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Actions to Help Against Climate Change

Updated: Jul 7, 2021


 

Overview:


Climate change refers to the transformation of climate, characterized by the changes in the usual climate of the planet (regarding temperature, precipitation, and wind) that are especially caused by human activities. We burn lots of fossil fuels for manufacturing, transportation, etc. However, burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide; a common human-induced greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, making the earth warmer and ultimately affecting the weather. As a result of the weather of Earth becoming unbalanced, the sustainability of our planet’s ecosystems is under threat, as well as the future of humankind & stability of the global economy. For example, due to the increasing prevalence of climate change, dangerous weather events are becoming much more frequent and severe. This includes more frequent & intense drought, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warming oceans; directly harming animals, destroying the places they live, impeding with the local and global economy, as well as destroying people’s livelihoods and communities. Furthermore, due to society’s common disregard or ignorance (whether large or small) of our environment, climate change is increasing at a rate higher than ever before. According to NASA, the planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit (1.18 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, with 2016 and 2020 (just last year!) being record years of highest temperature.

If we want to continue to live on Earth happily, and make sure that our kids, grandkids, and the generations to come can also enjoy the same quality of life, we must ensure that we do the capable actions to help reduce climate change.


 

Some Simple Tips:


Tip 1 - Turn the lights off whenever you don't use them!

Turn the light off when you don’t need to use them! This reduces the wastage of electricity; not only reducing your electricity bills, but also requiring less energy/power generation, which indirectly means that less fossil fuels are burned in the process.




Tip 2 - Take shorter showers!

Long showers cause the excessive and unneeded consumption of water and energy; contributing to the depletion and pollution of groundwater tables. Bodies of water, in a way, store and regulate heat; a reduced amount of water causes this heat to disperse into our land and cause adverse effects. Furthermore, the energy needed for the transmission and heating of water increases greenhouse gas emissions as well! Unless you are showering in freezing cold water (which almost all of us don’t do), your water heater is running to some extent. However, on average, a five-minute shower creates 2.25 lbs of CO2, while a ten-minute shower 4.5 lbs of CO2; CO2 being a greenhouse gas significant in its contribution to climate change.


Tip 3 - Get ‘power bars’, so that electricity is not wasted. Alternatively, unplug these items when not in use.

Many electronics actually use power when plugged but not in use! For example, televisions use some electricity while on sleep so that they can ‘standby’ and turn on whenever the user clicks the remote. Similar to turning off the lights, removing this waste means that less electricity needs to be generated; indirectly resulting in less fossil fuels being burned and less greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere.



Tip 4 - Walk, bike, use public transportation, or carpool! Reduce unnecessary car usage!

Since cars burn gasoline, they emit carbon dioxide as well as some other greenhouse gases that affect the atmosphere; contributing to climate change. More car usage means more greenhouse gases emitted! Therefore, we can try to reduce the usage of our cars whenever applicable; for example, walking to a nearby store for groceries, or biking to get somewhere. Doing so completely removes emissions during travel. Alternatively, we can also carpool with others or take public transportation. Although there are some emissions in these options, the amount per capita is much lower (ratio of emissions for each traveller). For example, you and your friends decided to go to the mall, it would take much more CO2 emissions to meet there separately, than to pick everyone up and take them in one car!


Tip 5 - Reduce food wastage and only buy what you need

When waste food ends up in a landfill, it creates methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (the most common factor in the issue). Reducing food waste also reduces the emissions of methane; helping humanity fight against climate exchange. However, wasting food can indirectly increase climate change in many other indirect ways. For example, due to the fact that many people purchase food in excess (ultimately wasting it), more food has to be created and manufactured. This uses both natural resources such as water, as well as fossil fuels (ex: in tin manufacturing plants). Furthermore, this also means that more amounts of food have to be transported to each store. More trucks have to travel more trips with more loads just to satisfy the excess demand. Therefore, buying food specifically to our needs helps against climate change as well.


Tip 6 - Buy LED Light Bulbs

Since we often use light bulbs, they can use a lot of electricity over time. Not only does this increase our electricity bill, but it creates an increased demand for electricity, causing more electricity to be generated and indirectly more greenhouse gases to be emitted (via the burning of fossil fuels). However, LED light bulbs are significantly more efficient than their alternate counterparts. On average, LED lights only use 21.9 kilowatt-hours of energy a year, whereas CFL lights use 32.8 kWh and Incandescent lights a whopping 131.4 kWh! Therefore, LED lights help save electricity usage, hence (as explained above) ultimately helping against climate change!


Tip 7 - Invest in reusable bags, utensils, cups, straws, etc.

Simply put, purchasing reusable items reduces the need for new materials to be manufactured. As a result, lower fossil fuels (and greenhouse gases) are emitted due to less manufacturing, transportation of goods, etc.



Tip 8 -Always recycle!

Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the need for energy consumption. More specifically, using recycled materials to make new products reduces the need for newly-created materials. This avoids greenhouse gas emissions that would result from extracting or mining these new materials (ex: smelting and reshaping old metal instead of bringing gas and emitting CO2 to mine for new metal). Furthermore, manufacturing products from recycled materials typically requires less emission processes than making products from new materials, while also keeping those materials intact in their original state. For example, recycling one ton of paper saves 19 trees from being cut. As a result, tree preservation promotes the reduction of carbon dioxide, helping fight against climate change in more than one way!


 

Works Cited:


https://youmatter.world/en/definition/climate-change-meaning-definition-causes-and-consequences/

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/how-you-can-stop-global-warming

https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/effects-of-climate-change

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/causes.html

https://www.livescience.com/37821-greenhouse-gases.html#

https://www.clackamas.us/sustainability/tips.html

https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

https://medium.com/oyster-adams-do-one-thing-project/water-down-the-drain-too-much-environmental-pain-61a43e93e526#

https://kingcounty.gov/depts/dnrp/solid-waste/programs/climate/climate-change-recycling.aspx

http://www.gorillabins.ca/blog/how-recycling-can-prevent-climate-change/




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