You are not the only one if you feel more than worried lately witnessing and experiencing climate change. Many people thought this was a myth, but today it has manifested into a global disaster.
And what’s the best solution for your worries? The answer is climate action!
In 2018, climate scientists gave the global residents a wake-up call, informing them that our current actions are not enough to meet our target of 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming and climate change.
Climate change is challenging, but our actions don’t have to be. Generally speaking, we might assume that climate change is a huge deal and that one person’s efforts might not make much difference.
And yes, it might be a difficult thing to ask your neighbor to separate their biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes for the greater good. But it is as simple as a coin flip to erase your carbon footprints.
Do you want to fit in this bigger picture of climate action? Here are some simple yet very effective climate actions for you to practice green living and fight climate change!
Table of Contents
1. Walk more, drive less: Minimizing our carbon footprints
A study taken forth by Nicholas from Lund University concluded that going car-free was the best climate action one could take. Going car-free can cut off 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide in European nations, about one-fourth of the yearly average emissions produced by a single person.
We are yet to discover a viable alternative to airplanes powered by fossil fuels. According to Nicholas, the yearly average emission of one person in India is equal to the carbon dioxide emissions of a regular transatlantic round-trip of around 1.6 tonnes.
- Use a bike or public transit more often. Take advantage of the physical and mental reward that comes along with it.
- If you have to drive, make sure the oxygen sensors are in good order.
- Share your ride with someone who needs it.
- You can make a switch to electric cars and considerably reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
- Fly as little as possible.
2. Don’t be the energy vampire: Turn off the lights!
Do we habitually unplug our computers, TVs, and other electronic appliances when not in use? Do you enjoy listening to the television in the background when you are not even watching? If your answer is yes, acknowledge yourself as an energy vampire!
Consider making yourself more energy conscious so that you do not add up to the increasing amount of greenhouse gases on the earth.
- It is always best to insulate your living space and prevent heat from escaping or entering. This way, your ACs, and heaters will consume far less energy.
- Keep an eye on the Energy star levels while buying electronics. It helps us become more energy and emission-conscious.
- Wash your laundry in cold water. About 75% of the total greenhouse emission produced by a single load comes from warming the water.
- Turn down the heat for two degrees and put on extra light layering when indoors.
- Make a switch to energy-efficient light bulbs such as halogen incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), and light-emitting diodes (LED). They will reduce your energy consumption to about 25%-80% in comparison to regular light bulbs.
3. Save water: Every drop counts!
Water is an invaluable resource on the planet and a necessity for each human being. As water resources are getting increasingly scarce daily, companies search for alternative ways of accumulating water through hazardous means. And although 71% of the earth’s surface is water, less than 1% is fit for human consumption.
If we are not mindful of saving water today, the future generation will face a great deal of water scarcity intensified by climate change. Hence, changing our water consumption patterns will strengthen the ecosystem and reduce the shortage.
For instance, showering for a shorter time reduces greenhouse gases produced when heating the water. Here are a few water-saving tips for decent climate action.
- Install a water-saving toilet flush system.
- Don’t keep the tap running when brushing, washing dishes, etc.
- Close your taps properly after every use and fix every leak in the house.
- Make your shower routine shorter. By showering 3 minutes less, we can save about 40 liters of water annually.
4. Go green: Make a switch to 100% renewable energy.
The burning of fossil fuels, especially for electricity, heating, factories, and transport, contributes to around two-thirds of the global greenhouse gas emission.
The best approach to Climate Action is saying no to the use of fossil fuels such as carbon, oil, and other natural gases. Today, various cleaner and renewable forms of energy are gentle both for your wallet and the earth!
- Install a solar-powered system for your house and remain free from the grid.
- Switch from a gas stove to an electrical one. This shift will help you lower indoor air pollution.
- Sun is a natural dryer. It is always best to hang your clothes in the sun rather than using an electric dryer. At least, on those hot summer days!
Let us make the most of this free energy and save the planet!
5. Change your diet: Go meatless more often!
Our food habits make a tremendous difference to the environment around us. The dairy and meat industries are some of the most significant contributors to climate change. Now, does that mean you have to go vegan? Well, not necessarily. If you want to cut your diet’s carbon footprints by more than 40%, just cut your animal product consumption by half.
If you are curious about how meat industries contribute so much to climate change and global warming, here’s a short explanation: Cow’s burp releases a massive amount of methane produced during food processing. Additionally, they consume plenty of water and fertilized grasses which again aids in emitting greenhouse gases.
