Know Your Carbon Footprint
Have you been reading and thinking about the challenges we face as a global human population? Perhaps the heat this summer was enough to get your attention. The Earth Stewards Team at Home Church has formed and is meeting regularly.
The goal and mission of this group of Home Church members is to identify ways we as a church family can live out our faith in a way that is best for the earth, community and the world. We hope to do this by encouraging and educating ourselves and others about sustainable personal and corporate lifestyle choices.
This month we’ve decided to start by encouraging everyone to educate themselves about their carbon footprint. The carbon footprint is a measure of the impact of lifestyle on the amount of carbon added to the global load by each individual. This is pertinent because global warming is caused by carbon based human activities and our choices matter, especially in the face of rising world population.
Global warming decreases biodiversity, causes rising sea levels, intensifies extreme weather events and threats to human health through intense heat waves, stimulates increased spread of disease and contributes to the degradation of air quality.
Knowing what your carbon footprint is and how that compares to the world and your fellow Americans is a good place to start the process of making a difference for future generations. Try one or all of the links below to calculate your approximate carbon footprint. These links will be made available from the church website as well.
Recent data suggests that the average American adds 17.5 metric tons of carbon annually to the atmosphere*. This puts our country at number 12 on the list with most of the more polluting 11 countries being significant oil producing nations. Contrast this 17.5 metric tons with the United Kingdom whose average citizen adds just 8.5 metric tons per person per year to the atmosphere. Our brothers and sisters in Tanzania come in at nation number 209 with just 0.1 metric tons of carbon per person per year added to our air.
There is room for improvement in our daily lives. Let’s get started! We’ll go after the low hanging fruit first. Watch this space monthly for simple, inexpensive ideas on how to save your planet and your pocketbook at the same time!
Submitted by Helen Bushnell Beets for Earth Stewards Team, November 2012