Posted by: ecodestination | April 3, 2009

Urbanites pollute less

I’ve always felt guilty about living in the city (except for the fact that I take public transportation), felt I pollute more here. Although, maybe I just feel that way because the city’s so damn dirty that wearing flip-flops turns my feet black. Eek.

It turns out that, overall, large cities’ greenhouse gas emissions are lower than those of rural areas-much lower. Go figure. Maybe it’s a good idea to vacation in cities, then, and particularly in green ones if you can find them! *Cough* *Cough*

While cities, then, do pollute considerably, rural emissions are more detrimental to the environment because they are largely methane-based rather than carbon dioxide-based, and methane pollutes way more. (Speaking of methane, did you know cattle expel more methane than anything or anyone else on the entire planet? Solution: vegetarianism.)

The way the discrepancy between urban and rural emissions was calculated was through the comparison of 12 large cities around the globe to their respective countries. On average, it was found, cities produce fewer greenhouse gasses than rural areas. It makes sense to me when considering that industrialized countries are loaded with factory farms. Again, cattle emit so much methane it’s obscene. Becoming vegetarian is one of the most efficient ways you can curb your carbon footprint personally and by extension. Not to mention how they pollute soil and water…but I won’t get into that today.

Here’s the list of cities and how badly they’ve scored:

1. Washington, DC, US – 19.7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent

2. Glasgow, UK – 8.4 tonnes

3. Toronto, Canada – 8.2 tonnes

4. Shanghai, China – 8.1 tonnes

5. New York City, US – 7.1 tonnes

6. Beijing, China – 6.9 tonnes

7. London, UK – 6.2 tonnes

8. Tokyo, Japan – 4.8 tonnes

9. Seoul, South Korea – 3.8 tonnes

10. Barcelona, Spain – 3.4 tonnes

11. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 2.3 tonnes

12. Sao Paulo, Brazil – 1.5 tonnes

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