Green House Gases Emissions!

What YOU can and need to do:

YOU read the title of this hub and YOU came to check it out; that means YOU have taken a step closer towards what we all need to do in the near future.

It seems that Greenhouse Gases Emissions, Carbon footprints, Carbon Offsetting, Global Warming, Pollution and all the other aspects of the dangers to our Eco-environment are finally getting some of attention throughout all of the arms of the media. Unfortunately not all people are on board yet and many are getting tired of hearing about what they call 'Doomsday predictions'.

 

What Are Greenhouse Gases?

The way I understand it: the earths atmosphere is made up of a chemical cocktail and this medley acts similarly to the glass of a greenhouse. It lets the sunrays enter right through the atmosphere all the way down to the earth surface from where some of the heat gets reflected back up into space. Some of this heat (dare I say it) is not as hot as it was when it burnt through coming down. This heat gets trapped in the chemical gases of the atmosphere which are also known as the “greenhouse gasses” . This trapped heat the cause of what we are referring to when we say Global warming. If we were going to try to identify or name some of these major gases they would be Water Vapour, Methane, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrites oxide and what ever is contained in our Industrial Smog. Some of these gases like the water vapour are in fact a natural occurrence and a result of the continuous happening of the water cycle. Unfortunately the combo of the industrial gases are exclusively a cause of human error and disregard of our surroundings.


Even though it is the building block of life water is the resource that's taken for granted the most.
Even though it is the building block of life water is the resource that's taken for granted the most.

When hearing carbon footprints most everyone automatically thinks of car fumes, travel by planes, trucking every type of equipment and products back and forth on our highways, fuel for powering all of our homes, factories and schools etc. However there seems to be one aspect that we always take for granted and that is our footprints on our water systems.

Yah, I know I know, we can't walk on water so how could we be leaving footprints...well it's what we are doing to our soil, our air that is leeching into the water systems--into our lakes, rivers, oceans and underground reservoirs and that is what is leaving GIANT sized 'carbon footprints' worldwide and that is what needs to be corrected most urgently.

WE--all of us living in the developed parts of the world seem to take this most vital resource in our stride without giving it much of a thought. We open a tap and out comes hot or cold water, some extra purified, some pushed through a tank of salts to remove minerals and such to 'soften' it. Heaven forbid, we might shower in hard water or have spots on our glasses as they come out of the dishwasher. There are millions of gallons of chlorinated water sitting in swimming pools. To have safe clean water the sewage plants worldwide have to pump chemicals into the water systems every minute of every day. Unfortunately the remaining sludge eventually reenters the eco-system including all the chemical residues.

Don't get me wrong I'm spoiled enough too, to have two showers a day in my perfectly clean Well water so I'm really not suggesting that we should use untreated water and such but there are many ways we can save and become 'carbon offsetters' instead but we'll get into that a little later.

Oceans
Oceans
Rivers and Streams
Rivers and Streams
Lakes and Ponds
Lakes and Ponds

Where does water come from?

Water comes from either underground or surface water supplies. Groundwater is found in between soil particles and cracks in underground rocks. These underground water collecting areas of soil and rock are called aquifers. These are the sources for springs and wells. Actually almost two thirds of the worlds water shed comes from these underground origins which also makes the remaining third of groundwater supply one of our most valuable resource.

Obviously water found in ponds, lakes, oceans, streams and rivers are surface water however both of these water sources are interconnected to each other and therefore if one water source becomes contaminated chances are that the contaminant will find its way to the other watersource also sooner or later.


The Water Cycle!

I'm sure everyone will remember this from school but here is a quick refresher on the endless circulation of water. This water cycle which goes from atmosphere to earth and back to atmosphere is called the hydro-logic cycle.

The different stages of the water cycle are: Precipitation, Evaporation, Infiltration, Recharge, Transpiration, Condensation and Surface Runoff.

