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Personal steps to clean air and CO2 reductionViews: 285
Dec 14, 2009 8:20 pmPersonal steps to clean air and CO2 reduction#

Ken Hilving
For those interested in removing pollutants from their (indoor) air, there are a number of useful houseplants. English ivy, spider plant, Chinese evergreen, snake plant, philodendron, and weeping fig are good choices in the U.S..

For those interested in reducing CO2 from the atmosphere in general, trees can be good choices. The particular species should be appropriate to one's location. A choice that reduces summer sun on the home, or provides protection from winter winds, will also reduce power demands. In the U.S. the following trees are claimed to be the best choices for areas they are local to: Horse Chestnut, Black Walnut, American Sweetgum, Ponderosa Pine, Red Pine, White Pine, London Plane, Hispaniolan Pine, Douglas Fir, Scarlet Oak, Red Oak, Virginia Live Oak, and the Bald Cypress.

Fruit and nut trees offer an opportunity to absorb carbon while reducing energy consumption involved in fruit and nut transportation for personal consumption.

The CO2 released back into the atmosphere as plant material decomposes or is used as fuel is considered carbon neutral. The idea is that the plants only return to the atmosphere what they previously removed, so the net change over time is zero. Fossil fuels release carbon that had been removed from the atmosphere millennia ago, raising the ratio of CO2 in the atmosphere to these earlier levels, and "compressing" the cycle from eons to decades.

Regardless of the scientific theories involved houseplants, gardens, and neighborhood trees offer aesthetic value. mitigate local temperature swings, provide recreational opportunities, and in some culturally diverse areas offer a means of dealing with opposing beliefs.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Dec 14, 2009 8:35 pmre: Personal steps to clean air and CO2 reduction#

Ken Hilving
Although illegal in the U.S., Canadians and individuals outside of North America may want to consider hemp cultivation as a personal action to cleaner air.

The carbon absorption qualities of hemp are outlined at http://www.hempglobalsolutions.com/science2.php, along with many of its other potential benefits.

For U.S. citizens, it is supposedly possible to get a hemp cultivation permit. However, no such permits have ever been provided. This is both an example of unintended consequences, and a caution against government regulation of behaviors.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Dec 17, 2009 4:04 pmre: re: Personal steps to clean air and CO2 reduction#

Ken Hilving
It might not seem like it to some, but there are a number of groups actively involved with taking direct responsibility for the environment on a local basis.

For example, the Interfaith Power & Light organization actively brings various religious groups together, leveraging their combined energy needs to purchase green generated power. Visit them at http://interfaithpowerandlight.org/

The US Council of Mayors has embraced local action. See http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/climate-solutions/mayors-stand-up

Transition Towns is another local action. Only a couple of years old as an U.S. organization, it connects a number of existing local community efforts that have been active for a number of years. The group started some years back in the U.K. http://www.transitionus.org/

It isn't necessary to embrace all of the agendas of any of these groups in order to learn how to improve one's own quality of life. Nor is it necessary for an international agreement or strong national government involvement for such initiatives to succeed. In fact, I suspect a lack of centralized control encourages more individual participation and avoids many of the unintended consequences that laws and regulations create.

The personal gains are value enough, whether from lower costs, more enjoyable homes, or better living. My personal favorite -

There's only two things that money can't buy,
and that's true love and homegrown tomatoes.

:-)

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

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