How do sustainable resources reduce pollution?

Millie HennickJuly 24, 20187930


How do sustainable resources reduce pollution?

Renewable and sustainable energy resources can help lighten our ecological footprint. When combined with reduced energy usage, pollution is decreased significantly. Many of the actions we take on a daily basis can be measured by their carbon footprint. As our power usage increases, so does our environmental impact. Homes, automobiles, and possessions all contribute to this impact by using energy, most of which is produced by burning fossil fuels.

What Is a Carbon Footprint?

A carbon footprint is a measurement of the amount of greenhouse gases produced by the activities in your daily life. The principal source of greenhouse gas is burning fossil fuels. That includes the gas in your car and the coal burned at your power plant. Scientists have concluded that humans are producing more greenhouse gases than ever before. These gases trap heat in our atmosphere, causing our planet to warm up and changing our climate. Your carbon footprint, therefore, measures the amount of potential impact your daily life has on the environment. By reducing the amount of greenhouse gases produced by your lifestyle, you can reduce your footprint and help slow climate change on Earth.

What Are Sustainable Resources?

These are resources that can be used indefinitely without ever running out. For example, wood can be used to build structures or burned for fuel, and trees can be replanted to replenish the supply of wood. Sunlight does not need to be replaced --- as long as the sun shines, we can make use of solar energy. Solar, wind, water and geothermal energy do not emit any greenhouse gases and provide steady sources of energy, which make them integral to reduce greenhouse emissions.  Materials such as wood or ethanol are sustainable resources as well, however they emit greenhouse gases when burned.

How to Use Renewables

Many of our daily activities depend on electricity, and most electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. Most power plants create electricity by burning coal or natural gas. Switching to renewable energy can be a challenge, but it is possible. Contact your utility company to ask about buying green power. Many utilities can sell you energy produced using sustainable methods, including solar and wind energy, through your existing power lines.  If you are planning to buy or build a new home, consider one built with sustainable materials including recycled wood or other "green" technologies. Decking, floors and even insulation can be made from recycled wood and plastics. Some new houses include solar panels for lighting, heat, and cooling.

Other Considerations

Sustainable resources can reduce your carbon footprint, but you can also help by changing some of your lifestyle choices. For example, you might sell your gasoline-powered car and buy an electric hybrid --- or you could save gas by carpooling to work and telecommuting when possible. But by far the most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint is to install solar panels on your roof. Weatherproofing your house and changing the light bulbs and appliances to energy efficient versions reduce the amount of energy your household requires. In the final analysis, the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is through a combination of energy consciousness and sustainable resources.

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