Precipitation- clouds become heavy with droplets of water then fall to earth in the forms of rain, snow, hail or sleet all depending on the air temps. Some of the precipitation evaporates even before it reaches earth, some water is taken up by plants and is transpired (plants giving off water vapour, similar to evaporation). Some of the water which falls onto the soil runs over the surface of land and becomes surface-run-off flowing into nearby lakes, streams and rivers or some might seep into the ground through porous soil and cracks in rocks, also called infiltration and recharges the aquifers, more will evaporate and thus reenter the cycle. As the vapour rises into the atmosphere it cools and condenses. When water vapour condenses it turns back into a liquid and at that point the water droplets start to collect together forming clouds...thus starting the whole cycle again.


I had to add the water cycle just as a reminder that no-matter what our life style might be we can negatively affect our environment. What we do today leaves residues for the generations to come and why it is important that the water cycle be included into our thinking when we discuss leaving our 'Carbon Footprints' and when we try to work on 'Carbon Offsetting'.

Let me explain just one of these stages of contamination. As the water cycle circulates it 'travels' through the atmosphere it picks up particles of pollutants which then fall down onto the earth, into the lakes, rivers, streams and oceans. The soil and rocks etc act as a filter but the influx of more and more of these unavoidable chemicals and pollutants that have been collecting up in the soil over the industrial era are meeting up with the chemicals that WE are pouring into the soil under the disguise of fertilizers, weed killers, bug larvae killers and many many more that I can't even think of. I'm sure you know what comes next. Some of this chemical smorgasbord collected in the ground is diluted and finds its way from the aquifers into our surface waters where its affecting all life within from the smallest microbial elements up.

We do not have to be chemistry professors or environmentalists to understand that there is only so much that our old planet can absorb, clean and swallow. Eventually it gets to be too much. Like a sponge when it's saturated it can take up no more.

I honestly believe that we're at the beginning of the end if we do not change our ways. This is not a Hell and Brimstone speech its just a concerned citizen of the world trying to use logic to understand and to spread the word.

 

What we can do to protect our water source!

Obviously we all want to safeguard access to clean water for our families, our eco-systems and the economy so protecting and conserving the worlds water source is something that each of us has to take on and share some of the responsibility. The hard part to remember is that there is NO NEW water entering the system. The water we have today has been circulating over and over and over again since the beginning of time. If we use more then what is availble in the cycle, we will run out eventually.

Water is for a cool drink, swimming and boating on our favorite lakes and rivers. We fish, we water our livestock, crops, lawns and gardens and of course wash our cars etc however there is always a concern especially in the hot season about the quality and quantity.

If we're using water near a drinking water well or a drinking water intake zone of a lake, we need to be extra careful with what we do and spray and pour onto the land and water. This is especially important to prevent any type of contamination. We also need to be aware of overuse of this precious resource.

Protecting and Conserving Water:

  • Look for and repair water leaks in and around the house in pipes and taps.
  • Install water efficient shower-heads, taps that have water saving aerators and low-flow toilets.
  • Shut water off while brushing teeth, also limit the lengths of the showers.
  • Install water efficient appliances (washing machines & dishwashers) and only run them when they're filled.
  • Use a lidded rain barrel to collect water for use in the garden and on the lawn. Also remember to join the downspout of the eaves-troughs to it.
  • Mow the lawn on a high setting so it doesn't dry out as fast and as much, and only water at night when it's really needed.
  • Do not use chemical weed killers, bug repellents and fertilizers in gardens and on lawns. ( use herbal and natural products instead if you really must, and look into using companion planting for weed and bug control).
  • Do not use the drains to dispose of paint, cleaners, pesticides and medical prescriptions etc. Most areas, municipalities and communities have household hazardous waste dates.
  • Do not use toxic cleaning supplies, read the labels as most of those cleaners are tied to global warming issues.
  • Do not spill fuel or oil onto the ground when filling gas tanks of cars, tractors, lawnmowers, snowmobiles and boats etc.
  • Make sure to get private well water checked regularly.
  • Make sure to get the septic systems checked and pumped regularly.
  • Check out 'Xeriscape' landscaping practices (uses water-conserving techniques for gardens and lawns).
  • Decommission unused wells properly as these can become pollutant pathways to the underground watersheds.


