Green house gases are what keeps are planet warm. Carbon dioxide is a green house gas that makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere. While this isn’t a huge number, CO2 has a big part in the greenhouse effect as it traps and emits heat, keeping us and the planet warm.
However, CO2 and other greenhouse gases (water vapor, methane, nitrogen, halocarbons and ozone) have been rising due to human activities, burning fossil fuels being a big reason towards the rise. This rise in gases is what causes global warming. The planet is becoming too hot. The more CO2 we produce, the hotter the planet will get.
Although it is essential to have CO2 in the atmosphere, it becomes dangerous when there is too much.
The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we produce has increased rapidly. In 1950 roughly 6 billion tonnes of CO2 were produced, and now we produce over 36 billion tonnes a year!
What effect does this have on us and the planet?
Not only does this increasing amount of CO2 have a huge impact on the planet, it also impacts us too.
The rise in sea levels
The main concern from the rising CO2 is the green house effect. This results in climate change. The most obvious outcome of climate change is the rise in sea levels. This is due to the temperature rising.
The rising temperature also causes ice caps to melt. Which can cause flooding and increase the impacts of storms in costal areas.
Sea changes affect fishermen too. As the sea changes temperature, fish will migrate towards the poles, therefore fishermen will have to travel further to catch fish.
Other effects of climate change are drought, wild fires, heat waves and tropical storms, all of which can negatively affect the planet, us, animals and crops.
Smog is mainly created by nitrogen and hydrocarbons. Carbon dioxide plays its part by increasing the formation of the smog, this is due to carbon dioxide increasing the temperature and humidity of the planet.
Some health complications caused by smog:
- chronic bronchitis
- lung infections
This is all due to the increase of air pollution cause by CO2, plus other harmful gases we release in to the atmosphere.
Do you ever think about how using your computer affects the planet?
Every year Computers are responsible for roughly 35 million tons of carbon dioxide produced. This is 2% of the total amount of CO2 produced each year. 2% may seem like a small number, however, it is a lot bigger than you think.
It can be hard to visualise just how much this gas weighs.
Take a look at the image on the left, representing how big 1 tonne of CO2 is!
Roughly 1 ton of CO2 is equivalent to;
- 400 bricks
- 500 CO2 fire extinguishers
- 125 meters of cola
- 121,643 smartphones charged
- Driving 6000km in a diesel car
Imagine how many bricks 35 million tonnes of CO2 would be, and that is just 2% of the total CO2 we produce!
Solving the problem
There is lots of ways to reduce CO2 emissions, some you can do right now, take a look below;
The natural way of reducing CO2 emissions is all around us; trees.
Trees absorb CO2 and convert it into the oxygen we breathe.
Trees play a huge part in our eco system, one tree absorbs up to 21kg of CO2 a year. It would take 50 trees to absorbs 1 ton of CO2. This however varies on location and type of tree.
There are roughly 3.04 trillion trees on Earth. The more trees we plant, the more CO2 will be absorbed and converted into oxygen.
One hectare of woodland (2.471 acres) can on average absorb 400+ tonnes of CO2. To reach net zero, we need plant 1.5 million additional hectares of woodland.
Not only do trees do an amazing job of capturing CO2, they also battle the effects of climate change such as flooding, reducing temperature, reducing pollution and keeping the soil nutrient rich.
You can read a lot more on the woodlands trust website; UK’s Largest Woodland Conservation Charity – Woodland Trust maybe get involved and plant a tree!
The carbon footprint of the internet.
If you work in a office and use your computer 8 hours a day, you’ll be using roughly 600kWh and producing 175kg of CO2 every year. A laptop uses slightly less; 150 to 300kWh and 88kg of CO2 a year. Even if your device is in stand by, the consumption only drops to about a third.
So a simple way of reducing your carbon footprint is turning off your computer when you’re not using it. If you can, also use a laptop over a desktop.
Did you know 20 emails a day per one person over a year, emits the same amount of CO2 a car travelling 1000km emits?
Not only does using a computer effect how much CO2 is produced, the manufacturing also has an impact. Roughly 250kg of CO2 is emitted when manufacturing a laptop.
This is why buy a refurbished laptop or desktop is a lot better for the environment and is a lot cheaper too. Consider buying a refurbished computer over a brand new one. You can find a great selection here; Green Machine Computers – Green Machine Computer Store (greenmachineit.co.uk)
Tech in landfill
Not only does manufacturing and using a computer give out CO2, disposing of it does too.
Worldwide, we generate 40 million tonnes of electronic waste (WEEE waste) a year, this is equivalent to throwing away 800 laptops a second. On average WEEE waste amounts up to 70% of our overall toxic waste.
All this WEEE waste has a huge negative effect on the planet and us, such as health issues and environmental pollution.
The best way to dispose of your unwanted tech is by recycling. Green Machine Computers have been recycling WEEE waste for just over 10 years now. You can safely dispose of your WEEE waste and feel assured knowing your data will be wiped to military standards. Find out more and dispose of your tech the right way; IT Recycling – (greenmachinecomputers.com)
The Tech Amnesty: Recycling and donating tech
Green Machine started a campaign in January 2021 called The Tech Amnesty. The goal was to collect, refurbish and donate as many laptops as possible to school children during the pandemic so they could learn from home. The campaign is still going but has been extended to charities, schools and non-profit organisations.
Tech Amnesty statistics:
Over 500 laptops and tablets donated
2735 total items recycled
Total weight of the items- 4243kg
Amount of CO2 saved- 187162.1kgCO2e
The Tech Amnesty is still going so if you have any unwanted tech at home, donate it today!
Find out more here; Tech Amnesty – (greenmachinecomputers.com)
The effects of the rising CO2 on our planet needs to be fought immediately.
Our planet needs cooling down.
Do you part and recycle the right way with Green Machine Computers.
Learn more about recycling your tech here; IT Recycling – (greenmachinecomputers.com)