The Climate Crisis: 12 Ways You Can Reduce Climate Change
Can I Actually Make a Difference to the Environment?
The challenge facing our planet can feel daunting, but there are so many ways you can reduce climate change. Yes, one person can make a difference to the environment! With even the smallest shift in your lifestyle, you can make a significant enough change to impact the climate crisis. There is hope! You can do much more to reduce climate change than you may realize.
Can we really stop climate change?
Yes, we can – we’ve done it before! Working together in 1987, when the hole in the Ozone Layer was growing, the Montreal Protocol propelled us to make changes in the products we used. The ozone layer has started to recover. When each one of us pitches in, collaboratively making changes for a healthier planet, we can make a big difference.
What do you mean by climate change?
Across the globe, people are fighting for the planet. Global warming has caused more intense heat waves, floods in many communities in Canada, fires in California, and drought in Australia. Even close to home you’ve been impacted by global warming. Extreme weather puts a strain on food crops, increasing the cost of food. Water temperatures in the Great Lakes have warmed, altering species migration and reduced ice cover impacting winter tourism. A warmer climate means fewer cold days in the winter; a natural control for certain pests and diseases (Lyme disease, West Nile virus).
Yet, there is hope! With even the smallest actions, you can help stop the climate crisis. Changes to how we use harmful chemicals has helped populations of Bald eagles to rebound – they have returned to many regions in North America. Switching to green energy, supports the installation of wind turbines or solar panels. It made it possible for the province of Ontario, the first to ban coal, to make this massive impact on greenhouse gas emissions in the province. Hopefully, that move inspires other governments to follow. Even these simple switches, to a new refrigerator or an energy supplier, are things you can do today to help reduce climate change and have a significant impact on your environment.
What can I do about climate change?
Persistence is key, as the changes we make today won’t be seen for a while yet. There is a lag that exists between what we do today, and when we feel it in our environment. Even if the level of carbon dioxide emitted this year was lowered drastically, the planet will still continue to warm for decades. That’s because carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas that lingers in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. If we can even just hold our current levels of carbon dioxide emissions, the planet will warm by 6 degrees, say NASA scientists. This would certainly alter our fashion choices, and drastically alter our ability to find fresh water and food. It’s time to make an impact. Be a changemaker – here’s how to be a part of the climate crisis solution.
12 Ways You Can Reduce Climate Change
What may seem like small actions to you, when done collectively by thousands, can have a significant impact on the planet. Here are 12 ways you can reduce climate change:
1. Practice mindful shopping.
Buying less saves you money and reduces waste. Support eco-friendly brands, such as B-Corp companies, and use your purchasing power to promote sustainability.
2. Give sustainable gifts.
Buy vintage. Give a plant. Bake something. Give an experience. Avoid plastic-based toys, or inexpensive gifts that end up in the landfill.
3. Plant a tree in your yard.
Plants naturally consume carbon dioxide. Plant trees on your property. Grow flowers. Avoid palm oil-containing products whose production is promoting deforestation.
4. Start a sustainable conversation.
Share ideas with friends of ways to help stop climate change. Talk to your MP to encourage change. Tell the brands you love to make more sustainable products.
5. Eat sustainably.
Food production contributes about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and is responsible for 60% of global biodiversity loss. Buy local food. Grow your own. Eat more plant-based meals.
6. Donate to the Planet.
Non-profit organizations educate consumers and governments to help change human behaviour to improve the health of the planet and stop climate change. Donations help them do more.
7. Drive fuel-efficient cars.
Walk, cycle, or carpool when possible, as transportation is one of the most polluting sectors. Choose smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, or hybrid-electric cars.
8. Use less hot water.
Turn on dishwashers and washing machines only when they have full loads. Take shorter showers. Put your water heater on a timer. Update old appliances.
9. Reduce your waste.
Eat up leftovers. Compost any you can’t eat. Repair items you can. Buy less. Avoid over packaged products. Learn what you can recycle. Garbage in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas.
10. Choose green power.
Switch your power supply to a company offering green energy: wind, solar, biogas, thermal energy, biomass, hydroelectric.
11. Vote for earth.
In elections, let representatives know you want stopping climate change as a top issue. Vote for politicians who are going to make changes to better the planet.
12. Skip the single use plastics.
Written by Allison Tannis MSc RHN
Science geek turned writer, this mom is one geeky gal you’d want to have dinner with. The author of 5 internationally sold books on health and wellness, you can catch Allison's latest blogs at www.allisontannis.com and daily antics on social media @deliciouslygeeky.
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