Going green: Creating carbon sinks
NDTV Correspondent   |   5/31/2009 4:41:51 PM

Let us imagine that all the pollution in the world could be washed down a sink.

Actually, forests work just like that soaking up the carbon we release like natural carbon sinks.

The carbon dioxide that we release as we breathe is soaked up by trees. They use up CO2 to make food and release life-giving oxygen in return.

It's just like washing carbon down a sink or into the sea. In fact, cold seas soak up carbon dioxide too. They work exactly like cold carbonated drinks which stay fizzy because carbon dioxide stays dissolved at cold temperatures.

Rain water too absorbs carbon from the air and turns it into very mild carbonic acid.

The acid then dissolves carbon from the earth's surface and washes it into rivers and seas.

Tree planting projects to revive forests is the easiest and most reliable way to create carbon sinks.

The need of the hour is to go green and reduce our carbon footprint.

Carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being emitted by the activities of an individual.

Sometimes the footprints we leave behind are easy enough to clean. But at other times they aren't.

The carbon compounds we emit everyday, our carbon footprints often leave an indelible mark on our planet.

Gadgets that run on electricity leave the biggest carbon footprints. A regular air conditioner emits about 3 kilograms of carbon dioxide in an hour. A microwave oven generates more than a kilograms of CO2 and a water geyser emits nearly 3 and a half kilos every hour. All that adds up to a very large amount of carbon dioxide.

Today, we are using four times more energy than our ancestors did a hundred years ago. And along with burning energy we are melting away our glaciers and setting our forests on fire.

So it's high time that we save energy andthink of the money we will be saving on our electricity, water and petrol bills.

Through the day we survive by emitting carbon dioxide, and at night while we sleep trees absorb it. All that is nature's balance.

But human beings emit more carbon than nature intended and it is not just the usual suspects. Even innocuous things like clothes release harmful carbon compounds into the air.

Though it may not strike us, but the computer we are working on is responsible too. Similarly is the furniture that we sit on, the food we eat and everything that we buy.

Everything is produced in factories which burn fossil fuels to run, releasing greenhouse gases which heat up the earth. And it doesn't help that we are striking down our only saviours.

Scientists believe that in about 20 years from now India and China will account for nearly 35 per cent of the world's carbon emissions.

But it's not as if we are not trying to find solutions. India makes money by selling carbon credits. We cutback our greenhouse emissions and get paid for it by countries that pollute.

And that has helped us reduce carbon emissions by up to 10 per cent.

Also, we can switch off our greenhouse emissions by saving energy everyday and becoming green citizens.



Waste Management
Campaign Ambassador
"We have to remember that we can't keep abusing the environment and every one of us can and should do our bit"
Share Your Green Idea
Your city could get the biggest tree on our Green Map. Write in with your ideas here.
You can also send us your ideas at
Green stat of the day
One Pet bottle can be recycled into bristles for 20 tooth brushes.