Photo via Pixabay by BlickPixel
Climate change is a very important but sometimes confusing subject, and it’s important to know some of the facts so that you can separate them from the opinions or misinformation that is often found online. There are a lot of facets involved, as climate change is a pretty complicated issue, and it can be a controversial one, as well, because it has political implications.
We can’t undo the damage that has already been inflicted on our planet, but we can help to slow its progression and make it better for future generations. That’s where an eco-friendly lifestyle comes in.
Making small changes to the way your family does things at home can actually be hugely helpful in the grand scheme of things because you’ll also be able to educate friends and neighbors about the dangers of carbon emissions and how to lessen them. The more people who know about climate change and understand the very real hazard it poses to our way of life, the better.
How can I make changes at home?
Take a look at your utility bills; often, electric and gas companies will send out personalized readings of each home’s energy output per quarter and compare it to their neighbor’s. If you’re leaving the lights on in unused rooms, keeping your thermostat set too low or too high, using too much water, or allowing air to escape through cracks around your windows and doors, your home is likely contributing to global warming. This is because all the energy we use -- including driving a car -- leaves a carbon footprint as it burns. As carbon dioxide makes its way to the Earth’s atmosphere, it stays there and traps heat, and it can do so for about a century, meaning we still have a long way to go before things get better.
Replace your light bulbs with energy-efficient ones, invest in a smart thermostat and low-flow toilets, use solar panels for heat and lighting, and make sure your home is well insulated no matter what the season. It’s also a good idea to cut down on the emissions your car contributes to the atmosphere, so carpooling or buying a hybrid car is a wonderful way to make a change. Think about the ways transportation affects your life and, if possible, make changes there, too. One of the biggest issues that people may not think about is that with online shopping being so popular -- and easy -- these days, it contributes to emissions because all those purchases have to be shipped and delivered by a vehicle. Shop local whenever possible and encourage your family to do so, as well.
Water conservation is also crucial, because it reduces pollution runoff that’s transported to the environment, and it you saves money on water bills. When washing your hands or brushing your teeth, turn off the faucet until it’s time to rinse. You can get just as clean by taking shorter showers and filling the bathtub halfway with water. After soaping up the car, use a bucket of water instead of the hose to rinse it off. Install automatic water sprinklers with a timer, and make sure they’re pointing at the plants. Purchase a front-loading washing machine, which uses less water than a top-loading one but is just as efficient.
What can I do to help?
Global warming has gradually become a real issue in cold climates, meaning polar bears and many other plants and animals are in danger of becoming extinct. It’s important to help non-profit organizations like the Wildlife Conservation Society whenever possible, so consider hosting a fundraiser to assist them in their efforts. You can spread your message through merchandise and get the entire community involved.
It’s also helpful to talk to friends, family, neighbors, and members of your community about climate change and offer your assistance should they need advice on how to make their homes more eco-friendly.
How can I help lessen the impact of climate change?
It’s an unfortunate truth that climate change can’t be complete reversed; it can only be lessened, and even if everyone on the planet went totally green right now, the impact wouldn’t be felt for years or even decades due to the lag between what we do and when we feel it. Climate change is a very gradual process, meaning we will still have cold winters and ice storms; however, over time, winters will become warmer, and all that warm, moist air can wreak some serious havoc on coastal areas and the midwest, where unstable temperatures could bring about strong weather patterns.
The best way to help is to conserve and reduce.
whenever possible and eliminate food waste. Look for ways to help your community do this together and start an initiative to plant trees in your area because they trap carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen. The goal is to make this planet better for future generations.