Hi! My name is Ms. McCullagh. I will continue to post nature related photos and videos on this great outlet - thank you, Earthwatch! I traveled with Earthwatch to Maryland to study Climate Change and Fragmented Forests at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How is the view from 120 feet up?



This is how one would look after trekking up 120 feet of steel tower to enjoy the view from the photo science platform. It was a bit unnerving to climb the stairway. The tower does "rock" a bit with the wind, as a result, I kept my eyes on a small area of view. I am happy to know I can manage such a tower-climb, but I wouldn't want to do so often!

At lunch, a few of us biked to the salt marsh part of the property. The sun was shining, and the view was lovely, but no birds to be found!

This afternoon, we had a great presentation on climate change and what such change will means for us and our environment and communities. Dr. Bert Drake's research focuses on the effects of increased C02 on plant efficiency and productivity. He was great, and I will try to get him to visit us in South Florida.



This is the view from over 120 feet above the ground. As you can see, we are well above the tree canopy. You can even see the Chesapeake Bay in the distance. The walk down was slow, until about halfway...then it was easier going.

Today's challenge = Calculate your carbon footprint and consider how you can reduce the impact. Try these links to gather more information to help you accomplish the challenge:

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/
http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/calculator/
www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html

See you soon!

Thanks Mark! = "I calculated my carbon footprint and it is 15 while the United States has an average of 27. To reduce my carbon footprint. I can reduce it by using Energy Star appliances, and walking around town or riding a bike instead of driving, also eating more organic foods. :) "

Thanks Bryce: "My carbon footprint is 21, still under the United States average of 27. I can reduce my footprint by hopefully getting a new hybrid Tahoe for Christmas to replace my old gas guzzling one and by changing all the light bulbs in my house to more energy efficient ones."

Thanks Alex T.: "I used the three of the sites that you provided to research the information you asked for. I used https://mail.columbushs.com/owa/redir.aspx?C=a771062eda16447487f982014e54114f&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.nature.org%2finitiatives%2fclimatechange%2fcalculator%2f to find my total CO2 emissions in my home to be about 18 tons per year; this amount is far below the national average of about 27 tons of CO2. The site https://mail.columbushs.com/owa/redir.aspx?C=a771062eda16447487f982014e54114f&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.epa.gov%2fclimatechange%2fwycd%2fhome.html gave me many possible solutions to further reduce my emissions:for example, while I do use Energy Star light bulbs for most of my lights, I do not have Energy Star appliances such as refrigerators. Thanks for all the info! Hopefully we can all contribute to reducing climate change and its effects on our planet."

Thanks Alexander A: "I calculated my carbon footprint and it is 32 while the United States has an average of 27. To reduce my carbon footprint, I can reduce it by recycling and using recycled products, travel light (carpool), and use energy star appliances."

Thanks Danny: "I went to calculate my carbon footprint and I was pleasantly surprised. It was 19 tons of CO2 per year for some reason I always thought it was much higher. There are still many ways I can reduce my carbon footprint and help save the environment. Though in my house most of our appliances are Energy Star, I still do not unplug the appliances that are not in use. I could also carpool more with my friends on my way to tournaments and games."

Thanks Jose V: "The calculated carbon footprint for my household is 63,587 lbs. of CO2 per year while the average carbon footprint of a four person household is 83,000 lbs. My calculated carbon footprint is 16,147 lbs. I can reduce my carbon imprint by reducing the number of miles I drive my cars per week, performing regular maintenance on each car, or buying vehicles that get more miles per gallon."

Thanks Victor: "My estimated greenhouse gas emissions are 29 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year. To reduce my climate impact, there are many simple things I can change in my everyday behavior that will make a big difference in the fight to slow climate change:
carpooling, using energy-efficient bulbs, turning off lights and other electronic appliance while not in use, breathing less often (just kidding)."

Thanks Alejo P: “I used the website to calculate my carbon footprint and I found out that it is 23. I am glad to know that it is below the nation's average but lowering would be better for the environment. I can do this by using energy star appliances, not only my washer and drier, as well as carpooling with my friends to go to school and eating more organic foods. Also, I can consider changing my car to a hybrid one and I can recycle my trash and use more recycled goods.”

Thanks Pat W: “I calculated my carbon footprint to be 24 tons of CO2 each year. Compared to the U.S., I am 3 tons bellow the national average. Yet compared to the world (5.5) I am way over. This brings to mind that Americans, including me, need to save on energy and help the environment. To reduce my number (24) I can unplug appliances when I don't use them. I can also center my meals more towards organic foods rather than your regular meal. I can also remind my family members to do the same. This has helped a lot with my understanding of carbon emissions and the number of tons that affect our planet, the only place in which we live. This was a fun challenge as I also learned from it.”

Thanks Julian E: “I used the Carbon Footprint Calculator at nature.org to calculate my Carbon Footprint. According to the calculator, I use 11 tons of CO2 yearly which is 8% above the average. I can lower my Carbon Footprint by unplugging my phone and ipod chargers when they are not in use, and keep the lights and TV off when they are not needed. I can also purchase ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics to lower my carbon output. I could also keep my computer turned off when it is not in use.”

