Climate change is a growing threat to not only the environment, wildlife but humanity as well. Several organisations and activists have been calling on governments and people worldwide to take a closer look at the effects of climate change and implement real change into combatting and reversing it before it is too late. Recently, acclaimed broadcaster, naturist and climate activist released his Netflix documentary ‘A Life on Our Planet’ where he conveyed the changes to the natural world that he has personally witnessed in his lifetime, underlining the devastation and based on scientific evidence, the destruction (and human extinction) to come. However, he instils a clear message of hope, pointing to areas where we can reverse the damage done and restore our bio-diverse world. Often, we think that tackling climate change is something that governments need to do and whilst this is the case, individuals need to, and can, effectively help the effort too. Here are some ways in which you can better help to reverse climate change.
Contact your local representative
Write to your local politician, whether a member of congress or the senate. Ask them for more information on climate legislations and urge them to support green policies. Such as renewable energy projects, supporting renewable transportation, protecting wildlife habitats, better waste management and recycling schemes and so forth. Research into these areas and make suggestions as to how your local community can better fight climate change.
Switch to Green Power
True, there needs to be a global effort to switch to renewable energy sources and whilst you and climate change activists are urging governments to invest in, and switch to, renewable energy sources. However, you can still manage your own. Switching to green energy can be done in a number of ways. There are some energy providers that generate electricity from green sources, you may be able to switch to a new green provider. You could also look into investing in your own renewable energy sources, from solar panelling to heat pumps, after a time this could pay itself off and you may even be able to sell that energy on.
You can also look to reducing emissions in other areas of your life. Can you opt to cycle to work instead of driving? Can your next car purchase take eco-friendliness into account? Or can you use public transport more often?
Opt for a plant-based diet
Whether you chose to go fully vegan, vegetarian or just reduce your meat intake, changing your diet to more of a plant-based one can make a significant difference to your carbon footprint. Plus, when done correctly, reducing your meat intake can often be better for your health.
Currently, humans use about 50% of habitable land for farming and agriculture, by decreasing demand for meat (and switching to efficient food production methods) we would require far less land for farming. Which would reverse deforestation, reduce demand for freshwater, replenish wildlife habitats, reduce carbon dioxide output and so forth.
According to One Green Planet ‘the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent.’ Eating food that is local and in season, alongside avoiding foods with excessive packaging is also a bonus for the environment.
Save Energy and be sustainable
This is beneficial to not only the environment but your pocket too. Looking to areas inside your home where you can be more conscious of saving energy is a great start. Don’t leave appliances on standby be conscious of your water and electricity consumption, turn the lights off and generally look at areas where you can save resources – you may be surprised at how much your household bills reduce! To go a step further, you can ensure your home is energy efficient, by looking into proper insulation, double-glazed windows and areas where hot or cool air is escaping. Further, you may want to utilise smart systems that monitor your energy usage and, in some cases, these devices even allow you to manage your appliances from your phone.
For sustainability: reduce, reuse and recycle are key elements to more climate friendly living. You may want to look into the amount you are consuming and wasting. Not just food waste but material waste too – are you buying clothes or paraphernalia on a whim only for them to be stuffed into cupboards and never used? Do you unnecessarily replace items in your home when you can still get use out of the old ones? Could you look into more eco-friendly options for everyday household products? Can you opt for items that use less plastic?
Look to reusing old items or even selling them on, and utilise charity shops or second-hand markets for items rather than buying new. Also set up an efficient recycling system at home, if your local waste services don’t take all of the recycled goods there may be other waste organisations in your area that can recycle trickier items for you such as metals, plastics and electronics, rather than sending them to landfill. According to Active Sustainability ‘you can save over 730 kilos of CO2 each year just by recycling half of the garbage produced at home’