Friday, June 21, 2024

Practically Living Green

Showing practical reasons to live green.

Journal & Opinions

Gas Stoves Are A Bigger Problem Than Previously Thought

Gas stoves are a staple of American households with roughly 40% of households having one. Yet, they may be far more dangerous to the homeowners and to the environment than previously thought.

According to a new report from Stanford University, researchers concluded that methane that leaked from gas stoves in just the US alone was equivalent to what 500,000 gasoline-powered cars release. And it also found multiple negative health effects for homeowners.

While electrification is quickly replacing gas ovens, it may not be fast enough.

What If I Don’t Use My Stove Often?

Gas Stove Off

You may be thinking that your gas stove isn’t contributing to the problem since you don’t cook very often. However, you would be very wrong.

The research conducted included ovens that were new and old. One of the most shocking discoveries is that regardless of age, the majority of emissions came from when the stove was off.

Let me say that again; more emissions come from when they are off.

This is due to the gas lines having small leaks, or the connectors not fitting right. Not only is this wasteful from a monetary perspective (gas isn’t free) and bad for the environment, but it’s also very dangerous if the leak is large.

Thus, if you don’t use your stove very often, you are much better off buying an electric one.

What Are the Health Risks of Gas Stoves?

Gas stoves release nitrogen oxide when in use. Normally, the amount they release is not harmful to their users.

However, many homes and apartments do not have a big enough area to support them. Even worse, many of these have inadequate ventilation systems in place.

The end result is that these harmful gases build up rapidly and can quickly exceed healthy limits in minutes.

I hear you asking, “what can these gases actually do to humans?”

Exposure to nitrogen oxides can damage the human respiratory system. It can also increase the likelihood of contracting respiratory diseases and asthma. This should be particularly worrisome considering Covid-19 is a repository disease.

It’s also not just humans that are impacted. Plants that are exposed to the gases will impact the ability to grow and damage foliage.

This Is What Makes Net-Zero Goals Hard

One of the biggest misconceptions of climate change is that all it takes is to stop using fossil fuels for energy and to replace gas-powered cars with electric.

That’s not enough.

For example, in the US, transportation and energy sectors accounted for 54% of emissions. That’s only half of the problem. Actually reaching net-zero requires changing nearly everything within our society, and gas stoves are just another extension of that problem.

Even industries that don’t seem like a problem are actually huge emitters like agriculture. You may think it’s a joke, but cow burps (not farts) are actually warming the planet.

This is because of the sheer amount of cattle that make up a vast portion of agriculture in general.

The good news is that electrification is underway. This is a process of making systems and products that use fossil fuel to use electricity instead. Like electric stoves or cars.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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