Thanks Dan RC: “My family's carbon footprint is 62. However, though it may be under the United States Average it's still quite higher than the world average and can be reduced using a more fuel efficient car, traveling on planes less, and using more energy efficient appliances.”

Thanks Gregory S: “I calculated my carbon to be 26. This is slightly below the U.S. average. I can reduce my carbon footprint by turning electronics off, eating more less meat, using more Energy Star appliances, and taking less long distance flights(took two to Russia with my dad this summer). Hopefully, especially if I remember to turn appliances off when they're not in use, I can reduce my imprint to well below the national average.”

Thanks Klaus B: “I choose the challenge that requires me to calculate my carbon foot print. I currently produce 69,303 pounds of CO2 per year. However, if I take specific steps to save up money, I can reduce the emissions I produce by 26,415 pounds of CO2 per year. My new emission production will be about 42,888 pounds of CO2 per year. I will also save about $3,895. The steps that I will take will be to save mileage in my car, reduce the amount of electricity I use in my house, turn my air conditioning low during the winter, and also by recycling plastic items. I will also wash my clothes with cold water instead of hot water, switch certain items in my home to the Energy Star brand, and enable the sleep feature in my computers. By taking these steps, I think that I can make a difference in the environment.”

Thanks Justin L: “My carbon footprint was 23, which is relatively high but still below the national average of 27. To reduce the amount of carbon emissions, I could drastically reduce the amount of miles I travel in a car daily by carpooling. Also, I can switch older household appliances to newer, high efficiency models designed to conserve energy.”

Thanks Michael F: “My carbon footprint is 20, while the average is 27. I can reduce this number by using more energy efficient products, like light bulbs. Although I already do, I can also recycle more.”

Thanks Nick R: “I currently emit 16 tons of CO2 each year. I am well below the national average, but I am a way above the world average. This is speaks volumes about how Americans treat the environment. In order to reduce my CO2 emission, i can eat more organic products. I can also join a carpool instead of driving to school everyday with my mid-sized vehicle.”

Thanks Christian O: “My estimated greenhouse gas emissions are 17 tons of carbon dioxide, which is below the national average of 27. In order to reduce it, I could install environmentally friendly electric bulbs because only half of my house’s electrical appliances have that, and I could definitely motivate myself to unplug electronic advices when they’re not in use.”

Thanks Eddy P: “I calculated my carbon footprint to be 15. I can reduce my carbon footprint by buying lights that are more efficient, eating more organic foods, and by getting a fuel efficient car.”

Thanks AG: “After using the Carbon Footprint Calculator on The Nature Conservancy website, I found my family carbon footprint to be 90 tons of CO2 a year, which while lower than the US average of 160 tons/year, is still well over the world average of 33 tons/year (for a 6 person house hold). To lower my carbon footprint, I should get EnergyStar rated appliances, and get a more fuel efficient vehicle.”

6 Comments:

At December 3, 2009 at 8:05 PM , Blogger Mark said...

Hello Ms. McCullagh
Its Mark M again!!
I calculated my carbon footprint and it is 15 while the united states has an average of 27.
To reduce my carbon footprint. I can reduce it by using Energy Star appliances, and walking around town or riding a bike instead of driving, also eating more organic foods. :) !

 
At December 10, 2009 at 7:26 PM , Blogger Danny said...

Ms. McCullagh,

I went to calculate my carbon footprint and I was pleasantly surprised. It was 19 tons of CO2 per year for some reason I always thought it was much higher. There are still many ways I can reduce my carbon footprint and help save the environment. Though in my house most of our appliances are Energy Star, I still do not unplug the appliances that are not in use. I could also carpool more with my friends on my way to tournaments and games.

 
At December 10, 2009 at 8:21 PM , Blogger Jose said...

Hello Ms. McCullagh,
Its Jose V
The calculated carbon footprint for my household is 63,587 lbs. of CO2 per year while the average carbon footprint of a four person household is 83,000 lbs. My calculated carbon footprint is 16,147 lbs.
I can reduce my carbon imprint by reducing the number of miles I drive my cars per week, performing regular maintenance on each car, or buying vehicles that get more miles per gallon. :)

 
At December 12, 2009 at 1:16 AM , Blogger Armando Villar said...

Hello Ms.McCullagh,
It's Armando V, I found out that my carbon footprint was at 19 tons of CO2. Although well below the state average there are still many ways in which i can further reduce this. For example, i can carpool more often, recycle more, and unplug appliances that i am not using.

 
At December 12, 2009 at 10:34 AM , Blogger chris said...

Hey ms. McCullagh,
Its Chris B.
I calculated my carbon footprint for me and its 36 tons of CO2 a year while the average footprint is 27 tons. I obviously have alot of work to do.
I can reduce my carbon footprint by riding my bike more often then driving, buying a hybrid car and eating more organic foods, performing maintenance on all of my cars.

 
At December 12, 2009 at 12:06 PM , Blogger Cameron said...

Hello Mrs. McCullagh, it's Cameron
My Carbon footprint is 18 while the U.S average is 27. I think I can reduce it easily by turning off all the lights as I leave the house, and by having more energy efficient ways to work around the house and maybe carpooling with my friends to school each day

 

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