What can I do to help reduce Climate Change?
Right now the news is plastered with the scary future Planet Earth is heading for, and with more and more people realising we need to act now, here's how you can help and do your bit for our planet.
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The first place to start, the three R's. By simply reducing, reusing or recycling, you are disposing of less and creating a lower demand for the produce of that product, reducing greenhouse gas issues.
By consuming less, you waste less, cut down on what you're throwing away! The best way to reduce is trying to buy produce without packaging, such as fresh fruit and vegetables which come loose who not wrapped in plastic.
Another key way to reduce is to reuse products. So what simple changes and steps can you make?
Ditch that plastic toothbrush and disposable razor, and go for a bamboo or electric tooth brush alternative and an epilator or electric shaver.
Have a house full of things you no longer need? Don't throw it away, donate to charity.
Use reusable bags instead of getting a new one each time you go shopping that will just add to that collection of bags in your cupboard (I think we're nearly all guilty of having a bag stash).
Buy a reusable coffee cup, this usually lands you a discount at your local coffee shop too, or save more and make one at home!
Buy a reusable straw, there are many choices now from bamboo, to glass, to stainless steel. (Hold tight Thalassophile store will be stocking these for you very soon).
Recycle, recycle, recycle. Whatever products you can stop from going to landfill do. Even those annoying wrappers that can't be recycled use to make an Eco-brick. Did you know by recycling half of your household waste you can save approximately 1089 kg of carbon dioxide per year.
2. Walk more, drive less
Get those fitness levels up whilst you save the planet. Walk where you can, or even bike to help reduce harmful car emissions, did you know about 15 % of man-made carbon dioxide comes from cars, trucks, aeroplanes, ships and other vehicles? So as well as reducing energy consumption and lower production of pollutants such as greenhouse gases, countless studies have proven the health benefits of taking the exercise route of transport over driving.
Not a fan of walking? Grab that bike or skateboard from the shed, dust off those cobwebs and get pushing.
3. Choose sustainable seafood
With over 85% of the world's fisheries being fully exploited, it is resulting in many species of fish becoming endangered. As our ocean temperatures are rising, it is affecting several habitats and Eco-systems quite negatively. Coral reefs in particular are suffering from rise in sea temperatures, causing coral bleaching to take place, which can cause coral death. With this negative impact, it is causing fish population decrease.
By purchasing sustainably caught fish, you are helping to control fishing management and pressures. Over-fishing reduces reproductive output, and studies have found that those waters that have been over-fished are more likely to suffer and be influenced by global warming. Climate change is also making it harder to re-build these populations once depleted.
Studies have also found that if we focus on rebuilding those fisheries which are currently depleted, and manage the climate change impacts there is hope that in the future that more fish can be sustainably harvested than there presently is.
4. Don't send chemicals into our waterways
You may not be able to see it, but we all live above a stream or lake. It may be small, or may even be a storm drain, but all of these lead to rivers and eventually the ocean. These waters can be harmed by everyday things we do in our homes. Rain causes water to wash over lawns and streets, taking the nasties with it.
So what products are Hazardous?
Vehicle substances: Petrol and diesel
Pesticides and weed killers
Home Improvements: Oil based products such as rust remover and glue
Others: Alcohol based lotions, nail polish remover, and aerosols
So what can I use as alternatives?
Baking soda and white vinegar may become yours and the planet's new best friend when cleaning. Both are super effective and are much healthier for our waters and planet.
Natural pesticides - often from a natural source being a mineral or plant.
5. Cut down on electricity where you can
The largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions is energy production and use. When you consume less power, you actually reduce the amount of toxic fumes released into the world's atmosphere by power plants. By doing so you conserve the earth's natural resources and therefore, help to protect ecosystems.
The majority of power plants burn fossil fuels to generate electricity, which although is inexpensive, our planet ends up paying the price. Greenhouse gas emissions are one of the byproducts of this process, which affect the planet by:
Increasing intensity of natural disasters
Rising sea levels
Rising temperatures, droughts and heat waves
Causing abnormal weather patterns
Each small change you make can make a massive difference, cutting back on energy consumption reduces the amount of electricity that power plants have to make, subsequently reducing the amount of fossil fuels that are burned each day.
How can I reduce my electricity use?
Turning off lights at night
Washing clothes in Eco-mode
Hanging clothes out to dry rather than drying them in a tumble dryer
Switching to energy saving light bulbs
Turn your heating down or off
Use Eco-mode on your dishwasher
Turn off your TV or computer
Get off the power grid and go solar
6. Plant a tree
Imagine if we could just plant a trees and they would clean the air? Oh wait they can...The ultimate carbon capture is nature. Trees help capture those nasty carbon emissions and gases from the atmosphere, and store them. A mature tree can absorb on average 48lbs of carbon a year, making enough clean oxygen for 4 people to breathe in fresh air.
What other ways do trees help?
Trees also provide shade, which allows soil to retain moisture rather than drying out, supporting fertile agriculture.
Trees help protect coastal communities from storms and severe flooding. They do this by absorbing excess water in the soil and releasing it as water vapour into the atmosphere. Trees can also help by slowing down the water’s strength as it rushes on land.
Urban trees also help to reduce heat and air conditioning costs of building, this can help to save as much as 10% on annual energy consumption and cutting down air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels.
So really, what more reasons are needed to plant trees?
7. Educate others
Education is one of the most essential elements to the global response of climate change. It helps not just young people, but people of all ages understand and address the impact of global warming
Protecting our planet starts with you.