Climate change is a growing concern for all of us and it’s important for each of us to do our part. While we push governments and corporations to enact larger changes that can have a bigger impact, our own daily choices can also be effective. Here are just a few things you can do about climate change on a daily basis to conserve resources and help lessen the harmful effects our existence can have on the environment.
Switch to LED or CFL Bulbs
If you haven’t already gotten rid of your incandescent light bulbs, now is the time. LED and CFL (fluorescent) bulbs use less energy and don’t burn as hot. As an added bonus, they last longer, which means you won’t have to buy new bulbs every few months.
Replace Energy-Burning Devices
From household appliances to desktop computers, our older electronic devices burn excessive amounts of energy. You can now replace those appliances and computers with energy-efficient machines. This is relatively easy, since newer energy-efficient machines will have the EnergyStar logo. Europe offers an equivalent method for easily identifying energy efficient appliances. European consumers should look for products bearing an A or an A+ rating to ensure they’re buying the most energy efficient products available. By conserving energy, these devices will also be gentler on your pocketbook.
Reduce Food Waste
The wasting of food is an especially big problem and it does have a large impact on the environment by compelling us to produce more food in a shorter period of time. The process of growing and harvesting food adds to the methane content in our atmosphere, which is the second biggest cause of climate change behind fossil fuels. While some suggest giving up red meat altogether can rectify this situation, you can start by making a smaller sacrifice. By reducing the amount of red meat you, your family and friends consume, you can have a positive impact methane production without making a big sacrifice.
Eat Organically Farmed Red Meat
Animals raised on factory farms are fed grains, which are not digested efficiently. The gases these animals release as a result contain high concentrations of methane. By becoming more selective about buying red meat from animals fed more organic diets, you can help resolve this issue.
Reduce Water Usage
Although most people don’t realise this, our access to fresh water is limited and diminishing. As climate change becomes a bigger problem and average seasonal temperatures continue to rise, our sources of fresh water will evaporate more rapidly. While we look for ways to address this problem, everyone should be trying to conserve water in our daily lives. You can help by reducing the amount of water your household uses. Installing low-flow shower heads and faucets is an excellent start, but family members should be asked to take shorter showers as well. Additionally, wash full loads of laundry instead of half loads.
Keep the Car Parked
If you can walk or cycle to work and school, that will have a surprisingly big impact on climate change. For every kilometre travelled, your vehicle emits a minimum of 271 grams of carbon. Even a public bus results in high carbon emissions at 101 grams per kilometre. Try to walk or cycle whenever possible to limit carbon emissions in your community.
If you own a home with ample land, you may want to plant trees on your own property. Alternatively, contact your local government to see if you can start or join a project that plants more trees in parks and on other public lands. Each tree will absorb up to one tonne of carbon dioxide within its lifetime, so planting just one tree will have a significant effect on the environment.
Enacting these tips can help you reduce your carbon footprint and, as more people make these changes, the environment will be positively affected. If you feel as though you’re still not doing enough, you can get involved with your community organisations. As a group, your community can send the right messages to our governments and commercial industries, urging for more immediate changes to be implemented.
About Adrian Rubin
Text by Adrian Rubin, a climatologist based out of Philadelphia, with 30 years of experience studying the weather. She’s an active member of the Association of Nation Weather Professionals and Climatologists. She also loves to write on her blog.