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Reduce, Reuse & Recycle How to reduce carbon footprints

Shrikanth Alva


Literature survey report by Mr. Shreekantha Alva K G (M.Tech) Energy management, Auditing & Lighting, MIT Manipal

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Ultimate mantra to reduce carbon foot prints

The Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) concluded in a 1995 report that the observed increase in global average temperature over the last century “is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin” and that the balance of evidence suggests that there is a “discernible human influence on global climate.”

The 1995 IPCC report greatly altered the world’s view of climate change and led to the 1997 Kyoto protocol, an international agreement among industrialized nations to modestly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. They all are pointed towards human influence on Global warming.


Impacts of global warming in the world [1]

1. According to the National oceanic and atmospheric administration (NOAA), 2000 to 2010 warmest decade on record.

2. A two-degree increase in temperature has been documented in the US over the last 50 years and precipitation has increased by five percent, says the US Global Change Research Program. This may be due to global warming.

3. Sea levels rose around seven inches in the last 100 years. This is the most noticeable change in the past 2,000 years. Global warming causes sea levels to rise and can put countries in danger of flooding and disappearing.

4. Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers of ice between 2002 and 2005 according to data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. This melting of glaciers is caused by the increase in temperatures attributed to global warming.

5. Africa: By 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress; yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent in some regions by 2020; agricultural production, including access to food, may be severely compromised.[2]

6. More than a million species face extinction due to the effects of global warming, largely because of disappearing habitats and changing ecosystems.

The man made cause of global warming is population. India is the second most pop ululated country in the world with 1.22 billion people. India represents apparently 17.30% of the world’s population. With population growth rate flying at 1.58% it’s predicted to have more than 1.53 billion people by end of 2030. [3] More people mean more food, and more methods of transportation. This leads to more burning of fossil fuels, in turn leads to more pollution and more CO2 emissions. Since CO2 contributes to global warming, the increase in population makes the problem worse because we breathe out CO2. Also, the trees that convert our CO2 to oxygen are being demolished for lands. We are constantly taking advantage of our natural resources and giving nothing back in return. So every individual is responsible for global warming and destruction of earth.[4]

So this article is intended at to reduce the carbon footprints by using reduce, reuse and recycle as its ultimate mantra. 

a. Recycle

  • Nothing should be disposed off into the soil, all the ferrous materials which are prone to degrade or oxidize with time should be sold as early as possible at reduced price. This can be done in manufacturing industries by recycling the packing materials, by selling the obsolete inventory of one industry to the other industry who is looking to buy unused items at lesser price.

b. Reuse

  • Consume less, and re-use old products.
  • Use cloth bags when going shopping and avoid buying products which use too much plastic.

c.  Reduce

  • Another option is to drive less. By walking or biking to the destination rather than driving, not only is a person going to save money on gas, but they will be burning less fuel and releasing fewer emissions into the atmosphere. However, if walking is not an option, one can look into carpooling or mass transportation options in their area.
  • Turn off lights, televisions, videos, stereos and computers when not in use - they can use 10 to 40% of the power when on standby. Also, unplug chargers as soon as they have finished charging.
  • Don't leave fridge doors open for longer than necessary. Use less air conditioning and heating in the home. By adding insulation to the walls and attic of one's home, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows one can lower their heating costs more than 25 percent. 
  • Replace your incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) or LEDs. CFLs cost 3 to 5 times as much but use less than a third of the power. Also, replace old fridge and other appliances with energy-efficient or highest BEE rated ones.
  • Optimize your speed, You will consume up to 25% less fuel if you drive no more than 90 km/hr.
  • Be exactFill the kettle with only as much water as you need.


People must be conscious about the issue, Creating "Youth Education Programs" about global warming for educating the new generation may help in this regard.Preferring renewable energy sources like solar, wind etc. and expanding their usage. even if the usage of fossil fuels could be prohibited, greenhouse gases extant in the atmosphere are going to remain for hundred years.However the emission of greenhouse gases can't be stopped, but some precautions must be taken to reduce it. here finally I am quoting the words of Henry David Thoreau -- “What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?” 






CA Pulkit Sharma


A nice article. We think a lot how to reduce the enviroment degradation, but if try at our level by not using non-recyclable items we can bring it down. Any how a good presentation and nicely written article. Thumbs up


Shrikanth Alva


Thank you for bringing this to my attention, now I corrected, those are website references.@Mr.Zizo Ali