Let’s save the planet, one meal at a time. Here are a few climate-friendly food habits to help protect the earth:
- Nothing beats a vegan lifestyle. And if you cannot go vegan, eat more vegetarian meals.
- Reduce your dairy intake and increase plant-based products.
- Grow your tiny kitchen garden and contribute to the worldwide green movement.
- Say no to processed food and support local farmers.
- Always choose fresh and seasonal products to reduce carbon emissions from preservation, refrigeration, and transportation.
6. Say no to plastic: Carry your biodegradable shopping bags!
Plastic is the biggest problem of today’s time. Our ocean is full of minute plastic fragments, and so are our foods! And, the close relationship between plastic production and climate change is not a myth. Every plastic article lying around our homes and offices was manufactured in a fossil-fuelled industry.
And the worst part, every single plastic emits a certain amount of greenhouse gases throughout its life cycle.
- Stop buying bottled water. As reported by the Guardian, one million plastic bottled water are purchased around the world every minute.
- Avoid buying fruits and vegetables that come in a plastic container. I mean, there is no point in giving plastic packaging to oranges!
- Always find alternatives to plastic whenever possible.
7. Plant more trees and protect green spaces
The importance of trees and forests for climate change and global warming is abundant. By taking in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen, trees have been contributing on a broad scale to minimize the effects of climate change.
According to climate change ecologist Tom Crowther, reforestation is the top solution for climate change. As crucial as afforestation sounds, it is equally important to stop deforestation and the destruction of forest lands.
Is planting a tree all that I can do? Well, that’s a good start, but limiting your poultry and pork intake is yet another milestone. Poultry and pigs are fed with soya, which is produced on farms that were previously tropical rainforests. And as the demand for animal products increases, so does forest clearing.
Furthermore, you can create your own green space indoors or outdoors by planting a few useful herbs.
8. Downsize your needs: Be mindful of those unnecessary and impulse purchases.
Metal straws are eco-friendly and just another way of saying no to plastic straws polluting our oceans. But do you need a straw? Sipping on the water or juice straight from the cup sounds good to me! And did you know that clothing industries contribute about 3% of the global carbon dioxide emissions? And the same goes with international shipments. More and more carbon dioxide is released with each of your international orders!
- Remember to share! The less we own, the minimal the production will be.
- Upcycle your furniture rather than purchasing a new one.
9. Recycle, reduce and reuse: Cut down on your waste
Going to a restaurant and leaving the leftovers might seem like an insignificant thing. But is that so? Now, consider all the harvest time, person-hours, energy, water, transport, storage, and packaging that goes into it. And not to forget that as the food waste ends up in landfills and rots, it produces a very harmful greenhouse gas called methane.
- Send your plastic bottles, soda cans, and milk cartons to the recycling center and earn extra cash.
- Donate unwanted and valuable items to charity or second-hand stores.
- Go thrifting. You can shop for good-quality second-hand items to reduce global waste.
- Avoid using single-use items, whether they are clothes, food containers, or appliances.
- Start composting your food waste for your kitchen garden. Create “black gold” from your kitchen wastes.
10. Make your voice heard!
A significant number of people worldwide have come down on their streets to stand against human activities that have widely contributed to climate change. They have been urging their government to take immediate action.
Using our voice as active citizens and our actions as consumers of greenhouse-negative industries will promptly lead to significant and collective climate action. How can I do this? Find a few of the steps and ways you can spread your words to highlight the benefits of climate action:
- Advocate about cycle lanes and plastic-free zones for your city.
- Join a campaign and social movements that focus on climate change.
- Talk about the changes you have made and how it has affected your lifestyle and nature for good.
- Motivate your friends and neighbors to go green and incorporate climate-friendly behaviors in their lifestyle.
The supreme threat we face today is climate change. Numerous scientists and researchers have urged global residents to be mindful of their lifestyles and contribute to climate action.
A high school student and a business person will have a considerable impact on climate change, and in turn, both of these individuals will be affected by climate change equally. Therefore, the choice is ours, and whether we want to protect or destroy the planet, the decision is ours.
Our climate action can be as small as carrying our shopping bags to a grocery store or growing our rosemary by the balcony. The measures will have a favorable implication towards climate change.
It is high time that we ask ourselves, “what can I do?” instead of “what did I do?”
Go ahead and check if your taps are leaking or if your electronics are still plugged!
(Last Updated on September 10, 2021 by Sadrish Dabadi)