The carbon emissions produced by your home sweet home

BuzzOnEarth is an online publication on environmental sustainability and human wellness, focused on creating positive impact. BoE aims to bridge the knowledge gap and act as a catalyst in accelerating sustainable development.

Introduction

According to figures from the Natural Resources Defense Council, 25% of energy is used to heat rooms, 13% is used to heat water, 11% is used for cooling, and the rest is spent on appliances in the average American home. You can imagine the amount of carbon emissions and harmful gases that these household items are producing. The daily activities of individuals are having an adverse impact on the environment. Our individual household energy usage accounts for more than a quarter (26%) of our carbon footprint, which is the term used to characterise the amount of greenhouse gases released into the environment as a result of human activities. While you might think that it is a very insignificant amount but it actually worsens the condition of the planet earth. Everything that you do-consume, wear or drive, all contribute to total carbon emissions. Household use, which includes food, lodging, transportation, clothing, and other personal services, contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. We therefore need to cut down on our daily activities that are causing the increase in these gases.

Let’s pledge this world environment day to contribute in reducing the carbon footprint by making some simple changes that can protect our planet. 

carbon emissions

What household items produce carbon emissions?

While this environment day 2021, we cannot go out and contribute our part. We can still help the environment by staying home and reduce such activities that cause carbon emissions and increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s have a look at the list of everyday activities we do at our homes that have significantly contributed to large carbon emissions.

  1. Every day, one billion hours of YouTube videos are viewed around the world. Despite the fact that Google (which owns YouTube) is completely fuelled by renewable energy, viewing videos still produces pollution on the viewers’ end due to the energy consumed by network devices, servers, and end-user devices. The estimates say that the energy used by YouTube emitted 10 million metric tonnes of CO2-equivalent gases globally in 2016, the equivalent of two million passenger cars’ emissions for a year. The information, communications, and technology (ICT) industry, which provides internet, video, voice, and other cloud services, emits more than 830 million tonnes of CO2. With Netflix and other streaming services now available on the internet, it is expected that internet use will continue to rise.
  2. Refrigerators use refrigerants such as HCFC and CFC, which are extremely harmful to the atmosphere, especially the ozone layer. As public awareness of the ozone layer’s depletion grows, businesses have begun to use HFC – 134a, a form of refrigerant that claims not to deplete the ozone layer. Besides the adverse effects of these gases, the majority of the refrigerant’s components end up in landfills until its existence is over. Many refrigerators, as you might have found, are made of plastic, which eventually ends up in landfills and poses a threat.
  3. This seems to be a win-win situation for all of our vegan mates. Most people think about reducing meat intake while trying to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. However, have you ever considered cheese? According to a recent study conducted by Oxford University researchers and the Swiss agricultural research centre, cheese is the fourth-worst source of carbon emissions among protein-rich foods, trailing only beef, lamb, and sea creatures. The bulk of these pollutants happen during the manufacturing process. A 1.5-ounce serving of cheese contains about 16 ounces of carbon dioxide.
  4. Since glass bottles are heavier than aluminium or plastic bottles, they contain more transportation emissions. Glass has a higher carbon footprint than plastic or aluminium containers. This is because most Glass Furnaces are never shut off, running at temperatures of up to 2,800°F and releasing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur oxides. 
  5. The energy used to heat and cool your home is either electricity or natural gas.  much of the electricity is produced by burning coal or oil, which releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Your air conditioner also contains coolants that, if released into the air into the atmosphere, contribute significantly to global warming and, depending on the age of the device, may also deplete the ozone layer.
  6. Lights account for a large portion of your household’s energy use. Removing incandescent light bulbs in your five most commonly used light fixtures with energy-efficient CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) will save you money while also helping to mitigate climate change.
  7. When garbage is disposed of in a landfill, it decomposes, releasing greenhouse gases such as methane. Sorting your garbage and reducing total garbage output in your home will help your family add less waste to landfills. All suitable materials should be reused and recycled, as recycling decreases total energy consumption in the manufacturing process.
  1. The 30 million plastic bags used in the United States per year are expected to use 12 million barrels of oil. As a result, carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere rise. It doesn’t end there, though. Plastic bags often end up in landfills or in our oceans, disrupting ecosystems. Each year, 100,000 marine animals are expected to die from suffocation or ingesting bags. 
  2. We all know how annoying it is to get junk mail and how quickly we discard it. However, did you know that every year, 100 million trees are cut down to create 100 billion pieces of junk mail? Per household receives approximately 848 pieces of junk mail. When they are discarded, they emit 51 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases. Again a major reason for production of carbon emissions.
  3. According to the report, electricity use resulted in the highest household carbon footprints across all socioeconomic classes, ranging from 26% in low-expenditure households to 36% in high-expenditure households. Due to India’s dependence on coal-fired power plants, electricity is the most significant source of carbon emissions: Coal generates 74% of India’s electricity and is responsible for one-third of the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Conclusion

Every Indian has a carbon footprint of 0.56 tonne per year, with the poor having a carbon footprint of 0.19 tonne per capita and the wealthy having a carbon footprint of 1.32 tonne per capita. India’s emissions are ranked third in the world, accounting for 2.46 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, or 6.8% of total global emissions. However, India’s per capita carbon emissions are still low, at 1.84 tonnes, compared to the US’s 16 tonnes. According to a report that integrates household expenditure data from the National Sample Survey Organization’s 2013 survey with data on the entire supply chain, food and electricity are the two areas of spending that account for the majority of emissions in India across socioeconomic classes.

Buzzoneath’s earth festival is the virtual way of celebrating the planet this environment day 2021

This world environment day let’s celebrate the environment with buzzonearth’s earth festival. The one-month long festival will be a month where we will be talking about the environment and its concerns. New innovations in the field will be discussed. The role of women counterparts in sustainability will give an idea of how common people can work towards making the planet a better place. Topics like the future of green buildings post covid, ecological restoration, circular economy, etc will be touched upon. The month will bring in a lot of information and the latest happenings in the environment. So, let’s go virtual this year by celebrating world environment day with buzzonearth. Besides Carbon Emissions, Read More Concreting Sustainability through Carbon Reduction

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