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How to Lower a Community’s Carbon Footprint

How to Lower a Community’s Carbon Footprint

A community’s “carbon footprint” has to do with the amount of carbon dioxide that it’s sending into the atmosphere via its consumption and use of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. Right now we’re producing about twice as much CO2 as the earth can absorb!

Luckily, there’s a lot that we can do at the community level to curb these numbers.

We can cut urban sprawl as much as possible. Cutting down on the number and length of trips required to do everyday things, like buying groceries or mailing a package, can do a lot to curb emissions. Walkable, mixed-use communities are eco-friendly…and convenient!

We can reduce waste and divert it away from landfills. Decomposing trash and food in landfills produce harmful methane emissions that are damaging to the environment. Renergy partners with municipalities and food manufacturers to divert their organic waste away from landfills and help them reduce carbon emissions. The organic waste and bio solids are taken to our facilities and turned into renewable energy via anaerobic digestion.

Speaking of renewable energy, we need to produce more of it! More than 50 percent of electricity in the United States comes from polluting coal-fired power plants. Renewable energy sources like solar, wind and biomass reduce air pollution and generate no greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.

We can establish a convenient public transit system. It’s no secret that cars and trucks produce high levels of air pollution. In fact, transportation is the largest single source of air pollution in the country. Public transit – or even a well-planned bike trail system – can make a huge difference in a community’s carbon footprint.

We can all be green at home. Positive change starts on the personal level and the best thing we can all do for our communities is to adopt eco-friendly practices at home. Plant a native garden, use non-toxic household products, or turn your thermostat down 3 degrees in the winter and up 3 degrees in the summer to reduce CO2 emissions…every bit helps!

Decomposing food is a significant source of methane gas, which has 21x the global warming potential of CO2! Find out how your city can turn organic waste into renewable energy.


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Cari Oberfield