If all those forest fires, unprecedented floods, record-breaking droughts and intense glacial melting is not the planet’s way of warning us about the climate change, I don’t know what is. The world has seen more natural disasters this year only than the past decade combined.
True that things are on the verge of the breaking point, but it also means that it’s not too late to save our planet! While we can not stop global warming overnight, we can set in motion the processes that will eventually slow the rate and limit the amount of global warming.
Core to all climate change solutions is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which must get to zero as soon as possible! If all human emissions of heat-trapping gases were to stop today, Earth’s temperature would continue to rise for a few decades as ocean currents bring excess heat stored in the deep ocean back to the surface. Once this excess heat radiated out to space, Earth’s temperature would stabilise.
But what can you, as an individual, do? Guess what? A whole lot! The process of healing the planet begins in your garage, in your kitchen and on your dining room table. Of course, individuals alone may not be able to make drastic emissions cuts that limit climate change to acceptable levels, but it’s important to remember that private citizens can make equally vital contributions! As clean energy advocate Aliya Haq says,
“Change only happens when individuals take action. There’s no other way, if it doesn’t start with people.”
1. Make Your Commute Eco-Friendly
Millions of people all around the world prefer driving over public transport due to convenience and less time consumption. However, it means that millions of cars are emitting greenhouse gases every day, destroying our planet.
Perhaps, the first step you could take towards preserving the planet for our future generations is ditching your car and taking public transport. You could also start riding a bike, which is additionally a great way to get exercise.
2. Control Your Energy-Usage
Being conservative with energy usage will not only lower your electricity bill, it is also incredibly helpful to stop global warming. Energy efficiency is a great way to prevent pollution, which is basically that you do what you can to cut down on energy usage in your household.
You can start by turning off lights and unplugging devices that you are not using anymore when you are done with them. If you want to take it to the next level, replace your light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs to help you save electricity too. What it will do is: cause the power plants to expend less energy that can lead to the production of greenhouse gasses.
3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Of course, the good old R’s of planet preservation by reducing waste. Manufacturing plants emit many greenhouse gasses per year. It is inevitable in the production of goods that we use on a regular basis – you cannot control the production, but you can invest in recycling. Recycling is a cost-effective and eco-friendly process that eliminates waste and control the emission of greenhouse gasses into the environment. You can start by bringing your discarded paper, glass, plastic, and electronics to your local recycling center.
4. Raise Awareness
Talk to your friends, family and work colleagues, and make sure that they are making decisions that are in favour of the planet. The importance of educating others just cannot be overstated in our society! There are many platforms for you to utilise to spread your message easily. Whether you use word of mouth or social media, there are always ways to educate others on what climate change is doing to our planet and how to act against it.
5. Pressurise the Officials
Lastly, of course, individual efforts cannot substitute for meaningful large-scale government policies – the best way to stop global warming is to take collective actions. This means pressuring governments and corporations to change their policies and business practices.
You’d be surprised to know just how much power the general public holds – the riots in Iran, that started with one girl and shook up the world, are just one example. Governments want to be re-elected and businesses can’t survive without customers. Demanding action from them is a powerful way to make change happen.