Fighting climate change has been such a hard problem to solve over the years. One of the reasons, many people don’t realize, is that they are not playing their role to help fight climate change. Climate change is a global problem that can’t only be fixed by big companies and governments taking action. It will also take effort from everyone. At the end of the day, if everyone can play a role in making climate change worse, everyone can also play the role in fighting climate change. If everyone played their part in fighting climate change, we would be one step closer to making the world a better place. Here are nine things that everyone can do to fight climate change.
1. Try to use clean energy
Today, the largest source of greenhouse gas emission comes from burning fossil fuels to power our everyday activities. From electricity to transport, together we are contributing to two-thirds of all the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. In Europe, 80% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from energy use alone. It doesn’t have to be that way. As you may have heard there are many other possible alternatives other than fossil fuels. Try using renewable energy like solar panels or hydroelectricity to support clean energy and not fossil fuels. Check with your suppliers if you're interested. Many people today have the option to buy green energy from their suppliers.
2. Save energy if you can’t find clean energy
In the US, 50% of energy customers have the option of choosing whether or not they want to use green energy. That means that there are still many people who don’t have the option to use green energy. If you find that you also have no choice, try saving energy. This can be done in many ways around your house. You can try to close all unnecessary lights and use natural lighting, unplug unused electronics and take shorter showers to save water and heat. You can also buy many appliances that are designed to save more energy. This includes buying good home insulators, efficient lightbulbs and efficient refrigerators.
3. Consider the implications of your diet
You might have already heard that meat is not a sustainable industry. To produce meat a significant amount of water and land is used. In some cases, meat production can lead to deforestation. The greenhouse gas emissions from livestock industries in Europe are believed to be 12-17%. To help, you don’t need to become vegan or vegetarian. All you need to do is to reduce your consumption of meat. If everyone did this the demand for meat can decrease, reducing the demand for raising livestock and its harmful effects on the environment. You can also help by supporting organic farmers as their produce is much more sustainable for the planet. They use less harmful chemicals and can be better for your health.
4. Avoid plastic as much as possible
In today’s world, there are plastics everywhere. Over the years we have produced so much plastic waste that it is almost impossible to find a place in the world without plastics. Although using plastic is still one of consumers’ only choices when we buy things, we still have many instances where we can make environment-friendly choices. This includes using your own more reusable products like bags, bottles, straws and containers. This is really worth a try because plastics are huge pollutants. The production of plastic bags produces a lot of pollution and deposing them also causes carbon emissions as they slowly decompose.
When you are on the highways you might realize that almost every car is barely half-filled. This can be annoying during a traffic jam, but most importantly, it increases everyone’s personal carbon footprint. According to Transport Canada, one carpool can reduce carbon emissions by 3.72 kg. To put it in perspective, in America 150 million people use the roads to get to work. If people were to carpool more we will be able to reduce the carbon emissions by a significant amount. It is not only cars that we can share, sharing clothes, tools and knowledge can go great distances in fighting climate change.
8. Protect our forests and plant more trees
Deforestation is one of the worst things we can do for our planet. This along with carbon emissions is one of the biggest causes of climate change. Trees are so important to the air that scientists believe that growing an additional 900 million hectares of trees will help remove two-thirds of the carbon emission from the air. This is why restoring our forests is one of the most influential things we can do to restore our planet. You can help by planting trees in your neighbourhood or supporting forest restoration organizations like Forest Recovery Canada and WeForest.
9. Put pressure on the governments and big companies to make changes
As much power as we have over our own decisions to make environmentally sensitive choices, we still sometimes run out of options to make environmentally friendly decisions. This includes being unable to avoid plastic products, having to travel a lot and having to use a lot of energy. Sometimes only governments and big companies have enough power to fight climate change on a big scale. That is when we call governments and big companies to take action. Things they can do that will help a lot in fighting climate change include investing in research on how to cut carbon emissions caused by industrial production, transportation and investing in research to find better alternatives we can use in the future to move away from fossil fuels as our energy source.
Did you see something that you can do? Share this article and let everyone know how you are going to fight climate change!