Being Carbon Neutral — An Innovative Concept to Take Personal Responsibility of Our Actions

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Greenhouse gases are atmospheric gases that trap heat from the sun and warm the planet's surface. The process is known as "greenhouse effect" and is responsible for allowing earth to warm sufficiently to support life. Although the greenhouse effect is certainly a necessary and very essential part of our earth's environment if it is to sustain human life, too much of it and there is trouble. The higher the concentration of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the higher will be the Global Warming. Global warming, a gradual increase in planet-wide temperatures, is now well documented and accepted by scientists as a fact.

However the earth's climate has changed many times during the planet's history, with events ranging from ice ages to long periods of warmth; the current industrial development and human activities has accelerated the climate change and worsened the damage done to the environment. On Earth, human activities are changing the natural greenhouse effect. Many human activities are responsible for releasing much more greenhouse gases than the earth can possibly sustain. Over the last century the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric CO2. This happens because the coal or oil burning process combines carbon (C) with oxygen (O2) in the air to make CO2. Atmospheric CO2 has increased about 25 percent since the early 1 800s.

High levels of greenhouse gas emissions are resulting in global warming and climate change and this climate change is very likely having an impact now on our planet and its life. Besides resulting in more hot days, many scientists believe an increase in temperatures may lead to changes in precipitation and weather patterns. Global warming may also affect wildlife and species that cannot survive in warmer environments may become extinct. The effects of global warming are very large in number and still there are so many that are still to be found out.

Being carbon neutral is increasingly seen as good corporate or state social responsibility and a growing list of corporations and states are eager to take active part in this direction. Being carbon neutral, or carbon neutrality, refers to neutral (meaning zero) total carbon release, brought about by balancing the amount of carbon released with the amount sequestered or offset. This is an innovative concept which should be adopted by everyone who wants to take his/her personal responsibility for the consequences caused by his/her actions. Becoming carbon-neutral is not only about reducing emissions, but off-setting those that cannot be avoided.

Becoming carbon neutral

When an individual or an organization sets out to become carbon neutral it's usually achieved by combining the following three steps:

1. Limiting energy usage and emissions from transportation (walking, using bicycles or public transport, avoiding flying, using low-energy vehicles), as well as from buildings, equipment and processes.

2. Obtaining electricity from a renewable energy source

3. Offsetting the remaining emissions that can't for the moment be avoided or generated from renewable in a responsible carbon project, or by buying carbon credits.

Last but not least, becoming carbon neutral is not the end of the road, but it is a good start in attempting to halt or even reverse climate change and its effect on the Green Planet.

For more information about greenhouse gas emissions please visit: .

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Occupation: SEO
Brad Zockoll is a freelance writer/researcher who is also president of Zockoll Writer Inc. and Zockoll Productions. He has been researching and working with numerous corporations including two professional sports leagues. He has written nine novels and two non-fiction books. His latest work, Fluid Universe, is due out this summer.

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