Is it possible to remove carbon from the air and reverse the damage already done to the atmosphere?
Yes, it it. This can range from small actions like planting trees to big technologies which can actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Methods of Carbon Removal
- Forests – trees naturally remove CO2 from the air via photosynthesis. Most people are aware of the current crisis of deforestation, with experts estimating that an area the size of a football field is lost every second.
- Biochar – biochar is a charcoal-like substance made by burning organic agricultural and forestry waste (biomass) in a container with very little oxygen. As a result biochar is rich in stable carbon that cannot escape easily into the atmosphere. This means the process for making biochar (pyrolysis) can sequester carbon from the atmosphere and hold it in the soil, where it can improve soil quality. Moreover, during the production of biochar clean and renewable energy is produced as a byproduct which can be used as an alternative to burning fossil fuels.
- Wooden building elements – concrete is responsible for 4-8% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Using wooden building elements from a managed forestry actually stores carbon as opposed to emitting it. On top of this, wooden building elements tend to be quicker and easier to build, reducing transport fuel and on-site energy usage.
What You Can Do to Help
- Beware of palm oil – a lot of deforestation is due to palm oil plantations, however cutting palm oil out altogether would ruin thousands of livelihood so instead try to shop it sustainably. Read our article here on how to shop for how you can help when it comes to palm oil.
- Use wooden building elements – if you are building a new house or even offices, consider using wooden building elements to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
- Sign up to companies removing carbon from the atmosphere. There are a few that run a subscription service whereby you pay a certain amount a month and they will remove an amount of carbon from the atmosphere depending on which subscription you choose.
Please get involved by letting us know your thoughts and interacting with others in the community in the comments section below!