change that we would like to make on a card that we always carry in a pocket. Each time we look at that card, it will remind us of that goal. What is a change you would like to make? Would it help you to write that on a reminder card?

Pam Miller
Comments (2)
  • Nikolina Šestak Nikolina Šestak May 4, 2013
    Hello. My name is Nikolina and I'm from Croatia.
    I think that is a brilliant idea. In that way, people would always have that by themselves and it would remind them that they should make a step forward, a step which would contribute to a specific issue we are facing.
    The change I would like to make is related to the climate change. I think that this is one of the biggest issues nowadays and we can not change it over the night.
    I think people must be informed that their activities such as burning of coal, oil, and natural gas, as well as deforestation and various agricultural and industrial practices have a really serious inpact on our planet and that those activities should be reduced as much as possible.
  • Marcus B Marcus B May 6, 2013
    This is a very interesting ordeal and i agree with it completely

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Fatima Andrade, March 14, 2013

my name is Fatima Andrade. I am a student in Oakland High School in Mr. Reinhartd’s class. I think that people need to be aware of how much harm they are doing to the environment. if every one knew how much their way of life affected the environment maybe they would be more considerate. It can be as easy as not riding your car every day and to just walk to school or to work, to turn off your tv for two more hours than usual. The change can be some simple and can help the environment so much.

Fatima Andrade
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