Climate change has been a contentious issue and its association with global warming has caused much debate. Measuring their "carbon footprint" allows people to actually make a difference to the environment, regardless of anyone's political or personal agenda. Whether a person acknowledges climate change as a potentially debilitating issue which has been accelerated by a modern lifestyle and a dependence on technology or whether a person acknowledges the benefits of a clean and less-polluted environment, every person can make a positive contribution in combating any negative outcomes associated with our modern way of life.
Historically, the climate has undergone massive changes and resulted in many different "ages." The difference with twenty-first century climate change is the speed at which it is taking place.
1. Therefore, the first thing anyone can do to help with climate change is to educate others that it is immaterial whether they think there is a conspiracy or political agenda or whether, at the other end of the scale, they think that environmentalists are overreacting. Tell everyone that climate change is a natural phenomenon and they have the ability to slow it down. Schools should have a program to educate learners and then learners can educate parents.
2. The second thing is to remove the stigma and to make people realize that it is not a personal issue; asking them to change is not intended to judge them because they drive their car too fast or because they cut down some of the trees in their gardens. In this economy, there are huge benefits to driving a little slower and using less gas. Furthermore, cutting down trees can also be beneficial if they are water-sapping trees and non-indigenous so it may not be a bad thing. People therefore do not suddenly have to get a conscience and start making huge life-altering changes which involve less comfort and mean they must make sacrifices (even if ideally they should!).
3. Recycling and re-purposing materials is certainly advantageous and encouraging others to do so is also another way to help. Once again, there are positive economic implications when recycling which mean saving money and this is always a motivator.
4. Set the example. Do not wait for others to make their contribution because of the old adage about being only a "small fish." Change your transport methods by joining a lift-club or carpool, taking the bus more often, or walking to town. Again, there are positive monetary consequences and even health benefits.
5. Be aware when purchasing appliances or even changing a lightbulb. Be energy-efficient. Use tumble dryers less and take advantage of the ability of the sun as an energy source to dry clothes and introduce solar power in the home instead of electricity.
6. Grow your own vegetables and use natural means to repel insects and diseases. For example, certain companion plants can be planted with vegetables to encourage growth and keep away undesirables.
7. It can be a fun activity to measure a person's individual carbon footprint. The WWF has a calculator that allows for measurement of the activities that make up the carbon footprint. It is another good place to start, knowing which activities may contribute the most to climate change.
The rapid climate change that has been occurring is due to greenhouse gas emissions. We can help to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. This is the lists that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) gives for changes to make around home, work, on the road, and at school.
At home they recommend you to:
1. Change five lights: Change the five most frequently used lights within the house and replace them with energy saver bulbs, such as ENERGY STAR products.
2. Look for ENERGY STAR: Buy energy efficient appliances and equipment.
3. Heat and cool smartly: Change air filters regularly, using a programmable thermostat, and keep heating and cooling equipment maintained.
4. Seal and insulate your home: By ensuring less air is coming into or out of the house through proper seals and insulation, you can save on heating and cooling costs.
5. Reduce, reuse, recycle
6. Use water efficiently: Don't let the water run while brushing your teeth, shorten your shower time, fix any leaky pipes, faucet leaks or toilet leaks if there are any, only run the washer and dishwasher with full loads, only water the lawn when it's needed
7. Be green in your yard: Composting can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
8. Purchase green power: Power your home with environmentally friendly electricity or modify your house to generate its own green power.
9. Calculate your household's carbon footprint: Find out how much greenhouse gas emission is from yourself.
10. Spread the word: Tell others to go more green to help lower greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
For what you can do at the office, school, and on the road, the links below give more information.
At the office: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/office.html
At school: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/school.html
On the road: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/road.html
The climate change is a natural process. Even if we can actually help, we can not stop this phenomenom.
Some simple advices can help lowering the bad effects of this natural process.
The first easy way is to buy products that are manufacterd as near as posible to our homes. The more they travel to get to us, the more energy is consumed for transport.
My second advice is to travel eco-friendly. Use the train or the bus for long trips instead of personal car. If you need to travel at a near distance use the bicycle.
We should do our homework during the daylight so we consume less electricity.
We could play more outside in the park or chose a walk with a friend. Let's enjoy a book instead of a movie or a computer game.
Exchange books with your friends so we can all read with minimum paper waste.