Climate change is real. The pattern of extreme weather events such as storms, flooding, drought and wildfires and the melting of the Polar Icecaps cannot be denied. Detailed records of temperature changes and carbon emissions have been kept since the Industrial Revolution began, although there is doubt that all these changes in the planetary climate are the result of human activity.
If not stopped, the pollution of the atmosphere, land and water that is currently going on at unprecedented rates will ultimately result in the destruction of the planet and life as we know it. This may sound alarmist, but it is fact and we have to face up to it.
Given that, urgent action is needed to alleviate the effects of mankind’s activities on the planet. But what can you, as a single individual out of 7+ billion, do to save the planet? Here are 10 simple but effective ways you can do your part.
This applies to practically all the packaging and stationery you use. Plastics are responsible for a lot of the damage that happens in the environment. The production of single-use plastic packaging, from bottles and carrier to wrapping materials has had a huge detrimental effect on the environment. People regularly toss these products into the trash without a second thought.
Stationery causes deforestation, depriving the earth of its lungs; trees absorb carbon dioxide during the day and exhale oxygen at night. When jotting down notes, fill the whole sheet of paper. Print on both sides of the paper. Don’t throw away newspapers. At the end, recycle all these products.
This may seem like a Herculean task, but you have the option to engage professional and responsible garbage clearance companies, such as Rubbish 2 Go. This London-based company offers guaranteed next-day clearance of domestic and commercial waste. They recycle 90% of all the waste they collect. What’s more, once you engage them, they do all the work, so you can put your feet up.
Use Water Sparingly
Often, people leave the water running while they brush their teeth. The water runs into the drain and is lost in the sewage system, a great waste. You can save up to 10 litres of water by turning off the tap while you are brushing, only using water to rinse.
Opting for a quick shower instead of a luxurious bubble bath. As some anonymous wit once said, “Save Water, Shower With A Friend!” – but do try to keep it brief!
Do the dishes immediately after use. This will save you from having to pre-rinse them.
Use Less Electricity
There are many ways to reduce the amount of electricity you use. Switching off lights as you move from room to room is one simple example. Another thing to switch off is your computer when not in use. Switch off televisions and home entertainment systems at the socket, as they continue to use tiny amounts of power even when off. Use power-saving bulbs such as LED. These may cost more than traditional filament bulbs, but they use far less power and last much longer, so they are a saving in the long run.
Use Less Fuel
Do you drive short distances to shop or go to work? Why not walk or ride a bicycle? This not only reduces the amount of fuel you use and saves you money, but is also very good for your health. You now also have the option of zero-emission electric vehicles. Hydrogen-powered vehicles are also developing rapidly.
Fly less if you travel often. Combine tasks so you can achieve them in less trips.
Consumption of meat products contributes a lot to global warming. Cattle are responsible for the largest production of atmospheric methane,a gas that traps more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduces your personal effect on the environment and is also healthier.
Get Free Power
Every single day, the sun pours enough energy on the planet to satisfy the annual energy needs of the entire planet. The price and of solar panels and batteries is falling rapidly and the power produced is absolutely free.
Trees are the planet’s lungs. They absorb carbon dioxide during the day and exhale oxygen at night. Planting and caring for even a single tree can be very fulfilling. Another great idea is to plant a garden, if you have the space, or plant flowers, herbs and vegetables in pots either indoors or outdoors. They give you food, create beauty and often have refreshing fragrances.
Buy Recycled Products
When shopping, read the labels to find out if they are made from recycled products. Paper manufacturers often indicate how much of their products are recycled. Local markets are another good source of products made from other stuff.
The transportation of food is responsible for a large amount of carbon emissions. Trucks, ships and aircraft are notorious fuel guzzlers. Fruits and vegetables in your local market will usually have a smaller carbon footprint than imported products. They will, of course, be seasonal, giving your diet diversity.
Spread The Word
Talk to family, friends and neighbors about taking part in activities that help save the planet. You can form local groups that can take part in beach-cleaning, tree-planting and greening up the neighbourhood.
These are just a few of the activities that you can take part in to save our planet. Making them a habit reduces waste and creates a better world and you can go to sleep every night with a clear conscience. But remember, even as we continue to find thousands of planets in the observable universe, not only have we not found a single one that is habitable, but we won’t have the technology to get there for a long time. Earth is the only planet we have; there is no “Planet B!”