I'm an avid environmental activist and am so glad that I found CarbonAdviceGroup.com because I now will be able to put my voice online too and point out that we all need to do our bit to reduce the Greenhouse Gases Emissions on all levels. We need to work on saving the many CARBON FOOTPRINTS we're 'causing' to our earths water and atmosphere and we need to work on the CARBON OFFSETTING program etc. to drastically reduce the damage of the past and yet to come.

As I always say many small savings eventually amass to a big. Here is how it works: if you add polluting greenhouse gases emissions to the atmosphere, you can purchase 'Carbon Offsets' thus effectively subtracting some of your carbon footprints. Carbon offsets are simply credits for emission reductions achieved by projects such as wind farms, solar installations, energy efficiency retrofits or simply by planting trees in any corner of the world. You can purchase these credits and use them to reduce your impact to the climate.



We can all do this!

It's easy to set up a carbon-offsetting program for yourself, it just takes a few simple steps. Once you've started to offset your own emissions, encourage your family and friends to come on board too. Purchasing 'Carbon Offsets' are even a great gift idea for weddings and such. You could also start to support businesses that offer 'Carbon Offset' products or services and let them know that that is one of the reasons why you support them. Obviously reducing energy use has to be the first priority but purchasing carbon offsets is one way to encourage the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy, and show our support for action on climate change.

In addition the lifestyles in Asia and Africa are slowly coming on-line with the rest of the developed world. Along with their improved lifestyles will come higher emissions, therefore it is getting more and more important that we in the developed western countries lead the way and minimise our footprints.

If we all work together on this it will slow down the averse effects and possibly halt any more damage and maybe with time our planet might just have a chance of healing itself.



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Comments 29 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

jayb23, Water is our most important commodity and we all just seem to forget how important it is to protect it.

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


jayb23 profile image

jayb23 5 years ago from India

Amazing hub Zsuzsy...I know so many people who just don't realize how lucky they are when they drink clean water and still waste so much water. Keep up the good work.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

nicomp, how well you put it... I'm afraid that the limit has come and gone already

regards Zsuzsy


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

"We do not have to be chemistry professors or environmentalists to understand that there is only so much that our old planet can absorb, clean and swallow. Eventually it gets to be too much. Like a sponge when it's saturated it can take up no more."

But we do have to be chemistry professors to understand where that limit might be, yes?


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you Apeksha for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


apeksha profile image

apeksha 7 years ago from India.

Ultiamte hub I like this hub...I am going to read it again...


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Haunty! Thanks for taking a look and for commenting. I really am concerned about the mess our earth is in and hope that it is not too late to cure the wrong we have done.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Haunty profile image

Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

I'm deeply concerned with this topic and glad that you wrote this hub. The sad thing is years ago there was a lot of talk about the greenhouse effect and global warming and now we moved on to climate change. I guess it's already the next level. I wonder what kind of Earth do we leave behind for our kids to live in.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Peggy! Water is our most important commodity and we all just seem to forget how important it is to protect it.

regards Zsuzsy


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Great hub about something really important to everyone on this planet. Thumbs up and you have a new fan.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Packerpack Thanks for coming for a visit and for commenting. I have been into saving the environment even before it's been out in the open. I'm always glad to hear of another person who shares my concerns.

Kindest regards Zsuzsy


packerpack profile image

packerpack 7 years ago from India, Calcutta

It is a very good and important Hub. I am very very impressed. It is very important to have people like you around who by writing about these important problems, are bringing these problem to light and hence are doing their bit to the environment. And yes I too am very concerned about it. I too contribute from my end.

Feels proud to be your fan!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks Patty I was really shocked to have won. Other then a scratch ticket I've never ever won anything before. I take it as a good joojoo for great things to happen in 2009.

