Environmental issues 2022
- Calculate your carbon footprint using this online calculator. Once done, add to your document screenshots of:
Results’ tab (the rows below “Your Carbon Footprint”)
2) Secondary footprint tab (rows below “Total Secondary Footprint )
Based on the numbers you see, what are the areas of your life where the biggest reductions in carbon output could be made? Are these actions/changes entirely dependent on your personal decisions and choices, or have more to do with governmental policy, regulations and action? For example, here you can see how some individual acts like turning down heat by 1oC affect overall carbon missions – is it realistic to rely on personal efforts like this in bringing global average carbon footprint below 2.1 tons of CO2eq? Please use actual numbers and be specific.
I think if we analyze my total secondary footprint, which is now in total of 2.34 tonnes, the biggest reduction I could make is in the “Food and drink products for a low meat eater”, which is 1.3 tonnes. I do not eat red meat more than few times a month but I I do eat chicken and fish almost weekly. I could don´t know could I consume less of them but I know I could pay more attention to eating all of the food and not waste it. Furthermore, I could and should reduce my footprint on the “Clothes, textiles and shoes” category, and I am making a conscious effort to reduce it. Sometimes I am ashamed of it and I do know how it effects to the world and my wallet. These two are the categories that are completely dependent on my own actions.
I think my consumption is not that big in the “Hotels, restaurants etc.” and “Recreational, cultural and sporting activities” that are in total 100€/per month and total they are 0.39 tonnes. These are things that I consider very important for an example to my mental health, so I am not really ready to reduce at least the spending on sporting activities (in my case going to the gym and running equipment’s). And well the cost of my insurance is sort of out of my hands, so these are not dependent on my own actions.
The five different actions that are on the website, are at least in my opinion very easily achievable. The website states that hanging out your clothes and textiles after washing will save around 153kg CO2 per year. Two other saving actions considering water consumption are spending less time in the shower which can save up to 23kg CO2, and if one is using a kettle just filling it to the point you know you are going to use the water. It could save up to 72kg CO2. One of these is, in my opinion very essential and important also for safety, is to turn off electricity if you are not using those equipment’s and to take a charger (whether it’s your phone charger or computer) off the wall. I know this one is not easy to remember or even some people don’t think that at all.
Although they are super easily to achieve, I do not think all of these should be on the shoulders of individuals, but actions and possible policies regarding this should be presented from our governments. And I have seen things happen nowadays because all cost are going up and they are telling people how they could reduce cost and emissions.
Now when the electric cost have risen to clouds it´s important to stay on track how and where to use it. Europe’s power costs have been pushed through the roof by a supply crunch in natural gas, the risk of military conflict in Ukraine and bottlenecks for renewable energy. Utilities and big companies buy and sell power years in advance, relying heavily on forecasts about the economy and long-term fuel costs. The broader European power market has traditionally been focused on the price for the following day, with auctions supplying a day-ahead price functioning as the benchmark. Traders submit bids and offers for each hour based on their calculations of supply and demand, and then an average price is calculated by the exchange handling that market. Consumer prices are set by state regulators after utilities request rate changes based on how much they’ve paid for wholesale power, transmission investments and overall upkeep of their grids. Nowadays power companies do not make short term contracts any more because it´s not good for the company. They try to make temporary contracts because it´s not easy to predict the price of power.
Reduced Food Waste
This is probably one of the biggest issues in every households.
The focuse on reducing food waste in all different stages from production to consumption. Globally about 30-40% of all food produced is being wasted in the supply chain. In addition to wasting food, the energy and all resources that were used to produce, process, package and transport the food, it all goes to waste.
There are different options to how we can reduce food waste. Improving storage, handling and transport infrastructure in lower-income countries is crucial. Then, in higher-income areas, major action is needed at the retail and consumer levels. By setting national food loss targets and specific policies could help tackling the problem.
If 50-75% of food waste is reduced by 2050, it means that from 13.6 to 26 gigatons of CO2 could be prevented altogether. Reducing food waste would also affect deforestation and prevent gigatons of additional emissions, which makes its impact even bigger.
It takes small steps to reducec food waste. Here are some easy steps what everyone can do in their everyday life.
- Plan your meals. Instead of buying whatever is left on the shelves, try to buy only what you eat, and eat what you buy.
- Organize your fridge for success, when it looks good it´s easier to do good
- Learn some new cooking skills and try something new, because when you have left overs you can be creative and try to cook them instead of throwing them away.
- Start composting. Everyone can do that.
Sources: https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/reduced-food-waste https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/reduced-food-waste/technical-summary