Did you know that the average person in the U.S. generates about 21 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year? You can help mitigate climate change and save valuable tropical forests by contributing to our Living Forest program. This is referred to as a “carbon offset” because it prevents greenhouse gas emissions that would be caused by deforestation. By preserving one acre of forest, you are preventing emission of about 19 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—and protecting amazing animal and plant species in the process!
The choices we make in our daily lives—at home, travel and transportation, the food we eat, and what we buy and throw away—all contribute to our carbon footprint. By becoming aware of how our choices affect the health of the planet and taking simple steps to consume less fossil fuel, we can ensure a healthier world for ourselves and species around the globe, including polar bears. The San Diego Zoo is pleased to partner with Nature & Culture International, an organization that helps protect some of the most biologically and culturally diverse areas. They create protected reserves through land purchase and work with governments and communities to create protected areas in some of the most threatened yet ecologically important regions of the Americas.
Though climate change is a natural phenomenon that has happened on our planet before, it is a complex process that is exacerbated by human activities like burning oil and gas and destroying forests. This activity is happening at an alarming rate. The average person in the U.S. is responsible for 21 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
With natural climate shifts in combination with unchecked human activities, we’re “burning the candle at both ends.” Climate change has accelerated around the planet, wreaking havoc on weather patterns, sea levels, wildlife, and local economies. When forests are burned, they release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which causes climate change. Destruction of forests account for about 17 percent of the Earth’s carbon emissions from human activity each year. Tropical forests are of special concern because they also contain valuable plant and animal biodiversity.
Humans have the power to change direction and help revitalize the planet in just a few easy steps:
1) Calculate your carbon footprint
2) Reduce your carbon footprint
3) Mitigate the carbon emissions you contribute to the atmosphere