Thursday, April 28, 2011

Carbon Emmisions

Everybody knows that we need to watch our carbon emissions but let's take a closer look at the present situation.

To put it simply we are past the point where we should to be. This is why it is such a good idea to do a vacation to a Costa Rican ecolodge. Every little bit helps and now according to NASA our planet is at 380ppm (parts per million) and our atmosphere should be at 350ppm. This rise in CO2 is due to human activity through the use of fossil fuels.

There are a number of ways to reduce our use of fossil fuels. Geo-engineering which is one of the most advanced technologies dealing with this.  Some examples would be boats that shoot salt clouds into the air to reflect sunlight and growing more and more algae to help with absorbing and storing more CO2. These are all good, but at the same time just a quick fix until we start looking at how ecolodges live and try and replicate that in our daily lives when we get back from our Costa Rica vacation.

Trees are back to being scientists' favorite source of storing oxygen and getting excess CO2 out of our atmosphere.  It is now known that trees not only take in CO2 and store large amounts in their trunks but they also dispose of it into the Earth's surface allowing less to be in the atmosphere. If you really want to offset your carbon footprint the old "let's plant a tree" moto is the best thing you can do along with being less dependent on fossil fuels. Many governments are taking very slow action in this and Copenhagen 15 in 2009 did not have the result that environmentalists hoped for. After the failure of Cop15 and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) attempt to convince the larger power nations it has been grass root movements that have led to everyday people making changes. The is a movement by Bill Mckibben, an expert scientist on climate change. It is an organization that encourages the world to come together and start realizing the need for changes. It is these changes that the Costa Rican ecolodges are good examples of, in most cases.

It should be stated that recent studies off the coast of California and in the frozen tundra are seeing methane released into the atmosphere. Methane is 20 times more dangerous as a green house gas than CO2. The methane is being released off the coast of California because cracks in the ocean floor from warming. The frozen tundras in Alaska have been storing methane for as long as it has been frozen and the problem is with slight increases in our temperature (2010 was the warmest year on record) this frozen tundra begins to melt and this trapped methane is released. With the rate that the Arctic is melting this could release very large amounts of methane. We hope you are seeing the importance of seeing Costa Rica Eco-lodges not just as a place for exotic adventure but as an example of an educational opportunity of small steps our society can make to live with nature.

This all starts with our carbon footprint. The warming of the planet, CO2 levels, extinctions, methane releases, and climate change are not the problem they are simply symptoms of the problem. The problem is our footprints on the planet. This is why Costa Rica ecolodges serve as a perfect example. You can find almost anywhere ways to cut down your carbon footprint and the bottom line is just to live a little simpler in all aspects of life. By making a Costa Rican ecolodge part of your next Costa Rica family adventure tour it is the perfect way to have low impact and become educated on learning how to live with respect to our planet.

How to Carbon Off-set your Trip to Costa Rica

If you make your trip with itineraries including Costa Rica ecotourism and visiting Costa Rica eco-lodges then you have made a good choice on making a low impact upon your arrival. What you might not have considered is your air travel to arrive to Costa Rica. Do not let this deter you from traveling because it is important that visitors experience and learn to do things in an environmental way and this includes air travel. Many eco-lodges in Costa Rica can offset air travel by making a small donation to FONAFIFO of Costa Rica which is Costa Rica's official Carbon Credit Foundation.

Along with offsetting your air travel you must also realize that little things ad up and this might include the famous not washing your sheets every night, don't take soap and shampoo from the hotel if you do not need it, walk when possible, or maybe even try not eating meat every meal, and most importantly allow yourself to be educated which will ultimately lead to a much smaller carbon foot-print in the near future.

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