Climate change has been an ongoing concern for quite some time. Political parties around the world, charities, science-based organizations, and private businesses have all been talking about minimizing the human impact on our ecosystem. In fact, the World Health Organization predicts that between 2030 to 3025, climate change could cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year worldwide — which is why so many countries and organizations are looking for ways to reduce our impact. One of those ways is doing our best to achieve carbon neutrality.
What is carbon neutrality
In the simplest of terms, carbon neutrality means having net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. To achieve this, you have to balance carbon emissions with carbon removal. For every amount of carbon a company or country produces, it should be taking steps to remove the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere if it wants to achieve carbon neutrality.
Of course, like most things in life, carbon neutrality is a lot easier said than done, and while countries and organizations have been making promised to become carbon neutral for a while, the results have been mixed.
Many companies, organizations, and countries will attempt carbon offsetting, which is a term to describe creating less or no emissions in one place to make up for carbon emissions elsewhere. Unfortunately, it's not a perfect system and there's plenty of criticism about carbon offsetting being less than effective.
Why should you care?
The general consensus is climate change will eventually affect us all if we don't start taking it seriously and changing the way we operate. It's entirely possible that drastic effects of climate change could be felt within the next 10-20 years — it's no longer something in the distant future.
There are lots of reasons to care about climate change. From food security concerns to actually loss of human life, climate change is a serious issue that requires attention from our governmental bodies, but that doesn't mean that, as an individual, you can't do something to help.
What can you do?
When it comes to achieving carbon neutrality as an individual, it can be a little tricky. Most people don't have the time, resources, or money to ensure they are removing the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere than they are polluting, but that doesn't mean you're helpless.
There are a ton of things people can do to lower their carbon footprint. Driving your car less, planting your own vegetables, using cold water when you wash your clothes to reduce energy consumption, and of course, reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible. You can also take a look at how you spend your money on tech.
According to Apple's own product environmental report for the iPhone 11, one iPhone 11 produces about 79 kg of carbon emissions during its lifetime. Most of those emissions (79% according to the report) come from production, while the device is actually being made.
One of the biggest things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to not buy technology as frequently. It's far too easy to get a new iPhone every year or two years, but the reality is that you don't really need to. I'm not saying buying iPhones are the only problem, most purchased goods make the most carbon emissions during production, so if you use things or keep things longer, you're reducing your carbon footprint — its something to think about.
Lastly, don't forget political action. We need governments to step to help reduce our impact on climate change. Get involved in local politics, support the candidates who have a climate policy, and engage in the system. Humanity works best when we stand united — so get involved.
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