Tag: Carbon

7 Negative Effects of A Used Car On The Environment

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Despite the fact that used cars are pocket-friendly and easy to buy, they leave bad imprints on the environment in one way or the other. If you are unaware of them, please check these 7 negative effects of a used car on the environment.

1. Destruction of natural resources

Natural resources are the gifts of nature, which we should care about. Despite being the most brainy creature on this planet, we share the maximum part in the destruction of the natural resources available on earth. While producing cars and other automobiles, it uses a large amount of steel, iron, plastics, rubber and other materials. Similar, most of such products are created to make the car look dashing. Even the production processes also consume a great portion of energy which directly or indirectly affects the environment.

Most of the major players are changing their manufacturing strategies with new cars, but an option of a used car is still available which implants a significant effect on the surrounding environment.

2. Global warming

Either it’s a brand new car or any used car, they both run by consuming fuel and energy. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are the major constituents in the exhausts released by the cars. The new cars are made up of better engines in accordance to the latest norms of pollution controls. On another hand, used cars are responsible to release more carbon contents as they are made up with the earlier technologies.

Basically, the engines get worn up with time and they are unable to burn the fuel in the required ratio. This inability leads to the yield of carbon monoxide which harms the ozone layer leading to global warming.

3. Air, soil and water

Car pollutants create a bad impact of the natural resources like air, water, and soil. It depletes the quality of these resources very badly. Pollutants, like nitrous oxide, harms the ozone layer, which is essential and protects from the ultraviolet radiations from the sun.

Other pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide when mixed with rainwater, leads to acid rains. Acid rains badly damage the crop quality, forests, plantation, other vegetation, and buildings. Engine oils, brake oils, and other such lubricants are thrown on the soil or in water resources like river, sea, lakes which contaminates the water and also leads to the death of the water animals.

4. Affecting human health

Human health is badly affected by the used car emitted particles, like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and other car pollutants which are considered bad. The diesel engines are responsible for emitting a high level of pollutants which act as airborne particles like soot and metals.

These particles generally cause irritation and allergies to skin and eyes. Even fine particles are often inhaled by the people which lead to respiratory problems affecting the lungs. Ozone is beneficial for the upper layer in the atmosphere but when one inhales it, it causes problems like chest pains, cough and is very difficult to breathe in. Even the noise produced by the cars causes noise pollution which is bad for the ears as well and often leads to physiological problems.

5. Used car produce more carbon content

Every product produced comes with an expiry date and using it beyond this time can be very harmful in for the user. Similar way, cars to have a working age, in which they perform their best with creating minor effects on the environment. Manufacturers have to produce cars with respect to the pollution norms and by conducting tests, they deduce the working life of the car.

Used cars have a detrimental impact on the environment and public health

Relying on used cars can affect the environment badly as they release major harmful pollutants. These pollutants have different effects on the surroundings which are not good for the humans and the surrounding environments.

6. Toxic battery acids

The car batteries are made up of toxic materials like nickel and they are responsible to produce fumes of harmful gases as well. Most of the car users forget the timely replacement of these batteries and some indulge in burning the used batteries. On burning these batteries emits toxic fumes which can cause respiratory problems and affect the lungs.

Leaking batteries too are dangerous when the electrolyte comes in contact with the body. It badly damages the skin, eyes and other parts of the body.

7. Consume more fuel

Fuel is the major source which drives the vehicle. Cars provide mileage with respect to their engine properties and consume fuel to give better performance. The way one drives a car plays an important factor in the fuel consumption but in the case of used cars, they generally consume more fuel than the latest versions of hybrid cars.

Conclusion

In conclusion, cars are an essential mode of transportation and they really help a lot in reducing a major part of human efforts. But in one or the other way, cars have a major impact on the surrounding environment. In this post, you can check some negative effect of a used car on the environment.

Our Digital Carbon Footprint: A Cause for Concern

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The number of Internet users reaches record highs every year, but did you know that for every tweet, comment, email and google search, a small amount of CO2 is emitted? This is our digital carbon footprint. For one person, the numbers aren’t too impressive, but when you factor in every person on planet earth who’s using the internet, those small numbers suddenly look ginormous, and worrying.

What is Digital Carbon Footprint?

When you think of the destructive causes that contribute to the breakdown of the ozone layer, sitting behind a desk on your computer or flicking through your phone probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, thanks to the colossal number of data centres that are now needed to feed planet earth’s internet obsession, the online world is now beginning to damage the real world.

Here are some internet and social media stats per second and the resulting CO2 emitted.

Google Searches

In the modern world, Google is our gateway to any answer we’re looking for. As a result, there are over 60,000 searches made on Google every second. Combine that with the fact that the average search produces around 0.2g of CO2 and the quantity of emissions is quite remarkable.

Sending Emails

According to ‘internet live stats’, there are more than 2.5 million emails sent every second with a “everyday” email emitting 4g of CO2. That is quite astonishing. Especially when they also say that around 67% off all emails are spam. Anti-virus specialists, McAfee, say that this number is even higher, reporting that a remarkable 78% of all incoming emails are spam and that approximately 62 trillion spam messages are sent every year.

