Active On Earth Logo

HomeCarbon FootprintAlternative EnergyBatteries And EnvironmentEnvironmentally Friendly ProductsElectronic RecyclingRecycled Paper
Ethanol Earth Friendly ShoppingEarth Friendly LivingVideoLinks

Environmentally Friendly Products – Reversing the Causes and Effects of Global Warming

It’s a fact that the average temperature of the oceans and the air near the surface of the Earth increased over the 20th century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects it will continue to rise and that the increase is due primarily to human activity, specifically burning of fossil fuels and rapid deforestation. More than 40 scientific organizations throughout all of the major industrialized nations have endorsed the IPCC findings and agree that we must convert to the use of environmentally friendly products as quickly and completely as possible to have a positive impact on this very real threat.

The dangers of global warming are more serious than the potential extinction of polar bears. The effects will be felt everywhere on Earth, not just in areas where glaciers are melting. As the global temperature rises, so do sea levels, which in turn affect precipitation patterns. Additional moisture in the air means higher-than-normal amounts of rain and snow fall which can lead to flooding and harsh winter snow storms, such as was experienced in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. in early 2010. Non-environmentally friendly products such as aerosols and emissions from fossil fuels are major contributors to this.

Global warming is attributed primarily to the greenhouse effect, meaning that when greenhouse gasses, primarily water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and ozone, are trapped in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. This layer of trapped gas does not allow heat from the Earth’s surface to dissipate into space and actually radiates it back. It’s comparable to a human wearing a plastic suit for running. It will not only keep his body from cooling itself, it will also make his body temperature higher by regenerating the heat against his skin. Environmentally friendly products do not contribute to the levels of carbon dioxide, methane and ozone.

As human consumption of fossil fuels, which are not environmentally friendly products, increased, so did the level of carbon dioxide emissions. These fuels include coal, petroleum, natural gas and kerosene, as well as cement production. The increase in emissions can be directly correlated to the Industrial Revolution beginning in 1850 with a sharp increase starting around 1950. Coal was the leading producer of emissions until petroleum took over around 1970. From 1850 to 2000, carbon emissions rose from zero to 6,500 million metric tons per year. Similar increases were seen for emissions of methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) -12 and CFC-11.

Over half of all greenhouse gas emissions can be directly attributed to three main sources: Power stations, which accounts for over 21 percent; Industrial processes, nearly 17 percent; and Transportation fuels at 14 percent. Agricultural byproducts are the next largest contributor at over 12 percent, followed by fossil fuel processing, residential sources, land use and biomass burning, and waste disposal and treatment. Transitioning to environmentally friendly products at home, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs and biodegradable materials could have an immediate impact on nearly every source of emissions through a reduced demand for electricity and more efficient waste disposal.

Carbon dioxide represents nearly three-fourths of all greenhouse gases and is the one most closely tracked. Current studies estimate the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as 380 parts per million (ppm), rising approximately 2-3 ppm each year. Experts predict catastrophic environmental changes if that level reaches 450 ppm, which at the current rate would occur within 25 to 30 years. The overwhelming majority of carbon dioxide emissions come from power stations, industrial processes and transportation fuels. Individuals often feel powerless against such massive change instead of realizing that switching to environmentally friendly products can quickly make a difference.

Change begins one person at a time with simple steps everyone can take to protect the earth from the devastating effects of global warming, beginning with these three words: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Purchase products made from environmentally friendly products and materials, such as corn-based resin vs. petroleum-based plastic packaging. Don’t just throw things away when you’re done but instead find productive ways to reuse them, and if you can’t, recycle them. Plastic water bottles, which use 17 million barrels of oil a year to produce, account for one-fourth of all landfill mass as only 30 percent of them are recycled.

Simple steps to include environmentally friendly products can have a significant effect on global warming. Adjusting your thermostat just two degrees can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,000 pounds each year and curtailing your use of hot water can save another 500 pounds. Reducing the amount of material you throw away by just 10 percent can reduce them by 1,200 pounds. Cut your household waste in half and you’ll save 2,400 pounds. If every family in the U.S. replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gasses would be eliminated, the equivalent of 7.5 million cars!

List Price $19.99
Our Price: $7.99
You save $12.00
Not a TripleClicks Member? Learn more about the many benefits HERE.