The words “carbon footprint” evoke images of industrial factories spewing smog, vehicles idling in traffic, or the feelings of shame for participating in unsustainable air travel. The work of removing CO2 from Earth’s atmosphere is largely done by microorganisms in the oceans and by trees on land. However, issues like ocean acidification and mass deforestation jeopardize the planet’s ability to keep these global systems in check.
According to the United Nations, forest lands now cover less than 1/3rd of the Earth’s solid surface, and this number continues to decline. Forest fires exact a multiplied toll on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, with the trees they destroy and remove from the carbon sink equation. Over the past two months, thousands of precious hectors of forests have been incinerated by more than 700 forest fires in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC). The long-term increase of atmospheric CO2 is not the only negative impact that forest fires have on human life. Smoke from fires kill more than those who die from incineration. The forest fires in BC have resulted in numerous air quality warnings and pose a serious health risk for those with delicate respiratory systems. To learn the current conditions of the air quality where you live, visit: https://waqi.info/.Being carbon conscious is in the best interest of everyone’s health. Take the time to consider your actions that contribute to your carbon footprint, and most importantly, be fire smart by taking Smokey’s pledge.
Click the video link to watch Sally Aitken's escape through one of BC's 2017 wildfires