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Environment: treading lightly on the Earth
Environment: treading lightly on the Earth

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Environment: treading lightly on the Earth

Introduction

This free course, Environment: treading lightly on the Earth, focuses on the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide (CO2), and explores 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.

You’ll explore the answers to questions such as:

  • What is the effect on your carbon footprint of changing your eating habits, compared to driving fewer miles or flying less often?
  • What are the limits of what you can do at the individual and household level to reduce carbon footprints?
  • What is the individual’s role in reducing carbon footprints, or is it mainly a problem for governments and business?
Described image
Figure 1 The greenhouse effect due to increasing concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere

This OpenLearn 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)] .