By: Khaalid Naik
Do you know that the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica store about two-thirds of all freshwater on Earth?
Meltwater coming from these ice sheets is responsible for about one-third of the global average rise in sea level since 1993.
This is just one of the consequences of climate change. Undoubtedly, climate change is one of the significant threats that our planet is facing right now.
And you will not be amazed to know that we are the ultimate cause of these changes.
7 lifestyle changes you should implement to combat climate change
Our lifestyle decisions, such as how we use energy, what we eat, and how we travel, have a big impact on the climate of the planet, and climate change has serious repercussions like loss of biodiversity, rising sea levels, and more frequent extreme weather events.
But there are several things that each of us can do to reduce our carbon footprint and lessen the impact of climate change.
Reduce Your Waste
Composting or recycling can help us reduce the amount of waste we produce and dispose of it properly, reducing the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills and the resulting methane emissions.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its ability to warm the planet than carbon dioxide itself. It is produced when organic waste such as food scraps, yard waste, and paper products decompose in landfills.
Let’s use a family of four as an example that previously generated 20 pounds of waste every week. By putting into action practices like composting food waste and yard trimmings, recycling paper, glass, and plastic, and using cloth bags in place of disposable ones, they were able to reduce their waste production to just 5 pounds per week. This incredibly easy change significantly reduced the amount of waste that was disposed of in landfills, lowering the methane emissions and carbon footprint associated with waste disposal.
Try Sustainable Products
Try to use sustainable products. It may seem a little bit insignificant to you, but remember the fact that when you are using one recycled material, you are reducing the need for raw materials to make a new product, in case you have not chosen that recycle material. This lowers the need for new materials and the associated carbon emissions from extraction, transportation, and processing. The environment is significantly impacted by this entirely personal decision.
For instance, you can decide to buy an electric car instead of a gas-powered one, use recycled paper products instead of virgin ones, or carry a reusable water bottle.
By altering these straightforward behaviors, we can decrease deforestation for the production of newspapers, gas-powered car emissions, and plastic bottle production.
Travel Through Public Transportation
By sharing a vehicle with others and reducing the number of cars on the road, using public transportation enables you to reduce your carbon footprint. This could lead to a significant reduction in emissions because trains and buses carry more people per unit of energy than individual cars do.
Consider the scenario where you decide against driving your car and instead choose to take the bus to work. Your carbon footprint in this situation could be reduced by up to 30% if you travel a distance of 20 miles. This is because a bus produces less CO2 per passenger over a given distance—only 0.2 metric tonnes as opposed to an average car’s 4.6 metric tonnes annually.
Why Not Go Renewable?
Utilizing renewable energy sources, such as solar, geothermal, and wind energy, is primarily done so because they do not produce greenhouse gases, in contrast to fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and petroleum, which when burned produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Imagine that you had rooftop solar panels installed in your home. These solar panels will produce electricity by converting solar energy into electricity without emitting any greenhouse gases. This indicates that using solar energy instead of fossil fuels can lower atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions.
Plant More Trees
The fact that trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in their biomass, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, is common knowledge to all of you.
The biomass is once more released into the atmosphere when trees are destroyed or cut down. So, to control the temperature in your environment and avoid the need for air conditioning during the summer, plant as many trees as you can and continue to do so.
Consume Less Energy
A significant source of greenhouse gas emissions is the process of producing energy from fossil fuels. Therefore, you can slow the rate of climate change by reducing the number of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by reducing energy consumption.
Generally, consuming less energy is not a matter of knowledge, but it’s just our carelessness.
Many times I forgot to switch off the light while locking the room. Now, the entire day, energy will be consumed to light up the bulb which is of no use.
It may sound very small waste, but if repeated numerous times or by a large population, it can result in high waste of energy. Additionally, it will lessen the need for energy in fossil fuel-based power plants.
Don’t Waste Water
Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water each year.
Water use directly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions when energy is used to pump, transport, and treat water. Changes in land use, irrigation, and agriculture have an indirect impact on the carbon cycle.
Energy consumption can be reduced by taking steps to conserve water, such as installing low-flow showerheads, repairing leaky faucets, and using water-smart appliances.
Be The Change
It is our duty to ensure that future generations have the same clean and healthy environment that you received from your ancestors. The serious issue of climate change necessitates action not only from the public sector and private sectors but also from every one of us. We can lessen the impact of climate change and our carbon footprint by making a few small changes to our daily routines.
These 7 adjustments are just the beginning, but if enough people make them, they could have a significant impact. Together, we can change things and build a more sustainable future for upcoming generations as well as ourselves.