Energy and Carbon Footprint
Energy Star is a program that is based on voluntary principles. The main aim of this program is to help business and people to save money, and this program does everything for protecting the climate owing to the surpassing energy efficiency (About Energy Star, n.d.). Sometimes, the consumers can see the labels of the Energy Star that are pasted on computers, TVs and other electrical apparatus. Energy Star invites all businessmen, investors and producers use efficient fluorescent lighting, LED traffic lights, low standby energy use and power management system (History of Energy Star, n.d.).
Standby power also is known as vampire power or phantom load. This power is used when the electric gauges are switched off. The examples of such power can be found in every house. Sometimes, people do not switch off the computers or laptops, and they switch their computers over sleep mode. In addition, televisions and some kitchen appliances, such as an electric tea kettle or microwave oven use electricity even if they are switched off. People all over the world have to think about electricity and get rid of this phenomenon. They must switch off all devices that they are not using at the moment. Maybe it will cause some inconveniences; however, it will help to save energy (Phantom Load, n.d.).
Nuclear power is the main resource of electricity in the world. My granny lives in Boston, and sometimes, I spend my holidays there. Plymouth is located about 40 miles south of my granny’s town. Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station is located there. From my perspective, nuclear power is not the best source of electricity. Nuclear stations are the big threat for all people. In the case of the explosion of the station, many people will be radioactive-contaminated. In addition, emissions from the nuclear stations are very harmful to the environment. Nuclear stations also can become a target of terrorist acts because their explosion can lead to very deplorable results. However, the nuclear power has its advantages. The nuclear stations produce a great amount of the energy that is necessary for large and small cities. In addition, it costs less than producing of wind or sun energy. The equipment for the wind power station is very expensive, and only some countries can afford it (Irvine, 2011). From my point of view, the next generations must live in the safety world, and their future depends on decisions that are taken today. Every country must be keen to use alternative sources of energy. It will save the Earth for all human beings.
Calculation of Carbon Footprint
The carbon footprint is the term, which is used for measuring the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), which is being missed by organizations, factories or people (Carbon Footprint, 2013). There are many sites that help people to calculate the carbon footprint. Such calculators help people to see their impact on the climate changes. I want to estimate my carbon footprint. At first, I used the following site http://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/. According to the calculator on this site, my estimated greenhouse gas emissions are 13 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year, which is below the U.S. national average (What’s My Carbon Footprint?, 2013). Then I used another site http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx.
According to the calculator on this site, my estimated greenhouse gas emissions are 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year (Carbon Footprint Calculator, 2013). The results of two calculators are very similar. They differ because of a range of questions. The second calculator needs more information than the first calculator. Both calculators needed information about the amount of electricity, gas, oil, wood that I use. In addition, the calculators need information about my location. Food, packages, cars, flights that I use during the year are also necessary. However, these calculators do not take into account all actions that contribute carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Gardening is a good instance. Decays of plants matter cause the emission of CO2. Every person can lower his/her carbon footprint. There are 10 things that help me to lower the carbon footprint.
- Packaging (I can buy products that wrapped minimum)
- Switching off all appliances that are not used
- Do not use the car very often (its emissions are very harmful)
- Controlling temperature in my apartment (do not use heat when the temperature is enough)
- Use water in bottles of multiple use (plastic is very harmful combination of the Earth)
- Use of cold water in the household (heating of the water is the process that needs much electricity)
- Use of compact fluorescent bulbs (it will save the electricity)
- Recycling most of the wastes (unrecycled wastes make damage to the environment during their decay)
- Use the washing machine or dishwashing machines when they will be fully loaded (it will lower the amount of use, and save energy)
- Reading books, newspapers and magazines online (it will reduce the use of trees for producing books, magazines, etc. Trees are the main filter that absorbs CO2)
All these changes are not very strict, and it can be easily implemented in my life. I will try to reduce my carbon footprint because it is easy to do, and it will save the Earth for the next generations.
Many scientists talk about the necessity of reducing the carbon footprint. However, it is not easy to do. Dr. Gutowski says about the researches that have been done by scientists. People have different carbon footprint. They say that homeless people have the lowest carbon footprint. They do not use electricity, great amount of water, etc. It is the main reason of such results. Sometimes, people can control their carbon footprint. Dr. Gutowski claims: “…we have a systems-level problem and we need a systems-level solution” (U.S. Carbon Footprint Difficult to Reduce, 2008). From my perspective, all measures that aimed at reducing the carbon footprint must be implemented at all levels of life. There are many instances of unnecessary use of electricity and heat in the towns. People must unite for the achieving positive results.