If each person can simply make more of an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and CO2 emissions, even just by a little bit every day, it will help to make the world a safer and more sustainable place to live, both now and tomorrow for the future generations.
International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day is here to act as a reminder and motivator for each person to make better use of the resources we have been given.
History of International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day
The awareness of the need to reduce greenhouse gas or CO2 emissions has been on the radar of scientists for more than 100 years. Back in 1896, one scientist from Sweden, Svante Arrhenius, first predicted that changes in the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could potentially alter the temperature of the earth’s surface with the greenhouse effect.
By 1938, a scientist named Guy Callendar made the connection that the increase in CO2 emissions was related to global warming and climate change. In fact, this was also related to research that had been done all the way back in 1824 when Joseph Fourier calculated that a planet the size of Earth in its positional relationship to the sun should actually be much colder than it was at the time, suggesting that there must be some sort of insulation or “blanket” that kept the Earth warmer.
As scientists continue to study the impact of the greenhouse effect and loss of the ozone layer on the planet, more evidence has been revealed of global warming, including rising sea levels, increased drought, severe wildfires, declining water supplies and much more.
When the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997, it was a sign of movement in the right direction toward the reduction of greenhouse gasses from industrialized countries. Still, it hasn’t been enough to slow down the rate fast enough.
Later, as the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, it legally bound 196 different countries in a commitment to limit global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to achieve a climate neutral planet by the middle of the 21st century.
International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day is here to raise awareness about and encourage people all over the world to do their part in taking care of the environment and the planet by reducing their carbon footprint.
International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day Timeline
First Earth Summit takes place
Held in Stockholm, Sweden, the UN Scientific Conference (aka Earth Summit) sets out principles for the preservation and enhancement of the environment.
Global warming and ozone depletion become prominent
As the world continues to watch its environment slowly deteriorating, climate change and the ozone layer are hot button topics.
Kyoto Protocol is introduced
The United Nations continues to take influential climate change action by aiming to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses from industrialized countries.
CO2 emissions are massively high
When compared to data taken in 1850, the CO2 emissions rates are a whopping 150 times higher.
The Paris Agreement is adopted
This legally binding treaty on climate change is agreed upon by 196 different countries to limit global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 
How to Celebrate International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day
On International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day, it’s time for everyone to do their part! Take a look at some of these ways to reducing the negative impact on the earth:
Consider Alternate Transportation Options
One of the largest controllable contributors to CO2 emissions is the use of personal vehicles, particularly if they are older models that are not as environmentally friendly. In celebration of International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day, consider an alternative way of getting to work or to the grocery store. Sure, it’s possible that some of these forms of transportation may require a bit of extra time or additional planning ahead, but it’s worth it in order to save the planet!
Try out one of these ideas that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
- Ride a Bike. When the weather is nice, consider taking a bicycle to work instead of driving a car. It’s not only better for the earth, it’s better for your health as well! You can burn calories, lose weight, save money on fuel, and reduce CO2 emissions all at the same time!
- Take Public Transportation. Using buses, subways and trains are a great way to cut down greenhouse emissions significantly. When dozens of people are sharing one bus, the toll it takes on the environment is significantly reduced. Plus, in many cases, it can be less expensive than owning a car when considering fuel, maintenance and insurance costs.
- Carpool. Many people live too far away from work to walk or bike, but there’s still the option to share a ride with someone else who works with you or at a place near you. And if you don’t know anyone, try out a rideshare website to help you find someone to carpool with.
- Walk. Perhaps it’s not possible to walk to work, but maybe it is possible to walk to school, to church, to a friend’s house, or to the local park. Before automatically hopping in the car, consider different options for getting where you need or want to go!
Use Solar Energy
International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day is the time to think creatively about ways to use the natural power that the sun provides every day. Perhaps this means investing in a large project like purchasing solar panels to put on top of the house. Or maybe the use of solar energy simply means cutting out the use of the clothes drying and hanging your laundry in the sun to dry!
In addition, garden lighting and other outdoor lights can be solar powered. Fans and radios can also use the free power of the sun. They even make solar powered portable smartphone chargers!
Try Some Other Carbon Reducing Tips
Consider some of these ways to reduce the impact your family has on the environment:
- Control heat and air conditioning. Consider setting your heat a couple of degrees colder in the winter and wear a sweater. And don’t forget an automatic thermostat that shuts off when you are not at home.
- Change light bulbs. Modern LED bulbs use 80-90% less energy than standard bulbs.
- Consume less. The fewer products you buy, the less impact made on the environment. Consider buying clothing and other household goods at thrift or charity stores to prevent consumer waste.
- Eat vegetarian or vegan. Meat and dairy produce up to 60% of greenhouse gasses from farms. Eating vegetarian or vegan, even just one day per week, helps reduce these emissions.
International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day FAQs
How can I reduce my CO2 emissions at home?
CO2 emissions can be reduced by using a renewable energy source (wind or solar), installing solar lights, using energy-saving light bulbs and adjusting the thermostat. 
How to reduce CO2 emissions from cars?
To reduce CO2 emissions, use premium fuel, check tire pressure, turn off the air conditioning, remove roof racks and don’t sit with the car running on idle. 
Do electric cars reduce CO2 emissions?
Yes, electric cars have no tailpipe emissions and the amount of emissions from the electricity source can vary from a small amount to zero (from wind or solar power). 
Why is reducing CO2 emissions important?
CO2 emissions reduction can improve air quality, heal the environment, benefit local economies and even improve public health. 
Who has reduced carbon emissions the most?
Since 1990, the United Kingdom has led the way in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40%.