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Environment: Treading lightly on the Earth

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This free course, Environment: Treading lightly on the Earth, focuses on the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, and explores what you can do to lighten those emissions to help reduce the rate of climate change.

By the end of this free course you should be able to:

  • Understand the problem of green-house gas emissions;
  • Explore what you can do as an individual or household to lighten those emissions;
  • Identify how much you would need to reduce your carbon footprint to achieve an environmentally ‘sustainable’ level of emission.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 15 hours
  • Updated Friday 22nd August 2014
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Environmental Studies
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Environment: Treading lightly on the Earth

Introduction

Unit image

This unit focuses on the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, and explore what you can do to lighten those emissions to help reduce the rate of climate change. You will assess your ‘carbon footprint’ and see what actions you and, if relevant, other household members could take to lighten that footprint. You will also better understand which actions are more and less effective, and the scope and limits of what individuals can do at the personal and household level.

This free course is an adapted extract from the Open University course U116 Environment: Journeys through a changing world [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Figure 1 The greenhouse effect due to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere

You'll explore the answers to questions such as:

  • What is the carbon reduction effect of changing your eating habits, compared to driving fewer miles or flying less often?

  • By how much would you need to reduce your carbon footprint to achieve an environmentally ‘sustainable’ level of emissions?

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