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4 Daily Necessities That Contribute To Global Warming

Global warming is the man-made prerequisite to a much larger matter of concern – climate change and the climate crisis. It has been fuelling (pun intended) a steady increase in worldwide temperature since the pre-industrial period as a result of the exploitation of fossil fuels by mankind. The effects of fossil fuel usage are twofold; the first being the depletion of the protective ozone layer by the released pollutants, which allows for solar radiation to enter the earth’s atmosphere. The second effect is the release of several gases into the atmosphere that absorb sunlight as well as solar radiation that bounces off the surface of the earth and produce the greenhouse effect, trapping heat within the atmosphere and raising the temperature of the earth. 

While the burning of fossil fuels through coal, crude oil, gasoline, natural gas, and industrial pollutants are considered a few of the largest contributors to global warming, we often overlook some factors closer to home. Life as we know it consumes a lot of energy, and subsequently releases a lot back into the atmosphere. Our lifestyles are a product of constantly updating technology. And so, we contribute some household gases too that add to global warming.

Some of these gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and synthetic fluorinated gases such as CFCs. A few ways in which we add to these gases from our households are:


Perhaps the most well-known of them all – use of fossil fuels directly for fuelling our vehicles and transportation. An average passenger vehicle emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Gasoline releases 19.6 pounds of CO2 per gallon when burned, as compared to 22.4 pounds per gallon from diesel. Imagine the global impact!

Consumption of electricity

It’s 2021, and what’s the one thing we can’t live without? It’s electricity. Yep, this daily luxury we pay little to no heed to is literally what keeps our lives and lifestyles going. Without it, we’d have no heating or cooling, no indoor light, no digital entertainment, and, well, no WiFi! But here’s the thing; the production of electricity requires a lot of fossil fuels to be combusted in order to fuel steam turbines, which ultimately leads to nearly 40% of the global carbon dioxide emission. So, while using electricity at home doesn’t directly add to greenhouse gas emission, it’s the demand and supply relationship of electricity that adds fuel to the fire.

Also Read: Micro-steps For Change: Small Tweaks Have Big Rewards!

Through food. Yes, food!

Food adds up to 10-30% of a household’s emissions (including food production and packaging, that is). Production of food through agricultural practices and packaging leads to the release of gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. Meat products tend to have a higher carbon footprint than plant-based products, primarily due to the inefficient conversion of plant energy into animal energy. Ruminants in particular release nearly 250-500 litres of methane gas daily. That’s equivalent to a whopping 3.1 gigatonnes of CO2 per year! So, a vegetarian or vegan diet can greatly reduce the annual emissions caused by a person.

Air-conditioning & Refrigeration

What can we do to reduce our household emissions of greenhouse gases?

Our planet has undergone irreparable damage in the last century and there’s little we can do to reverse what we’ve subjected the Earth to. However, we have a moral duty to let our future generations live healthy fulfilling lives too. In order to do so, let’s pledge to make small changes in our everyday lives such as:

  • Reducing meat consumption in one’s diet
  • Lowering consumption of energy in through smaller households
  • Reducing energy consumption at home by using less electricity 
  • Avoiding leaving devices on standby mode
  • Switching to energy-efficient lightings, such as LED bulbs instead of CFLs and tube lights
  • Purchasing products that have a low carbon emission profile
  • Reducing what we send to landfills by recycling, composting, and buying products with minimal packaging
  • Adopting solar panels for clean energy generation
  • Making sure our vehicle’s tires are properly inflated, to reduce energy consumption