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The measure of carbon dioxide gas emitted into the atmosphere through household daily activities is termed as carbon footprint. Over the years, carbon footprint has grown rapidly. Human activities in various households have a significant impact on energy consumptions. High levels of energy consumption have contributed to deterioration of the environment (Muthu, 2014). Therefore, it is crucial to compare annual household carbon dioxide emissions, explain their impact to the environment, and highlight ways of minimizing such emissions.
Household Annual Carbon Dioxide Emissions
The table below shows personal household CO2
emissions data collected compared to average United States household emissions annually.
Emissions Rate(lbs) (personal data)
Rate after Planned actions
USA annual CO2
emission Rate (lbs)
The results tabulated above shows an example of CO2
emissions of my personal household in the United States amounting to 20,258 lbs. When compared to the national average, it is noted to be less than the U.S average of 22,777. In the personal data, three emission sources were taken into account. Firstly, home energy was considered comprising of food consumption and electricity powered appliances. The reason for including the source is because most household in United States uses equipment that uses power energy. In addition, food as a component of home energy was noted to contribute to the CO2
emission value. Although transport is not a basic need, it’s an essential commodity that a household in United States requires. Placement of the source is because on average, more than half of the households in the United States significantly contribute to CO2 emission through gasoline fuel of cars. Compared to other factors, waste is the least emitting source in the household.
There are several impacts of CO2 emission on the environment. The first one is global warming in which the increasing amount of CO2 in the planet causes the atmospheric temperatures to increase since it traps heat in the atmosphere and prevents it from escaping. In turn, global warming creates a harmful effect in the environment in different ways such as, increased melting of ice, rise in sea levels, desertification, and occurrences of extreme weather such as stronger storms and hurricanes (Franchetti & Apul, 2013). Usually, polar ice stores large volumes of CO2 and hence, melting of the ice leads to an increased CO2 emission rate from them. Desertification often implies that a large tract of arable land is rendered useless hence, reducing the food supply to the world’s growing population. At the same time, too much CO2 in the air causes smog which negatively affects both animals and plants. In humans, smog causes breathing complications and sometimes leads to premature cardiopulmonary deaths. In addition, too much CO2 causes the depletion of the ozone layer. The effect is that harmful sunlight radiations enter the atmosphere causing increased cases of heat waves and skin burns.
In my local environment (within 50 miles), I have noticed several impacts of increased CO2 emission on the environment. Firstly, I noticed that the streams and swamps which used to be full of water run dry for most of the year. This is attributed to desertification caused by global warming. At the same time, I observed that many of the people suffer from respiratory complications due to emission of massive volumes of CO2
from a nearby factory. However, these two issues have since been taken up by the local environment management authority and are being addressed.
There are realistic ways to curb the emission. To meet the average CO2 emission of 9,167 lbs per annum, the following are the planned actions.
i. To encourage family members to eat organic foods. To reduce carbon dioxide emission, household members should consider eating chicken, grains, and vegetables instead of beef.
ii. To reduce emissions from transport source, usage of bikes to go to work is one of the most essential way. For long distances, using commuter vehicle is also one of the useful means of reducing household carbon footprint (Nieuwenhuis & McNabola, 2017).
iii. In waste disposal the best way to reduce carbon footprint is by recycling.
Although the above ways can be implemented, the most difficult is to urge household members to stop eating meat. They believe it is one of the essential for a balanced diet food.
Franchetti, M. J., & Apul, D. (2013). Carbon footprint analysis: Concepts, Methods, Implementation, and Case Studies. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Muthu, S. S. (2014). Assessment of Carbon Footprint in Different Industrial Sectors (Vol. 2). Singapur: Springer.
Nieuwenhuis, P., & McNabola, A. (2017). Fact Check: Are diesel cars really more polluting than petrol cars? Retrieved: https://theconversation.com/fact-check-are-diesel-cars-really-more-polluting-than-petrol-cars-76241
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