Archive | February, 2012

Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. Practical ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint.

22 Feb

Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. Practical ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint.

This month, which we should be celebrating the Love Month, our Site Director offers a different kind of twist … instead of the usual color for February which is red, we go green. Why? He introduced a site-wide campaign and tagged it as “Go Green in 2012!”. With this campaign, everybody is welcome to share their thoughts and suggestions on how to reduce carbon footprint. Well, everybody is inclined to join the contest. Why?

English: The carbon footprint.

That is because you will not only be helping mother earth its burden but also for a couple of iPod Touch to be given away!  Kewl isn’t it? Suggestions will be judged based on the following criteria: Practical application, cost reduction impact, carbon footprint reduction impact and ingenuity.  

What is “Carbon Footprint” by the way?

Well, your carbon footprint is a representation of the effect you have on the climate in terms of the total amount of greenhouse gases you produce (measured in units of carbon dioxide). It is actually the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that you had on your day-to-day activities. If you still remember your elementary days, in its simpliest representation, as you inhale oxygen into your body, you exhale a comparable amount of carbon dioxide. What does that mean? That means, whether you like it or not, you will give out carbon dioxide.

Everyone has a responsibility to reduce their individual carbon footprint, and there are lots of ways to do so. As my share, I will give out some practical ways to reduce carbon footprint. 

Say NO to Styro. Though some of us have found benefits of using styrofoams especially for us night folks who tend to stir a cup of coffee in order to keep us awake, very few might be aware of those harmful effects to our body, especially to the environment. First, let us know what are styros and what does it do. Styrofoam is made from polystyrene. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic. Polystyrene is a light-weight material with very good insulation properties and is used in all types of products from cups that keep your beverages hot or cold to packaging material that keep your computers safe during shipping. That is the reason why it gained popularity and are widely used. Why it is not recommended for everyday use? Well, for those who are exposed regularly with styros, some of the acute health effects experienced include irritation of the skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal effects. Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system showing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, and weakness, and can cause minor effects on kidney function and blood. And why it is bad for the environment, well, basically, Styrofoam appears to last forever, almost! So, the next time you bump into the canteen and have a cup of coffee, give yourself and the environment a break, bring your mug with you and just “Say NO to styro!”.

To print or not to print. For Team Managers who are mostly doing the printing jobs, think twice and ask yourself “to print or not to print” before you click on that print icon. And before printing, make sure that you print only those important ones and for “business” purposes only. You can help reduce carbon emissions one is by using less electricity while printing, second emissions related to processing the papers that you use to print and third is the printer cartridge.

Drive my car. As popularized by The Beattles, you too can help reduce carbon footprint by using this phrase. Instead of driving your car everyday, why not take the shuttle. This will have a lot of advantages for you. First, you will help save energy, which is good for the environment and with your purse of course. Second, you can mingle with your peers while you are traveling, as oppose to only you while driving. And most importantly, you can take a nap while enjoying the ride. Well, if you really wanna drive your car, and wish you gonna be a star, then you can atleast use it alternately, say 3 times as week, depending on how you would like to use it.

Monitor off. When you step away from your desk or pod, especially on break times, make it a habit  to turn off the monitor. Try to calculate how much energy you can save by turning off the monitor for a 30-minute break, add another 30 minutes and another 15-minute break and multiply it by let’s say 400 users a day. That’s a lot isn’t it?

Grow your own. If you have a garden or even a small piece of land on your backyard, you can grow your own vegetables, trees and other green-leafy plants. Imagine each person grows 1 each and how would it help reducing carbon emissions. Did you know that a single tree can absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime? So start digging and planting some of them now, you may save some for you and the whole community. Just make sure to use plenty of manure and natural pesticides.

Save Water. Did you know that by 2025, major cities of the Philippines like Manila will experience massive water shortages? Well, that’s a fact and we should act now before its too late.

Be an influence to others. One of the things that you should be doing to help is to become a role model. If you are already doing these things, take an initiative to share information about recycling, energy conservation and reducing carbon footprint with your friends, neighbors and co-workers. And make sure to practice what you preach.

These are just simple and practical ways for us to help mother earth from its burden. Practice a sustainable and a healthy lifestyle. A sustainable lifestyle is one that does not use more natural resources at a faster rate than the earth makes available. That means, we should make wise decisions about our environment and always try to find ways to recycle whenever possible. We should all be aiming towards a more sustainable lifestyle  and say “Go Green in 2012!”.