What can you do to help?
Climate change is the long-term shift in weather patterns caused by the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Humans are the main cause of climate change due to the burning of fossil fuels to create energy sources increasing the earth's temperature. Climate change can often be overlooked by many as the effects aren't something we see on a daily basis, for example the ice caps melting. To reduce climate change and subsequently its effects everyone will have to play their part. This means everyone has their own individual responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint, this change starts at home.
One of the main causes of climate change is energy consumption. To counteract this at home individuals can ensure all lights and electrical devices are turned off when they aren't being used. This will not only reduce the household carbon footprint but save them money on their electrical bills. Similarly, energy usage can be reduced through transportation. Single person travel through cars and motorbikes are extremely harmful as fuel is created from the burning of fossil fuels. Alternatively, a better option would be walking or public transport. Walking has no negative climate change impacts and with multiple individuals using public transport it is more efficient than single use travel. Another way an individual can combat climate change at home is through a reduction in water usage, this will help with household climate action as there is an increasing water shortage in some areas of the world. So, by decreasing water usage through taking shorter showers and reducing washing loads it will help with water conservation.
Where and how food is produced can have an impact on climate change with animal-based products having the largest negative impact. This is due to animals releasing methane as a result of their diets and the deforestation used to create large farm areas to hold the animals. A better alternative is having a plant-based diet as it use less energy, water and land meaning a lower greenhouse gas output, reducing the household carbon footprint. However, reducing meat intake is not something everyone is willing to do so an alternative option of climate action is through being educated on food miles. Food miles is how far the food on the plate has travelled to be there. By being aware of this an individual may choose to shop at local butchers instead of large supermarket chains as they are able to track the journey their food has taken. The shorter the journey the food has had means less energy has been used to transport it. Climate action can also be enforced through reducing food waste this can be done through only buying what is needed. This will not only save money for the household but also reduces emissions. In terms of food waste there is a right and wrong way to dispose of it the wrong way negatively affects climate change. The correct way to dispose the food is through composting any leftovers and recycling packaging when applicable this will also reduce emissions as these items can be repurposed which uses less energy than creating new products.
Keeping up with the latest fashion trends is becoming more relevant in society now more than ever. Companies are trying to keep up with the trends and take designs from runway to customers in a matter of weeks. To do this a lot of companies are choosing to make their clothing cheap and fast to make sure they are competitive in the industry. This is known as fast fashion. Fast fashion negatively affects greenhouse emissions by increasing them. However, it doesn't stop there as fast fashion increases water waste and because of the way that the clothing is made the dye used release harmful chemicals which negatively affect the earth. To combat this a better alternative would be to shop through sustainable small businesses who care about their carbon footprint and the effects they have on the earth. An example of a business that does this is 'Hissy fit clothing' they use dead stock materials from large companies and give it a new life, they also use a local factory to produce their garments making them aware of all working conditions. An alternative option is to buy clothes second-hand through either charity shops or preloved websites, by buying clothes this way it reduces the production effects of fast fashion reducing climate change.
To conclude, with climate. change being a global issue it needs everyone to play their part for a true difference to be made as it is a complex issue. This means everyone should aim to do their bit including governments and large corporate businesses. By starting this change at home through monitoring energy consumption and choosing to buy more sustainable products it will reduce individual carbon footprints and positively impact climate action.