What is CO2 and how does it affect climate changes?
It has become a well-known fact that CO2 emissions are causing global climate changes. Do you know why? Do you know where CO2 comes from? If not, we have answers for you here. Not all of them, but some.
Before we get started, it’s not because we don’t want to give you all of the answers. It’s just that… it could be a never-ending blog post.CO2 and its effect on the environment is an enormous topic, which would be almost impossible to cover in detail. We will do our best to give an overview.
A simple explanation of CO2
CO2 - or carbon dioxide - is actually what you breathe out. You breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Plants, on the other hand, absorb carbon dioxide. So CO2 is actually a part of the biological cycles - and thus inevitable. There’s more to it than that, naturally, but this is one of the simpler versions.
As you may know, life on earth depends on energy from the sun. The energy from the sun gets reflected by the surface of the earth, and the heat is then trapped by the earth’s atmosphere so it doesn’t just disappear into space again. That is essentially what we know as the greenhouse effect. Without it, scientists estimate that the average temperature on earth would be 30 degrees (celsius) colder.
So the greenhouse effect is necessary for us. But during the past 100 years or so, human activity and industrialism has increased immensely meaning that we are creating more greenhouse gases than we need. Therefore, the earth gets warmer.
Some of the contributing factors to the increased CO2 emission are power plants burning gas, coal and oil. Cars, trains, ships etc. which are fossil fuel powered are also among the bad guys. Deforestation, the growing population, heating of homes and offices etc. are just some of the many more causes for CO2 emission.
So where does food waste come in?
There are so many issues when it comes to food waste. Think for example of all of the water being wasted by growing vegetables that just end up being thrown out. Or all of the hours wasted by planting, nurturing, harvesting and transporting food, which then ends up in the bin.
Aside from the many resources being wasted, it also has an effect on the CO2 emission. Food, which is thrown out, makes its way to landfills where it starts to decompose. This results in the release of methane gas. This is a greenhouse gas, which is much more effective in trapping heat than CO2. Methane is already released in the production of food, and food waste is adding to that.
Wasting resources and perfectly good food makes no sense, and the effects food waste has on our planet need to be taken seriously - it is estimated that the level of CO2 will increase by more than 10% every 20 years. That’s why we’re on a mission to reduce food waste worldwide.
What you can do
Step one is easy - don’t waste food. But that might be easier said than done. We have some tips for minimizing your food waste here.
There are naturally more changes you can make in order to lowering your CO2 emissions such as adjusting your energy demand, considering you transportation needs etc. We will keep sharing inspiration for reducing food waste and lowering your carbon footprint so be sure to come back - and please share your tips with us.