Effort to reduce emissions by city, businesses worthy steps

Bartholomew County is not among the state’s worst counties for release of industrial carbon dioxide into the air. However, with 43 of 92 counties ranking ahead of Bartholomew County, there’s plenty of room to improve.

The county’s large facilities released about 113,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2014, a total that places it at the midpoint of the rankings, according to an Environmental Protection Agency database.

Although more strides need to be made in the county’s efforts to be environmentally conscious, it’s good to see local companies, the county and the city thinking of ways to reduce the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Companies such as Enkei America and Cummins Inc. have switched to more efficient machinery and materials. As a result, they have seen notable drops in their levels of carbon releases.

The Bartholomew County Landfill is considering creating a network of tubes at the site to collect gasses, such as carbon dioxide, that are emitted through decomposition and sell them as usable products — but the site isn’t mature enough to begin such a process yet.

The city of Columbus is looking at reducing carbon emissions from motor vehicles through better timing of stoplights to prevent excessive idling of vehicles, and further upgrades to the People Trails for walking and biking.

While the impact of each individual move alone may not stop global warming, mixed with other efforts that can be tackled and controlled locally these environmentally friendly incremental steps make a difference. The community and its residents benefit with a healthier and more beautiful city.

And as Earth Day approaches on April 22, it gives us more reason to be mindful of ways to protect our environment.