Good, Better, Best: Shopping for Natural Fibers

October 5, 2021 by  
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The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions. That means it… The post Good, Better, Best: Shopping for Natural Fibers appeared first on Earth911.

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Good, Better, Best: Shopping for Natural Fibers

We Earthlings: Reduce Food Waste, Reduce Carbon Footprint

October 5, 2021 by  
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The average American wastes approximately 400 pounds of food each year. Reducing that amount by… The post We Earthlings: Reduce Food Waste, Reduce Carbon Footprint appeared first on Earth911.

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We Earthlings: Reduce Food Waste, Reduce Carbon Footprint

How many trees are needed to offset a city’s carbon emissions?

August 26, 2021 by  
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Trees are nature’s lungs. While we enjoy their beauty, shade and fruits of their existence, they are silently working to clean the air. The natural process of all plants taking in carbon and releasing oxygen not only gives us clean air to breathe but also stores carbon that otherwise contributes to global warming . Countries around the world are in a race to find solutions for these types of greenhouse gases, which are a result of human activities like driving cars and manufacturing goods. While the push for electric vehicles and renewable energy through  solar panels , wind power and hydroelectricity takes the spotlight, another part of the solution equation is growing all around us in the form of trees. Related: Three Americans’ lifetime emissions enough to kill one person The simple fact is, planting trees is an exceptional tool in the fight against climate change. With this in mind,  Compare The Market  has presented its most recent research on the number of trees capital cities around the world would need to plant annually to offset the carbon emissions they contribute to the atmosphere. The study is based on information available through the Global Carbon Atlas Global City Emissions dataset, which measures emissions levels. While major cities work to reverse, slow down and stop the creation of these carbon emissions, what is the estimated number of trees it would take to counterbalance them? Which countries are the highest contributors and which have the lowest  environmental  impact? According to the data, Asia has some work to do. Five of the ten top carbon-emitting capital cities are in Asia. Note that for comparative purposes, the dataset measures transport, industrial,  waste  and local power plants emissions within city boundaries. The report combined data to show the total amount of carbon produced alongside the number of trees it would take to offset it. For example, the five cities in Asia, which include Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul, release a combined 219,506,539 tCO2 annually. The cities would have to plant 43,901,308 trees each year to offset those emissions. Individually, Beijing would need to plant 15,020,976 trees, followed by Singapore with 9,366,336 and Hong Kong with 8,975,292. Tokyo needs a 5,522,200-plant offset and Seoul 5,016,504. Other cities in the top 10 were Istanbul, Lagos, Santiago, London and Mexico City.  An energy spokesperson at Compare The Market comments, “Becoming carbon neutral is an essential goal for countries around the world, and as pledges roll in to reach this target by 2050 and beyond, immediate action is needed. One way we have studied is to offset emissions by planting trees which is great for absorbing CO2, with added benefits of supporting the ecosystem and  wildlife .” The tree offset calculation is based on information sourced from Carbonify.com’s carbon dioxide emissions calculator. The estimates are based on the assumption that five  trees  planted can clean up each ton of carbon dioxide produced.  The study stated, “A tree planted in the humid tropics absorbs on average 50 pounds (22 kg) of carbon dioxide annually over 40 years – each tree will absorb 1 ton of CO2 over its lifetime; but as trees grow, they compete for resources and some may die or be destroyed – not all will achieve their full carbon sequestration potential.” On the other end of the data spectrum are the countries performing better in the battle of low carbon emissions. For these results, a few substitutions were made in the face of missing data. Toronto, Milan and Basel were substituted to include Canada, Italy and Switzerland in the study. Reykjavik, Iceland was the least carbon-emitting capital in the study with total emissions of 346,630 tCO2 per year. The city would still have some work to do, planting 69,326 trees annually to offset its footprint. Of all the cities in the study, Reykjavik was the only one to come in below the 500,000 tCO2-produced mark. Even though nearly 70,000 is still a lot of trees, it was also the only city to have an estimate below 100,000 trees per year to offset carbon emissions. New Zealand took second place for carbon control with annual emissions of 621,179 tCO2. For Wellington to neutralize this, it will have to plant 124,236 trees a year. Basel, Switzerland, had the third-lowest number to plant at 156,786 trees to offset its 783,932 tCO2 footprint. Every other city in the study came in at over 200,000 trees a year. The study provides one tool in an array of options to reduce carbon release. Planting trees alone isn’t a sustainable solution, but neither is focusing solely on renewable energy or  recycling . To achieve goals set by world leaders, it will take a combination of actions across a range of environmental fields.  “The number of trees required may seem very high in cities like Beijing which would need to plant over 15 million trees, but this is if we only used plant power alone. There are many other initiatives and technologies in place, like the government incentives, which present lots of opportunities to offset carbon emissions on a small and large scale,” the spokesman said. + Compare The Market Images via Pixabay

