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My Carbon Footprint: An Action Plan September 7, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 09 SOSE 2007.
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The ways in which we produce carbon emissions (and make our footprint bigger) aren’t always obvious. The following link might help us start thinking about the various ways we can help tackle climate change:

http://www.abc.net.au/science/planetslayer/tiyl.htm

As we can see, it’s not merely driving cars or flying planes that can produce carbon emissions. Buying a piece of fruit that was grown in a different state can also harm the environment. It’s always much better for the environment if you buy products that were made locally.

6-emissions.jpg

For example, buying a shoe that was made in another country might produce carbon emissions in the following way:

Production of raw materials (rubber, plastic etc)
Transport of raw materials to factory (road, air travel)
Electricity used in the factories in which shoes are assembled
Production of shoe packaging
Transport of shoe to another country
The plastic bag you use to bring the shoes home from the shops

TASK:
1) Make a list of (at least) ten ways in which you are contributing to the size of your carbon footprint
2) Start constructing an action plan. How can you personally make changes in your lifestyle that will reduce the size of your carbon footprint? To do this your will need to look at the ways in which you are contributing carbon emissions and think about possible alternatives.

This link may help: Ten Reader’s Ways to cut your carbon footprint

Ways in which Mr Bartlett contributes to carbon emissions:
Air Travel. I travelled overseas in the last 12 months and fly interstate at least once a year.
Internet Shopping. I purchase a wide range of products over the internet, from a number of different countries. Not only does the production of these goods produce carbon emissions, but having the goods flown to my doorstep worsens the size of my footprint.
My Computer. I leave my computer on all the time, which is supposed to be better for the computer, but it does use a lot of energy.
My shoes. I wear shoes that were made in Vietnam in conditions that are known not to be particularly environmentally friendly. On the plus side, they have no leather components. Meat and leather products are a major cause of greenhouse emissions.

In coming up with an action plan, you should try to address each of the following categories:

# Transport
# Water heating
# Electronics
# Standby Power
# Other appliances
# Clothes washing & drying
# Home heating & cooling
# Building and renovating
# Cooking
# Refrigerators & freezers
# HFCs
# Lighting
# Food, Garden, Packaging and Materials

How can you deal with each of these points in your own life?

For more details on each, go to the site below:
http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/gwci/index.html

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