Glad you popped in hope you're doing fine stay warm regards Zsuzsy


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America

Congratulations for winning the contest! One person CAN make a difference and you have done it.

Cheers!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you CGull always glad when you have a chance to come for a visit. I often wonder how many people actually realize that the amount of water we have now is it and no chance to get more... We poison our resource and that's that no more to be had

regards Zsuzsy


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

I wish everyone read this, next to God we need water for our survival. Like you said everything we do is going to impact the future, only callous people will ignore it.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks Sally! Glad you came by. I live in the country so I'm on a good well. I can control what I put into the lawn and garden but I can't control what the guy up the road does or the factories 3km over and that to me sucks. How do I know that some idiot is not going to contaminate the water table that feeds into the well here...

Everything we do to our eco-system affects all of us. Unfortunately there are quite a individuals out there that do not believe that the actions of one can make a difference. That is what we need to get accross to all...

Thanks for taking a look kindest regards Zsuzsy


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Another thing we don't think much about, in terms of carbon footprints and water, is the energy consumed by the municipal water purification and treatment plants that give us clean water to drink and remove waste water safely and efficiently. No matter how these plants are powered (unless by wind or sun), they leave a big carbon footprint. Something as simple as not running water while brushing teeth, or limiting the amount of times you flush a toilet during the day, or opting for an efficient dishwasher as opposed to washing dishes by hand, when practiced religiously, can have a huge impact on making this municipal footprint smaller.

Sometimes it's hard to see how one person's actions can make a difference, but, as you point out so well, they can. Last year's cost of gas at the pump is a good example. As the price of gas rose, individuals drove less, to the point where even after gas prices came down, overall gas consumption was significantly lower than what it had been the year before. Why? Individual people changed their practices and made those practices new habits.

Excellent Hub for encouraging water management awareness. Thumbs up and good luck in the contest!


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Good for you. Ya, that kind of gardening has been used for many years. It works, I think it's cheaper and the food is certainly better tasting. Recently it's really been catching on.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Every garden I've ever worked has always been organic just using the companion planting method for weed and bug control that my Gramps thought me many years ago. I was recycling when it wasn't yet a fashionable thing. I'm into herbalism for prevention etc So on a small scale I've been doing my bit. I would love to see everyone get involved... hopefully we're not too late as you said. zs


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I hope it's not too late. Gore worked for many years to try to bring about the current awareness - while Bush's cronies used their considerable resources to squash it. It's like a ray of most-welcomed light to hear Obama talk about natural resources and alternative fuels.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

C.W. Thanks for taking a look and for the tips on lawn mowing.And you're absolutely right that awareness is key. In this day and age there almost is no chance of not having heard of the necessary steps for repair and prevention.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Good for you, Zsuzsy. There's a lot of little things everyone can do which makes a very big difference. The key seems to be awareness.

Mowing tip: Using a mulching mower, or mulching blades on a current mower, gives a lawn natural weed & feed every time it's mowed, I did a detailed write-up on mulching blades in my "Cool Stuff" hub.

http://hubpages.com/style/Cool-Stuff-List


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Funride thanks for taking a look I think we all went at the issue from different angles which an issue as enormeous as global warming etc. needs anyway.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Suzanne I actually had a segment set aside for bottled water but then it got lost in the shuffle. Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


funride profile image

funride 7 years ago from Portugal

Great hub Zsuzsy, you have made it very difficult to beat (:running back to his hub to make some improvements:) LOL.

Water it´s indeed the most precious thing on Earth and we all should defend it :)


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

Good job! The only thing missing is the Brita Pitcher! Down with bottled water I say!

Evian Spelled Backward is Naive

http://hubpages.com/health/Evian-Spelled-Backward-...

:)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Christoph! I just finished the dishes and was planning on reading hubs all night. You beat me to it. Thanks for taking a look. I'm off now to read yours.

regards Zsuzsy


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Nicely done, Zsuzsy! Water is such a precious resource, it does need to be taken care of. After all, all life depends on it. Thanks!

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