Learn the role you can play to prevent climate change
We have already caused major climate changes to occur, and we have set in place more changes which will still occur in the future. These changes we have already caused are unfortunately irreversible. However, if we stopped, or even decreased emitting greenhouse gases today, the acceleration in temperature rise will slow down to a rate that can even begin to plateau over the next few decades.
While the effects of human activities on our environment are unchangeable to the timescale of human mankind’s future, every little bit of temperature rise that is prevented now will result in less global warming.
Nations around the world are upping their game in the fight against global warming – but making these changes takes a lot of time; time that we might not have to prevent climate change, before it comes out of human control. There are things we can do to make a difference to our planet- whether it’s as small as changing a few daily habits or as big as making public campaigns.
“Use your voice, use your vote, use your choice”-Al Gore
1- Eat less Dairy Products and Meat
Studies show that cutting down the amount of dairy and meat products we eat is one of the largest ways to reduce the environmental impact on our planet. It has also been proven by studies that having a fibre-rich, plant-based diet is better for our health in general too- so it could have many benefits on a wider scale. Choosing seasonal, fresh foods which are grown locally cuts down carbon dioxide emissions from transporting products, refrigerating them and saves products from going through preservatory methods too.
2- Avoid Using your Car where Possible
Instead of using a car on a regular trip, it is ideal to consider walking, cycling or even using the bus. There are a lot of physical and mental health benefits alongside this, and it saves money as well. Cars contribute to the emissions of greenhouse gases. Air pollution furthermore poses a serious health threat to public health – it has been shown to increase the risk of dementia and affects the health of babies too.
Research conducted by Imperial College of London shows that bad air quality causes 1,000 more London hospital admissions for asthma and serious lung conditions.
If driving is unavoidable then try to trade your diesel/ petrol car with an electric hybrid car!
3- Try to Reduce your Energy Costs and Bills
You can make small changes to your behaviour at home which will help you use less energy, cutting down energy bills and your carbon footprint. Perhaps you can put on a few extra layers on top of your clothes and reduce the temperature of your house. You can also save electricity by turning off light appliances when not using them, or replacing light bulbs with energy saving light bulbs, such as LEDs.
It is essential to make sure you are as efficient as possible. Perhaps getting double-glazed windows or insulated roofs can help conserve heat in your house. Switching to a green tariff supply is also a great way of using renewable sources of energy, and saving bills too!
4- Value and Conserve Green Spaces
Green spaces such as parks and forests are important for absorbing carbon dioxide, and hence lessening pollution levels in the environment. They are also important in temperature regulation as they cool down urban areas, and can reduce the risks of flooding as they absorb rainwater in order to photosynthesise.
A good way to conserve and grow greenery is by growing it yourself! Why not plant flowers, vegetables and even trees in your garden? Or maybe add pot plants to your windowsill/ balcony.
You can also help conserve natural habitats and spaces such as lakes, ponds and even fields and forests, by working as part of these organisations, such as TCV.
Want to find out more about the TSV? Click on the link!
5- Reduce Waste and Garbage
Garbage and the process of making new products in industries releases a lot of greenhouse gases, whether it’s methane, carbon monoxide, or other harmful gases. Try your best to buy as less as possible – only buy what you need. Don’t overstock in your house, particularly food, and maybe avoid purchasing single-use products. It is also better to look for “greener” alternative products, which align with greener planet aspirations. Sometimes it even says on the label of the product!
It is always best to try and repair and reuse products, and maybe make your own when possible.
6- Avoid Flying where Possible
Aeroplanes release an awful amount of CO2 and use a large proportion of fossil fuels. For work purposes it is a better idea to video-conference instead; this is becoming more popular after people used video-conferencing during the recent pandemic. And if it is necessary to go far, use other means of transport if possible. When flying is unavoidable, for large distances for instance, perhaps pay a little extra for carbon offsetting. It is better to choose economy seats rather than business seats.
“Transport has become the largest emitting sector of the UK economy, accounting for 28% of UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.”
Just last month, the UN released their latest report on the climate, widely reported as “code red” for humanity. This is the most urgent message yet given to us about the way climate change is heading. The challenge seems almost impossible – but if we take action now we can prevent things from getting worse for the future generations. So think about it- do you want to let the world burn or sacrifice just a bit and prevent an inhabitable environment for our future?