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U.S. infrastructure bill lays foundation for carbon management economy

August 19, 2021 by  
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The bipartisan infrastructure bill lays the groundwork for new economic opportunities based on capturing and sequestering carbon emissions.

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U.S. infrastructure bill lays foundation for carbon management economy

Refrigerants explained: How supermarket fridges can help the planet stay cool

August 19, 2021 by  
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How coops could power rural economic development with renewables

August 19, 2021 by  
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Remote communities could benefit from incentives to help electric co-ops replace coal plants.

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How coops could power rural economic development with renewables

Spanish farmers fight forest fires with agroforestry

August 19, 2021 by  
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Livestock such as sheep and cattle that graze among trees offers a solution to dry wildfire-prone regions.

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Spanish farmers fight forest fires with agroforestry

Want to get serious on net zero? Look to the startups

August 9, 2021 by  
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Startups are helping legacy brands address their carbon emissions at scale.

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Want to get serious on net zero? Look to the startups

Top 3 Misconceptions About Carbon Emissions

August 2, 2021 by  
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According to climate scientists, we have the best chance of avoiding a 2 degrees Celsius… The post Top 3 Misconceptions About Carbon Emissions appeared first on Earth911.

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The Amazon rainforest now emits more carbon than it absorbs

July 15, 2021 by  
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A recent  study  in Nature shows that the Amazon rainforest is now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs. For the first time, scientists have confirmed that despite once being the largest carbon sink in the world, the rainforest has turned into a pollutant due to high rates of deforestation. According to the study, approximately a billion tonnes of carbon are emitted by the forest each year. The study has identified forest fires as one of the major causes of emissions . Most of the fires are deliberately started to clear forest land for beef and soy farming. With most of the world’s soy supply produced in Brazil, conservationists are calling for a global conversation over the status of the Amazon. Related: Facebook Marketplace fuels illegal sales of land in the Amazon rainforest Researchers used small planes to measure the levels of CO2 over the Amazon, up to 4,500 meters above the canopy. The study started in 2010 and ran until 2018. Previous studies were conducted via satellite images, which were less accurate.  The research was lead and co-authored by Luciana Gatti of the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil . While commenting on the findings, Gatti said that deforestation alone is turning the forest into a carbon emitter. Even in regions with no forest fires, researchers found that carbon emissions were higher than carbon absorption in areas where deforestation was severe. “The first very bad news is that forest burning produces around three times more CO2 than the forest absorbs. The second bad news is that the places where deforestation is 30% or more show carbon emissions 10 times higher than where deforestation is lower than 20%,” said Gatti. Researchers were involved in checking over 600 verticle profiles of CO2 and carbon monoxide. The study found that fires alone produced 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 a year, while forest growth only removes approximately half a billion tonnes of CO2 per year. As The Guardian reports, “the 1bn tonnes left in the atmosphere is equivalent to the annual emissions of Japan, the world’s fifth-biggest polluter.” Professor Simon Lewis of University College London has praised the study, saying, “Flying every two weeks and keeping consistent laboratory measurements for nine years is an amazing feat.” In light of this news, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been scrutinized for driving deforestation by supporting farmers to take land in the forest. If this continues, some countries in Europe are threatening to block an EU trade deal with Brazil. Via The Guardian Lead image via Pexels

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