The effects of climate change are already being felt around the world. From bushfires in Australia to deadly storms in Brazil, the public is suffering from the adverse impacts of excess greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.
To reverse climate change, a policy amendment that would prioritize the environment over profit is necessary. However, you — as an individual — can also make changes in your every day to help the fight. Here are the things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint:
Choose Renewable Energy
In many places around the world, the main sources of energy are still coal and fossil fuels — the major contributors to climate change. When we burn coal and fossil fuels, they emit greenhouse gases that get trapped in the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases let the sunlight in and prevent heat from coming out. As a result, global temperatures rise.
Luckily, renewable energy is available to many in the United States. In Navajo County, wind energy is an option for residents who want to drastically improve their environmental impact. In other places, there are solar farms that generate electricity for the public.
Sources of renewable energy have “amazingly low” carbon footprint compared to burning fossil fuel. If you have the option, choose where your electricity is coming from. Support renewable energy suppliers around the world.
Livestock is another major problem. Farming cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and chickens are responsible for sending around seven billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere every year. Cattle, raised for beef and milk, is the major contributor, representing 65% of all emissions associated with livestock.
By refusing to consume animal products, you cut your own carbon footprint by as much as 20%. Moreover, a plant-based diet offers many health benefits such as reduce your risks of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
If you cannot fully commit to going vegan, just eat fewer animal products. Join Meatless Monday, a movement that encourages the public to cut their consumption of meat and dairy products one day a week.
Quit Fast Fashion
The term “fast fashion” refers to retailers that sell inexpensive clothing in response to the current trends. As a result, brands produce over 15 million tons of textile waste that end up in landfills.
Moreover, most of the clothing sold in the West are being shipped from factories in Asia where supply and labor are cheaper. The transport alone of products overseas has major environmental impacts. If you add other issues such as chemical runoff from garment factories and the use of genetically-modified cotton sprayed with a lot of pesticides, the effects of fast fashion to the planet are catastrophic. In addition, fast fashion is still largely associated with sweatshops and child labor.
Buying from thrift stores or simply refusing to follow trends and filling your closet with clothing that you will use multiple time will benefit the environment.
Driving is one activity that pollutes the most in the United States. A running vehicle releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and carbon monoxide which is detrimental to human health. Instead, go to work using your city’s mass transportation system. Taking the bus, although it still produces greenhouse gases and air pollution, removes cars, that may only carry one or two passengers, from the road.
Better yet, walk if your destination is not that far or get yourself a bike to go to places. This way, you will be hitting two birds with one stone; you not only reduce your carbon footprint, but you also get ample physical activities.
There are many other things you can do to help fight climate change. Tiny good acts, when more people do it, can make a huge ripple. Be mindful of what and how you consume.