By Gaston Dupont
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What is a Carbon Footprint?
Have you ever watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth or listened to Greta Thunberg’s memorable speech at the United Nations? You would no doubt have heard the term Carbon Footprint turn up again and again. Although most people have a vague concept of how pollution and climate change have been ruining the Earth’s ecosystem, these celebrities have played an important role in getting the term and its meaning into the mainstream media for all to notice.
For people who are still unsure, we might add that a carbon footprint is the sum of the greenhouse gas compositions- for instance carbon dioxide and methane- that are generated by our day to day living in our communities. The concept is rather wide and over-reaching, as it in fact extends to almost every aspect of our lives. .
The term greenhouse gas refers to any gas available in the atmosphere that has been known to absorb and re‐emit heat.
Its ultimate effect is that it keeps the planet’s atmosphere warmer than it would be otherwise. This is also referred to as Global Warming.
So Many to Contend With
The names of the main greenhouse gases in our atmosphere at the present times would include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone.
Although the fact is that greenhouse gases are present naturally in the atmosphere of the Earth. The sad and emerging reality is that mankind’s indiscriminate use of the plant’s resources has in fact negatively affected the ecological balance of the planet.
Some experts have even opined that many recently observed devastating weather conditions and peculiar events have been triggered by man’s callousness towards Nature.
No one can easily forget the tsunamis, sand storms, volcanoes, earth quakes, dust storms and other calamities that have befallen many of us.
In 2021 it is on record that it has even snowed in the Sahara Desert, much to the amazement of the camels and Bedouins that witnessed this anomaly.
Other commonly observable effects of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions are that the average temperature of the Earth has been increasing constantly for the last few years.
In fact the swings in temperature have been rather extreme as well- like in excess of 50 degrees Celsius in Asia in summer is fast becoming the new normal, while -40 degrees Celsius in the winter season is the new normal for Canada and the Arctic Circle.
It is also known that methane gas released by cattle, especially cows, is one of the main culprits that is polluting the earth atmosphere.
So extension in agriculture is not only using up land that could be put to alternative uses, but is also polluting the atmosphere and putting the future of our planet in danger.
Use of chemicals like CFCs or chloro-fluoro-carbons also deplete the protective layer of ozone that has been provided by Nature in the Stratosphere.
The Holes in the Ozone Layer
It’s no surprise that the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica observed every September has been slowly expanding. It has resulted in many getting skin cancer in Australia and New Zealand due to direct exposure to sunlight.
That is why experts are now recommending sunscreens with a minimum SPF or Sun Protection Factor of 15 to counteract this eventuality.
Some Corrective Efforts
Thankfully, there are camps of people all over the world that have taken upon themselves the responsibility to counteract the negative effects of the climate change, resource abuse and ecological devastation that is still widespread today.
It is all the more alarming that the most developed nations of the industrialized world like the UK, the USA and China are not only turning their faces away from this stark reality but are knowingly ignoring these truths just because they want to carry on their irresponsible behavior.
The Sad Reality
Those nations who pollute 60 percent or more of the Earth’s environment with their industrial waste and gases refuse to even acknowledge the negative effects of climate change.
Former US President Donald Trump even refused to abide by the terms of the Kyoto Protocol- signed in Japan earlier- that made the world responsible to make efforts to reduce environmental pollution and ecological degradation of our planet.
Benefits of Plant Based Foods
- The first benefit of eating plant based foods is that helps improve our immune system in the long run.The vegan and vegetarian food items are easily digestible and put less pressure on the digestive process.
- Eating a plant based diet elminates the risk of many types of cancers.
- It also reduces the risk of getting or developing heart disease.
- A plant based diet greatly helps in reducing chances of inflammation in the human body.
- Another benefit of a plant based diet is that it lowers the risk of getting diabetes. In fact, even moving to a plant based diet after developing diabetes has helped patients go into remission.
- It also lowers cholesterol. Cholesterol has been known to be buoyed by eating animal based foods and dairy produce.
- Moving to plant based foods minimizes chances of developing age related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- In summary, it would not be wrong to say that a plant based diet helps in increasing your overall lifespan.That is why it is highly recommended
Today, we can definitely recognize the growing trend towards plant based foods and even plant based burgers that are not only meat substitutes but are definitely improve your health as well.
About the Author
Gaston Dupont is a well-respected chef in his native town of Nice. He has trained with a Michelin based hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland that is well known for its Continental cuisine. He is also deeply concerned about environmental issues.