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What can be Done to Reduce CO2 Emissions?

Daniel Liden
Updated May 16, 2024
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Around the world, people generate tremendous amounts of CO2, which many scientists believe to be a major factor in global warming. Producing energy to power the many devices and processes people use on a daily basis uses great quantities of CO2. Fossil fuels are burned to generate the heat and energy for most buildings, and this burning releases much CO2 into the atmosphere. If the scientists are correct, people must reduce CO2 emissions in any way that they can to slow or reverse this process that could be causing widespread global warming. There are many things that people can do in their homes, on the road, and out in the world to reduce CO2 emissions and work toward a better, cleaner atmosphere.

People can take many steps at home to reduce energy consumption and, consequently, to reduce CO2 emissions. One simple step is to replace simple incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs(CFL). A CFL uses about 60% less energy than a normal incandescent light. Depending on use, this can equal several hundred pounds of CO2 not being released into the atmosphere each year. Another simple way to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions at home is to unplug unused electronics, as they draw energy even when powered down and not in use.

Even changing one's diet can reduce CO2 emissions. Buying food locally is better than buying food that has traveled hundreds or thousands of miles, as a great deal of CO2 is released during the transportation process. Fresh foods are better than frozen foods because it takes a great deal of energy and, consequently, a great deal of CO2 to keep foods frozen. It is also good to avoid foods with excessive packaging, as such packaging becomes garbage that results in more CO2 in the atmosphere when it is disposed of.

Cars, trucks, airplanes, and other motorized vehicles are responsible for a significant percentage of the CO2 in the atmosphere. There are many ways to reduce CO2 emissions that can save money and the atmosphere. Carpooling or using public transportation cuts down on the number of cars on the road and, consequently, on the amount of CO2 that finds its way into the atmosphere. When one needs to travel only a short distance, he can get in shape, save money, and help the atmosphere by walking or biking instead of driving. When driving is necessary, one can make sure that his car is well-tuned as this improves energy efficiency and gas mileage.

It takes more than one person to reduce CO2 emissions. Those who are truly passionate about doing so can work to promote awareness of energy-saving methods. They can also write to congressmen and vote for those who have particularly green agendas. Those in managerial positions can encourage employees to use less energy in the workplace. All of these have the potential to greatly reduce CO2 emissions and, hopefully, slow the process of global warming.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Daniel Liden
By Daniel Liden , Former Writer
Daniel Liden, a talented writer with a passion for cutting-edge topics and data analysis, brings a unique perspective to his work. With a diverse academic background, he crafts compelling content on complex subjects, showcasing his ability to effectively communicate intricate ideas. He is skilled at understanding and connecting with target audiences, making him a valuable contributor.

Discussion Comments

By Drentel — On Feb 16, 2015

@Laotionne - I have a friend who bought a diesel truck years ago. He really liked the truck until he saw all of the soot that the diesel engine left on his white truck. Diesel engines have changed since he bought that truck, but as a rule they can make a mess as compared to gas engines. Still, while they may leave your car dirtier, the average diesel engine does release fewer harmful emissions such as carbon dioxide emissions, so I guess they are less harmful to the environment.

By mobilian33 — On Feb 15, 2015

@Laotionne - First of all, no type of engine is good for the environment if you believe that carbon emissions are depleting the atmosphere and causing global warming and all of this other bad stuff that we are hearing about and reading about every time we turn around.

Cars are going to create some amount of pollution, and even with the hybrid cars of today, we haven't figured out the perfect way to power cars. If you are really concerned about the environment then take the bus or some other mass transit system. Also buy a bike for those short trips. I'm not saying don't buy a car, but consider using the vehicle as little as possible. You'll save money on fuel and help the environment at the same time.

By Laotionne — On Feb 15, 2015

I'm shopping to buy a new car. I really want a used car because that is more in my budget. I have noticed that I will be able to get more miles to a gallon of fuel if I purchase a car with a diesel engine instead of one with a gas burning engine. This is very important with the price of gas being as high as it is. Of course, diesel is high, but I think with the extra miles per gallon the diesel is the better choice in this area.

However, I do like to do what I can for the environment. The air is smoggy enough without be adding to the problem more than I have to by buying a car that releases more harmful emissions. Which is better for the environment, a diesel-burning vehicle or a gas-burning vehicle?

Daniel Liden

Daniel Liden

Former Writer

Daniel Liden, a talented writer with a passion for cutting-edge topics and data analysis, brings a unique perspective to...
Learn more
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