I have a confession to make, I’m a tree hugger. What the heck does that mean anyways? Another word for a hippie? Someone who tie themselves to a tree and washes plastic bags for reuse? No, I don’t do any of that. I don’t, however, own a car or drive and use only public transportation when available or ride a bicycle as much as possible. 90% of my diet consists of sustainable resources and I don’t use tap water to water my lawn or drink bottled water. I don’t print or use paper to create my invoices or letters.
The reasons for the drastic drop in my carbon footprint and live a carbon negative lifestyle wasn’t born out of my desire to be green or echo friendly. Given a choice, I’d rather have the extreme convenience to be able to go far and anywhere at will with a car but I totaled my car and haven’t bought another one since. I went on a Pescetarian not to be sustainable but for health reasons. I don’t use tap water to water my lawn because I sold my house. I hardly use paper anymore because my industry is in Information Technology where we automate and use electronic means to communicate.
I realize there’s some argument that climate change is a natural occurrence of the planet but the general consensus amongst scientist is it’s caused mostly by humans. The obvious one is automobile emissions which based on my estimate; I was contributing at least 5.3 tons of greenhouse gas per year. The not so obvious ones are watering the lawn with tap water and buying bottled water. Bottled water, apart from being ridiculously expensive for being just water, may have travelled half way round the planet through vehicles that use non-renewable energy. Tap water on the other hand also creates much carbon in its creation.
At a global scale, it has been estimated that livestock (including poultry) contribute, directly and indirectly, to about 9% of total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, 37% of anthropogenic methane emissions and 65% of anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions, which together amount to about 18% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions estimated as 100-year CO2 equivalents. The indirect effects contributing to these percentages include emissions associated with production of feed consumed by livestock and carbon dioxide emission from deforestation in Central and South America, attributed to livestock production. Aside from this, it’s obvious that consuming too much meat is detrimental to your health which is the primary reason why I don’t eat meat.
So I guess I might as well embrace (literally) it, I’m freakin’ hippie tree hugger ;p