The challenges of climate change are approaching, but we still have the power to turn it around.
Climate change. Global warming. How to save the planet. We always hear about it, on the news, on social media, from friends and family, it’s everywhere. But what does it really mean for us? It means that the natural weather patterns and climate are changing imposed by human behavior. This results in global warming, where the overall temperature rises. A rising temperature comes along with many environmental issues such as increased droughts, wildfires and in contrast, rising sea levels and flooding. With these things in mind, it’s time for humans to start taking action. There are many ways in which you can help, and collectively, we can all make a big difference.
Cut down on the fossil fuels
Arguably the leading cause of climate change, fossil fuels are used in things such as electronic appliances and transportation. This non-renewable energy source releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that pollutes the air, and in turn, increases global warming. Frequent driving, air travel, and keeping lights or electric appliances switched on when they are not in use are the common culprits that increase the amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere. To reduce your personal emissions, you can try to:
- Use public transportation more often, ride your bike or walk when possible
- Carpool if you are all going to the same place. It's also more fun with friends!
- Invest in solar panels as they don’t emit greenhouse gasses
Reduce your landfill
The problem of impulsive consumerism has become a lot more prevalent in this day and age. The landfill is one of the most significant causes of climate change as it releases methane, a gas that is more potent than carbon dioxide. This is because rubbish in the landfill doesn’t receive oxygen in order to decompose properly. To reduce your personal waste, try to:
- Purchase thrifted/recycled products or those that use deadstock materials
- Spend your money on one product that will last long a long time, rather than on many products that aren’t good quality
- Get a compost bin for your home
Reduce meat and dairy consumption
Animal agriculture is not only terrifying for animals, but it also has detrimental environmental impacts. The methane produced by animal farming is released into the atmosphere, causing the greenhouse effect. Additionally, to make room for animal agriculture, large areas of land are cleared, taking away from the “purifying” power of trees. Try to implement the following in order to reduce these methane emissions:
- Go vegan. That’s right, going vegan is arguably one of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Reduce your meat intake. If going vegan overwhelms you, start off by slowly decreasing the number of animal products you consume. You can even try things like ‘Meatless Monday.’
- Inform yourself about the cruelty involved in animal agriculture. Doing this will allow your journey towards veganism to become more natural.
Help reduce deforestation
Clearing trees is one of the worst things for the environment. Trees naturally remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and clean the air, so when they are cut down, the greenhouse gasses remain in the air, decreasing its quality. Your choices as a consumer can affect whether deforestation occurs due to the food you eat or the products you purchase. To reduce deforestation, you can:
- Purchase recycled paper or cardboard items
- Try to be as self-sufficient as possible, plant your own fruits/vegetables
- Plant a tree
Photos via Unsplash: Robert Bye, Annie Spratt, Christopher Carson, Massimo Rivenci
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