With news of ice sheets gradually melting, global temperature and sea levels rising, and extreme weather phenomena like intense rainfall and hurricanes, one cannot deny that Mother Earth is indeed suffering from climate change.
We might not be aware of it, but everyone is contributing to this phenomenon through our carbon footprint. Carbon footprint refers to the total volume of greenhouse gas emissions produced in relation to any human activity, and is expressed in tons of carbon dioxide.
Simply put, it is a measurement of the environmental impact of an individual’s lifestyle or an organization’s operation. The problem lies in the increasing emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are trapped in the atmosphere, and have adverse effects on the Earth’s temperature.
So, our lifestyle choices add up to our carbon footprint. Even the simplest activity such as choosing your outfit of the day can already increase carbon footprint.
If you are going to backtrack on the production of your clothing, and measure the greenhouse gas emission produced in manufacturing it up until it landed on your wardrobe, you will gain a better understanding of how we contribute indirectly to climate change.
Since we are all involved in this, know that we can also contribute in the battle against global warming and climate change. Here ten small things that you can do to help save Mother Earth.
- Rethink your mode of transportation.
More and more cities are taking into account walkability and cyclability in roads when it comes to urban and infrastructure planning. This is very much welcome since these activities reduce carbon footprint. Plus, walking and biking are great forms of exercises, so you get to improve your health while saving the Earth at the same time!
If you cannot avoid using your vehicle, plan your trips and errands so you can combine them in a single trip. You can also opt for carpooling to save gas fees.
- Conserve water.
Climate change is affecting even our water sources. Did you know that an estimated 2.7 billion people experience water scarcity for at least a month every year? Furthermore, according to the World Wildlife Fund, by 2025, water shortage will be a problem experienced by two-thirds of the world’s population.
To help in water conservation, make sure to turn off faucets and showers every after use. In case of leaking pipes, fix it immediately to prevent more water wastage. Make every water drop count.
- Choose organic.
Eat wisely and do the Earth and your health a favor. Buy locally grown, organic food items as much as you can. It is even recommendable to grow some of your food because even the transport and storage of food contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Reduce energy use.
All appliances consume energy. The simplest way to reduce energy consumption is to switch off the lights. Turn off and unplug television, cable boxes, game consoles, and computers when not in use. You can also opt to switch your light bulbs to LEDs since they use less energy while still delivering the same amount of light.
- Recycle stuff.
Recycling is a key component of waste reduction that can help in limiting greenhouse gas emission.
When purchasing stuff, choose those that are packaged in recyclable materials, such as glass jars and cans. Also, it is recommendable to buy products that are eco-friendly and utilized recycled packaging materials.
Make recycling a habit in your household. For instance, you can re-use plastic bags to pack small items, or use glass jars as containers for smaller household items. Segregate aluminum cans, steel cans, newspapers, magazines, plastic bottles and other recyclables. You can bring them to local recycling facilities, and earn a small amount of money in return.
- Repurpose and upcycle.
Don’t throw everything away just yet! Sort out your stuff, and see if you can salvage anything through repurposing and upcycling.
Don’t know what to do with tissue paper rolls? You can actually turn them into cable organizers. You can also upcycle an old tire into an ottoman. There are a lot of do-it-yourself tutorials in Pinterest that can serve as an inspiration to find another use for an item. Not only do you save money, keep your home organized and newly-decorated, you reduce waste and energy in recycling these stuff.
For gently used clothes that no longer have that “spark” for you, charity institutions are always welcome for donations.
- Forget about the dryer.
16 million tons of carbon dioxide – would you believe that that’s the volume of carbon dioxide emission coming from clothes dryer alone in U.S. homes? Imagine its effect on the global temperature, and how it contributes to climate change.
If you’re doing your own laundry, maybe it’s time to rethink about how you dry your clothes. Switch to air drying if you can. Not only does it reduce energy consumption, which means more savings for your pocket, but air drying also causes less wear and strain your clothing.
- Buy high efficiency appliances.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program has made it easier for you to help in caring for the environment. All you need to do is simply choose to buy electronic products labeled with ENERGY STAR. These products promote energy efficiency as they utilize up to 40 percent less energy than other models.
- Go green in terms of power.
Check with your electricity supplier if you can choose a renewable source of energy such as geothermal or hydroelectric sources. If you can, installing solar panels in your home is also a good alternative.
- Close up holes in your home.
Seal in cracks in your home, and make sure there are no gaps in windows and doors. This way, you can ensure that the heat stays inside your house regardless of the season. You can also buy a programmable thermostat, which adjusts temperature each day, and reduces energy consumption by 20-30 percent.
Stacey Marone is a freelance writer. She is fascinated with traveling, exploring new cultures, languages and people. Her hobby is to gather interesting facts and stories and she gladly shares them with everybody.