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Stepping Lightly: Strategies for Eliminating the Carbon Footprint

Author: Cici Zhang

Editor: Peggy Yang and Kyra Wang

Artist: Acey Li

The severe effects of climate change have brought concern to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses as the primary contributors to this worldwide disaster. The amount of greenhouse gasses that people emit, directly or indirectly, is called carbon footprint. Addressing the carbon footprint left behind by these emissions is essential to reducing the risks it may bring to future generations. This article discusses the importance of minimizing the carbon footprint and several steps local governments take to fight climate change and create a sustainable future

Using renewable energy sources, like switching from fossil fuels to more renewable energy sources, is the primary way to reduce carbon footprint. Using clean energy sources such as hydroelectric, solar, and wind power can dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Energy Information Administration, only 12% of the energy consumption out of the total 97.33 quadrillion Btu of energy in 2021 is renewable. This change should be applied to several industries, such as transportation, where alternatives like electric cars and sustainable aviation fuels can lessen dependency on fossil fuels.

Transforming Transportation is a significant source of carbon emissions. The Congressional Budget Office stated, “The transportation sector accounts for 38% of energy-related emissions in the United States in 2021- the largest share of such emissions of any sector of the economy." Communities may encourage people to choose greener alternatives and lessen the number of private automobiles on the road by investing in public transit networks, extending their reach, and promoting their use. Adopting electric vehicles and encouraging the construction of associated infrastructure will also help to reduce carbon emissions.

Adopting Sustainable Practices: Reducing single-use plastics, encouraging recycling, reusing materials, and minimizing trash are vital sustainable activities that significantly lower carbon emissions. Reforestation projects, preserving threatened ecosystems, and adopting eco-friendly practices all help restore environmental balance and lower carbon footprints.

Educating people and spreading awareness are two foundations of the campaign that can help us against climate change. The key to bringing about beneficial changes is to increase awareness of the necessity of lowering carbon emissions, educate people about the effects of climate change on them, their communities, and their businesses, and offer them valuable tools to motivate them to take action. Knowledge increases people's sense of responsibility and encourages them to make ethical decisions.

Everyone should actively participate in reducing the carbon footprint, and this includes individuals, communities, and governments. We can take essential steps toward a cleaner and more resilient planet by switching to renewable energy sources, embracing sustainable practices, changing transportation systems, and increasing awareness through education. We can solve the climate issue and build a sustainable future for future generations by working together.

 

Citations:

“Emissions of Carbon Dioxide in the Transportation Sector.” Congressional Budget Office, 13

December 2022, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/58861. Accessed 28 June 2023.

“U.S. energy facts explained - consumption and production - U.S. Energy Information

Administration.” EIA, https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/us-energy-facts/. Accessed

28 June 2023.

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