You can’t ignore the call climate change any longer. Nature needs help and by this time even your government & huge corporations are willing to change their ways.
Many may say it’s a hoax, but here’s the evidence:
- After thousands of years of maintaining the same levels below 300 parts/million, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels started climbing in the 1900s.
- In the past 50 years the Northern Hemisphere has seen less snow than ever before and it melts earlier every year.
- Sea levels have risen 8” since the early 1900s.
- The ocean’s acidity is 30% more than ever before, directly related to increased carbon emissions.
It’s affecting all aspects of our world. Why aren’t we doing more to curb this, if it’s so easy to take action?
The first step is to acknowledge that we have a problem. The second is to find out what you can do to make a difference.
There are many, many proposed climate solutions out there, but some are more effective than others. And it’s those that you must focus on. So here are the 5 most effective ways you can help fight climate change.
1) Change the Way You Travel
Have you thought of why more cities are implementing carpooling or bike rentals? It’s not only about minimizing traffic congestion. Since 25% of greenhouse gasses come from transportation, it’s the first place you need to change.
Did you know if we fly one less international flight each year, we can save 26.73 tons of CO2 emissions?
You can see how one decision can make a huge impact. Now imagine everyone doing this.
2) Find New Habits in Your Home
If it’s tough changing the huge stuff, why not make small adjustments at home?
Prepare Food Differently
Did you know livestock contaminates our atmosphere? If we eat less meat, fewer animals will have to be raised to be slaughtered.
And why not keep it natural? Avoid packaged food and take your own bag to your local market. That means less plastic that can pollute and fewer trees sacrificed for paper.
Use House Items Effectively
And while we mention plastic and paper, do you recycle?
I’m not only talking about placing your recyclables in the correct bin. You can prevent unnecessary manufacturing of wares if you reuse items around the home. And if you really need something, why not try a second-hand store? Let’s stop motivating supermarket chains to sell things we actually don’t need.
It’s also about reducing the number of items you purchase:
- Only purchase the amount of food you need, so you don’t have to throw anything away
- Use your creativity around the house instead of purchasing new décor items
3) Are You Really Saving Natural Resources?
Perhaps you think you’re already doing your share. Are you willing to stop living in denial and realize how many ways of saving there are?
Here are some of my favorites that I never knew about before doing some research:
- Driving on properly inflated tires will make your vehicle more energy efficient
- Idling your car reduces emissions fast
- Using solar panels takes you off costly grids and saves electricity
- Insulate your home and you’ll save utility costs and the environment
4) Use Your Pension Wisely
Who knew your investments can save the earth too?
Currently most of the world’s capital is invested in equities. What if more funds—more than the current 0.4% of global AUM (Assets Under Management)—can be invested in sustainable funds? They’ll be able to research more and achieve more to save our planet.
It’s not that there aren’t funds to invest in companies with an environmental focus. The annual AUM growth is 7.33%. Unfortunately companies with an environment, social or governance focus—called companies with ESG ratings—only experience a 4.66% growth rate.
And this low level of support is only because people are uninformed. It can be a very lucrative investment for you. From 2012 to 2015, ESG related companies’ performance was 42% more impressive than their counterparts. So your pension fund can give you more ROI than you thought.
Can these companies really impact the environment? Statistics show supporting sustainable alternatives can reduce CO2-eq by 96.46 gigatonnes.
5) Sustainable Cooling of Your Buildings
Here’s my last interesting discovery.
Do you know you can save money and the environment by simply living smarter? This is necessary for two reasons:
- With 7% of the world’s carbon emissions coming from air conditioning and refrigeration, we must find ways to limit its necessity
- Cities are hot because buildings absorb the sun’s heat instead of reflecting it.
You can help through changing your home or office building:
- Paint your roof a light color so more light will be reflected back. Firstly the building won’t become as hot inside, requiring less cooling. Secondly the air near your building will be cooler because you’re not absorbing heat anymore, curbing global warming.
- Photovoltaic cells can convert sunlight into electricity. These solar panels provide an environmentally friendly power source. The heat will be used for good instead of being trapped in your building.
- Place trees on all flat surfaces such as roofs so your city gets a green canopy that reflects heat.
Theoretically changes like these can affect temperatures up to 3°C. Why not challenge your neighbours or business partners to make this a city wide feature?
That’s how easy solutions can be.
Will you take up the challenge?
We’re so accustomed to effortless lifestyles, we often avoid these plans that take a little extra time. But through minimum exertion your money, time or resources can help transform a global concern. Ready to start changing the world?
Based on various comments, we would like to highlight the following solutions too:
6) Eat less meat. Although part of solution no. 2, it makes sense to highlight this further.
— Jeremiah Lee voted! (@JeremiahLee) March 28, 2018
7) Use your vote. Courtesy of Kees van der Leun.
Good list, but I miss "use your vote". A lot of climate action needs support from governments at various levels: public transport, renewable energy, building codes, etc.
— Kees van der Leun (@Sustainable2050) April 1, 2018