UH Manoa professor develops website to tackle carbon emissions

UH Manoa professor develops website to tackle carbon emissions
Updated: Dec. 13, 2016 at 9:51 PM HST
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Dr. Camilo Mora (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Dr. Camilo Mora (Image: Hawaii News Now)

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - How many trees would you have to plant to offset the amount of carbon you put into the atmosphere? A UH Manoa professor is leading an effort to help answer that question.

Dr. Camilo Mora, Department of Geography associate professor, is developing a website that will allow individuals to calculate their carbon emissions and the number of trees they would need to plant to sequester the carbon.

Mora is calling it the Carbon Neutrality Challenge and is urging people to tackle the problem themselves, instead of waiting for the government.

"Today, the average American produces roughly 20 tons of carbon per year," Mora said. "Trees are the best technology we know of that removes the carbon from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis. They take the CO2, put it in their bodies and it stays there for years."

Mora said the concept is simple, but getting the project off the ground isn't that easy.

Thanks to a $15,000 grant awarded to the school from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress Hawaii Climate Fund, Mora hopes to also mass produce a device that will automatically water your tree when it gets dry.

He's also working on developing technology to scare away unwanted animals from eating or disturbing your tree and heavy duty weed removers to help your tree flourish.

Mora said he hopes to have the website up and running by late January 2017.

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