Daily Routines That Contribute to CO2 Emissions
The American household units contribute 49 metric tons of carbon dioxide contained in the atmosphere on an annual basis. This analysis was a report by the CoolClimate Network, a Berkeley consortium based at the University of California which has a proven experience of developing carbon footprint calculators for households and businesses. The big question remains what the human beings are doing as a daily routine to create such massive amounts of carbon. This paper is a detailed report of how as an individual, I make a regular contribution to the enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere through daily routines.
Using Private Vehicles for Transportation
A large population of the US chooses to drive to work with some of them covering a 30-mile round trip, and I am not an exception. For instance, in 2003, the US Department of Transportation reported that the citizens cover a distance of 7,800 commuting miles per year. For those who use cars that get 2 miles to the gallon per day, the carbon generation amounts to 4.3 metric tons (Kakouei et al. 2012). However, it is still possible to shrink this estimate, for example, through carpooling for at least thrice in a week thus saving 0.85 tons of carbon. Other advantages associated with carpooling include a reduction in the fuel expenses by $323 and the vehicle depreciation costs also go down drastically.
Consuming Steak at Large Scale
It is possible to consume 444 calories of red meat daily which equals to approximately one 8-ounce steak sirloin. The consequence of this consumption pattern is an annual contribution of meat-related carbon dioxide amounting to 0.8 metric tons (Aston et al. 2012). One ideal way or reducing this amount is substituting red meat products with vegetables, eggs, or white meat such as chicken and fillet.
Spending $100 on clothes in a month results in an annual release of 0.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The higher the expenditure, the higher the increase in the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. For instance, buying furniture worth $1000 every year results in a one-ton generation of carbon dioxide. Therefore, individuals should consider whether it is significant acquiring new goods.
Taking flights Over Short Distances
I prefer to use air transport when going to visit my relatives who live in another geographical area over the festive holidays such as Christmas. The distance between the two locations could be relatively short and not requiring flights, for instance, from California to Boston, which makes a 5,000-mile round trip. The amount of carbon dioxide generated by this airplane trip contributes 2.23 tons of carbon dioxide. However, it does not mean that people should avoid luxurious events that involve air flights such as company parties, but it is important to consider evading trips near home. As a result, it saves carbon in large amounts, for instance, covering 1,000 miles off the air saves 0.45 tons of CO2.
Drying Clothes in the Dryer
Following the busy schedules that characterize the lives of most Americans, I have embraced technology to make their lives easy. For example, I might be unavailable to clean my clothes and hang them outside to dry in the sun. As a result, I prefer washing during the night and dry my laundry in the dryer. Even though this procedure might sound convenient to myself and other users, it releases 0.1 metric tons of CO2 into the air (Kemp, 2011). It would thus be advisable to dry the clothes outside which in turn saves electricity expenses by $11.
Exercising in the Gym
In the modern day, people have become conscious of their body weight and are looking for every possible means to keep fit. As a result, gym facilities have become a frequent need in my life as well as the lives of many Americans. However, if I visit the gym for three days in a week and each time spend 30 minutes running on the treadmill, I increase the carbon dioxide release to 0.07 metric tons every year (Robergs & Kravitz, 1994). It would be better to do the exercises outside since it saves a lot of carbon dioxide.
The process of burning fossil fuels increases the amount of CO2 contained in the air. The quantities of CO2 released by coal is twice the levels released by petroleum. 85 percent of electricity consumed worldwide is as a result of burning fossil fuels. States such as India and China are on the highway to industrialization which in turn will bring about an increase in the number of coal-burning plants. The process of generating electricity in the US contributes CO2 emissions by 41 percent.
In conclusion, as a human being, I contribute to the increase of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through my daily activities. This includes the consumption of red meat on a large scale which results in 0.8metric tons of carbon. Purchasing new household items such as furniture either monthly or annually is another routine through which the amounts of carbon dioxide in the air increases thus resulting to global warming. Using flights to cover short distances can appear luxurious, though it generates 2.23 tons of CO2 for a 5,000-mile round trip.
Aston, L. M., Smith, J. N., & Powles, J. W. (2012). Impact of a reduced red and processed meat dietary pattern on disease risks and greenhouse gas emissions in the UK: a modelling study. BMJ open, 2(5), e001072.
Kemp, I. C. (2011). Fundamentals of energy analysis of dryers. Modern Drying Technology, 4, 1-46.
Kakouei, A., Vatani, A., & Idris, A. K. B. (2012). An estimation of traffic related CO 2 emissions from motor vehicles in the capital city of, Iran. Iranian journal of environmental health science & engineering, 9(1), 1.
Robergs, R. A., & Kravitz, L. (1994). Making Sense of Calorie-burning Claims. Idea Today, 12(8), 27-34.