CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County officials are brainstorming ways to reduce carbon emissions and become more environmentally friendly.

Sustainability Coordinator Arielle Gerstein for Charleston County said in a presentation that for County government operations, solid waste contributes to almost all of the greenhouse gases.

Over the last few years, county officials have been collecting data that shows major changes to the climate in the Lowcountry. Leaders say Thursday’s flooding is one example of why change is needed.

“It took me about 30 minutes to get down Calhoun street because of the flooding,” says Christine von Kolnitz, the Chair of Sierra Club.

County officials say the five largest areas across Charleston County with greenhouse gas emissions is the Charleston, North Charleston, and Mount Pleasant. Kolnitz says numbers are expected to increase as more people move to the area.

“Becomes a quality life issue and a health issue. We really need to get these greenhouse gases down,” she says.

Kolnitz says the increase in carbon emissions impacts people’s homes and livelihoods.

“We don’t want that to happen to people. We want people to be able to live without this menace in our lives. We can do something about it,” she says.

The county says now they are working on ways to reduce the county’s carbon footprint through transportation, buildings, waste, and industrial sectors. Kolnitz says it’s important for the public’s help for the Climate Action Plan to work.

“The county is only responsible for their operations. We all live in the county so if we want all greenhouse gases to go down, we all have to be involved,” she says.

Charleston County is hosting another public meeting about greenhouse gases virtually on September 14.