‘REduce, REuse, REcycle’, the 3 Rs, is the consensus mantra to reduce the effect of waste and waste management practices on Climate Change. How does Waste impact Climate Change?
“The climate benefits of waste practices result from avoided landfill emissions , reduced raw material extraction and manufacturing, recovered materials and energy replacing virgin materials and fossil-fuel energy sources, carbon bound in soil through compost application, and carbon storage due to recalcitrant materials in landfills. In particular, there is general global consensus that the climate benefits of waste avoidance and recycling far outweigh the benefits from any waste treatment technology, even where energy is recovered during the process. (UNEP)
As we know, Green House Gases (GHGs) are a major cause of Climate Change as they trap the heat radiating from the earth back to space, resulting in global warming. One such GHG is released from the breakdown of Organic waste in landfills – Methane. (GRID UNEP)
In 2016, Deonar Dumping Ground in the Indian metropolitan city of Mumbai caught fire recurrently. This is a 300 acre ground (largest in Asia) used since 1927 to dump at-least half of garbage (untreated) of Mumbai.(NDTV) . Among other reasons for this is emission of methane, a flammable GHG.
(Pic: Courtesy, NDTV)
If less waste is generated, less spontaneous emission of methane would be there and therefore less warming due to its ‘greenhouse effect’.
Another dimension of the same is lowered GHG emissions as reduced need of production & distribution of goods due to greater application of 3Rs, result in lesser need of energy from burning of fossil fuels. This point is well illustrated in the following diagram. (EPA)
Diagram: Life-cycle of a Product (EPA)
Further, even waste management practices like anaerobic decomposition result in GHG emissions. Traditional “waste” management represents 1 to 5 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.(EPA)
Conclusion – At our level, greater application of 3Rs is a significant way to avoid waste and reduce emissions leading to Climate change.
Thanks for Reading!
Posted in Climate Change, Environment events, My take, Sustainability, Waste Management
Tagged 2016, 3Rs, climate change, DEONAR, DUMPYARD FIRE, EPA, fire, fossil fuels, GHGs, green house effect, India, land management practices, landfill, lifecycle, methane, Mumbai, NDTV, organic waste, Recycle, reduce, reuse, US, waste, waste management
Use lesser electricity and water, plant more trees…these are the most direct ways to reversing Climate change…!!!
What is Climate Change?
“Climate change is a long-term shift in weather conditions identified by changes in temperature, precipitation, winds, and other indicators…its long-term state and average temperature are regulated by the balance between incoming and outgoing energy, which determines the Earth’s energy balance.”(Govt. of Canada)
The change can be induced by natural factors as well as human factors. Natural factors comprise primarily volcanic eruption and solar activity. While the effect on climate of former is for a shorter period, the later can influence in a longer period; however its effect is much less in the past century as compared to that of human activity. Human factors mostly are related to burning of fossil fuel and change in the land-use pattern. This leads to increase in levels of carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. An enhanced ‘greenhouse effect’ results has resulted in warming of the Earth. It is to be noted that carbon dioxide and nitrous dioxide are long-lived ‘climate forcers’, i.e. they stay in the atmosphere and impact the climate change for a long time.
So here comes the Solution – anything which reduces the carbon dioxide emission in the air, is the best way to fight Climate change!!!
Do come back for more on Paris Climate Deal, more examples of Climate change around the World…and more facets of Climate Change…
Thanks for reading!
Posted in Climate Change, Environment events, My take
Tagged burning fossil fuels, canada, carbon dioxide, climate change, examples, greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases, human effect on climate change, land use pattern, methane, natural factors affecting climate change, ozone, Paris Climate Deal, plant trees, trees planting, what causes climate change, what is climate change
Today is one day…to remember that Earth, our planet, needs us…more than ever before! A part of change, she is undergoing, is because of our activity…our development, n our mess…!
So let’s make a statement – even though symbolic, today on Earth hour…
Let’s switch off non-essential lights and electrical appliances tonight…at 8:30pm for 1 hr.
Let’s b a part of this global event, happening in 100 countries.
As we cut on fuel and emissions, during that ‘prime hour’, we remind ourselves and tell younger generation…that we can still curb ‘global warming’ and hence mitigate’ climate change’.
We Participate…We Care!
What world is witnessing in the last one month or so, is it not ‘Climate change’? Europe’s Christmas party was spoiled by unprecedented chill wave n floods..resulting in mobility issues n power outages. In US, Christmas went thankfully fine, but a very Chilly new year eve n beyond followed…Canada is on ‘extreme cold weather alert’…Dubai is experiencing unusual cold n rains in the usually ‘pleasant season’ of December-January. Whole of North India is gripped in cold wave…not unexpected in winters EXCEPT that dip in temperature n fog is breaking all records… and the list goes on!
It is the question of facing unprecedented climatic conditions…we are not fully prepared for the ‘uncertainty’.
It is truly now the question of coping with the unexpected on an increasing frequency.
Apart from facing the wrath of nature, what more can we do? Strike at the root of the issue…question is how.
What causes ‘Climate change’? Global warming (GW)…How can GW be abated? GW is due to trapping of heat in the atmosphere due to increased concentration of ‘greenhouse gases’. This increase in lower atmosphere’s temperature changes the movement of oceanic winds, causing weather patterns to change and stick for longer periods.
So where these greenhouse gases come from?
From the waste and manufacturing processes and fuel burning – all on the rise!
But increased consumerism and industrialization are bound to result in all of the above.
So what can be done?
Eco- conscious use of resources…less is more! (More on this in the coming blogs)
Posted in Climate Change, My take, Waste Management
Tagged Chill wave, climate change, cold weather, Dubai, Europe, global warming, India, methane, nitrous oxide, USA, winter, world