Facebook

Facebook’s growth is the perfect example of how things have escalated over the last 10 years or so when it comes to internet usage. According to their sustainability report, in 2004 one million people were using Facebook, fast forward to 2016 and you need to replace the word million with billion and then some.

Facebook say that their annual per-user carbon emissions is 299g of CO2, which is less than making 1 latte or boiling 1 pot of tea. This is quite an achievement, but when there are so many people using the site, it still adds up to a lot of emissions.

Twitter

Raffi Krikorian, a developer at Twitter once stated that each tweet consumes around 90 joules, equalling 0.02g of CO2 emissions. Hardly anything right? Correct, however there are approximately 8,000 tweets written and published every single second.

YouTube

An article in the Guardian revealed that 1g of CO2 was emitted for every 10 minutes of YouTube watched or 0.0017g per second. That’s right, so the next time you’re up late at night watching funny cat videos, remember that those adorable, cute and cuddly fur balls mean you are contributing to the breakdown of the ozone layer.

Google’s Strive For Carbon Neutrality

10 years ago, Google vowed to be carbon neutral by 2017, a goal which they’ve met. In 2016 Google’s gross greenhouse gas emissions were 2.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), but thanks to $2.5 billion of investment into solar and wind projects, carbon offset programs and renewable energy, their net operational carbon emissions are now zero.

 

Green SMEs in Developing Countries: Challenges and Opportunities

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With ‘green’ being the buzzword across all industries, greening of the business sector and development of green skills has assumed greater importance in the developing world. Around the world, SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs are playing a vital role in the transition to a low-carbon economy by developing new green business models for different industrial sectors. Infact, young and small firms are emerging as main drivers of radical eco-innovation in the industrial and services sectors.

What are Green SMEs

A judicious exploitation of techno-commercial opportunities and redevelopment of business models, often neglected by established companies, have been the major hallmarks of green SMEs. For example, SMEs operating in eco-design, green architecture, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability are spearheading the transition to green economy across a wide range of industries. The path to green economy is achieved by making use of production, technology and management practices of green SMEs.

Categories of Green Industries

Environmental protection Resource Management
Protection of ambient air Water management
Protection of climate Management of forest resources
Wastewater management Management of flora and fauna
Waste management Energy management
Noise and vibration abatement Management of minerals
Protection of biodiversity and landscape Eco-construction
Protection against radiation Natural resource management activities
Protection of soil, groundwater and surface water Eco-tourism
Environmental Monitoring and Instrumentation Organic agriculture
Research and Development Research and Development

Key Drivers

The key motivations for a green entrepreneur are to exploit the market opportunity and to promote environmental sustainability. A green business help in the implementation of innovative solutions, competes with established markets and creates new market niches. Green entrepreneurs are a role model for one and all as they combine environmental performance with market targets and profit outcomes, thus contributing to the expansion of green markets.

Some of the popular areas in which small green businesses have been historically successful are renewable energy production (solar, wind and biomass), smart metering, building retrofitting, hybrid cars and waste recycling.  As far as established green industries (such as waste management and wastewater treatment) are concerned, large companies tend to dominate, however SMEs and start-ups can make a mark if they can introduce innovative processes and systems. Eco-friendly transformation of existing practices is another attractive pathway for SMEs to participate in the green economy.

Major Challenges

Green SME sector in developing countries has been growing steadily, albeit at a slower pace than anticipated.  One of the major obstacles has been poorly-designed regulation. Lack of clear policy direction and enablers are hindering growth and competitiveness of green SMEs. Product market regulations which stifle competition pose a big hurdle to SMEs operating in renewables, energy, environment and sustainability sectors.  For example, state-owned companies in the Middle East have almost complete monopoly in network industries which have large environmental impacts (electricity/energy sector) or control strategic environmental services (water and waste management sector).

Restructuring of the SME sector in developing countries is essential to allow small businesses to grow and prosper, thus catalyzing a steady transition to a green economy. SMEs account for vast majority of production units and employment across the developing world. Needless to say, participation of SMEs is essential in the transition to a low-carbon economy, thus paving the way for greening the business sector and development of green skills across all industrial segments.

Participation of SMEs is essential in the transition to a low-carbon economy

Green SMEs require strong government support for growth, which is unfortunately lacking in many developing nations. The most pressing challenges are

  1. Increasing disconnect between education and market needs and
  2. Disorientation of research and development from industry priorities and trends.

Government agencies, business associations and NGOs need to play a bigger role in advocating more streamlined priorities for green growth across all industrial sectors. Green SMEs face significant barriers to entry despite their key role in developing locally appropriate technologies and eco-friendly business models.

Conclusion

Policy interventions for supporting green SMEs in developing nations are urgently required to overcome major barriers, including knowledge-sharing, raising environmental awareness, enhancing financial support, supporting skill development and skill formation, improving market access and implementing green taxation. In recent decades, entrepreneurship in developing world has been increasing at a rapid pace which should be channeled towards addressing water, energy, environment and waste management challenges, thereby converting environmental constraints into business opportunities.

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

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