Climate change refers to the changes in temperatures and weather patterns due to the human activity of burning fossil fuels which release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Us, as humans, are the main reason that leads to this climate crisis, and so we are the ones who need to solve it. There are a number of ways to help combat this crisis and they are simple tasks that you can change in your everyday lives which will have a huge impact.
Eat less meat and dairy
You can go completely vegan if you fancy, but some people may struggle with this. So, an easy way to change your diet to help the environment is to cut down on your meat and dairy consumption! By doing this, you are considerably reducing your environmental impact on the planet. Studies reveal that 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the agricultural sector. Going completely vegan will not always be carbon neutral, however it certainly does help, a high meat diet produces 2.5 times more greenhouse gasses than a vegan diet. The reason why meat and dairy produce high amounts of greenhouse gasses is because they require more resources like food and water throughout the food chain. Grazing animals requires a lot of land to be cleared which therefore means deforestation needs to occur in order to provide space for these animals, this will wipe-out habitats and plants that help with the absorption of carbon dioxide. The animals also produce huge amounts of methane which is a very powerful greenhouse gas.
Encourage local and sustainable produce
By consuming sustainable and locally sourced foods, you are significantly reducing your carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gasses that are generated by a certain activity (like the transportation of foods). In order to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses being emitted into the atmosphere, you need to buy local and seasonal foods. This will reduce the fossil fuel emissions which are associated with the transportation and storage of the products. Foods that are transported from other countries will have a significantly higher footprint than those which are grown locally and bought locally.
Using alternative and sustainable transport methods
Petrol and diesel vehicles use up a lot of fossil fuels. An alternative method would be electric vehicles! There is a pledge to ban the sale of all new non-zero emission cars from 2030 onwards, this is a big step in a new and positive direction to help with the climate change crisis, using zero emission vehicles directly helps reduce emissions without affecting your daily life (and reduces air pollution too!). If you do not have an electric car, some ways to help with the crisis is to just leave your car at home. Use alternative methods like walking or cycling, this also provides mental and physical health benefits. For any longer journeys use public transport or car share, overall this will reduce pollution as you are sharing with other people, lowering the amount of emissions entering the atmosphere.
Reducing energy usage and bills at home
We need to help change the planet one step at a time, small changes in your everyday life will have a huge impact in the long term if you start now. For example, when you’re at home, have the heating on a little lower than normal even if it’s by a degree or two and put an extra layer on (even by just one degree, if has a big impact in the future). When you are not using a room or an appliance, turn them off and turn the lights off, by having appliances running and lights on when there is no use for it, you are wasting a lot of energy and is also causing your energy bill to increase for no reason! There are so many ways to make your home a more energy efficient place and it is so easy to do this, and you will feel a lot better about it afterwards.
Cutting down on consumption and waste
Everything we have and use has a carbon footprint, but there are ways to reduce this. Avoid buying clothes from fast fashion places and instead purchase from second hand shops. Choose brands that are sustainable and avoid supporting those who aren’t. Minimise waste by donating or selling unwanted items so another person can get use from it instead of purchasing something new. Avoid wasting food, plan your meals ahead to avoid buying more than you need. Use your purchasing power to support brands who are sustainable and make decisions that you think are right.
The natural world helps to clean up the emissions we let out into the atmosphere, and so it is very important that we look after it so it can look after our planet. Plants go through a process called photosynthesis which uses sunlight to help make nutrients from carbon dioxide, in simpler terms, it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and helps to make beneficial nutrients. So, planting trees is a big way of combating the climate crisis. Or if you need to clear a space of land, plant the same number of trees (or more) in order to counteract the damage you have done.
It will take a long time and a lot of effort in order to reduce the damage that has already been done, but by making these small changes in your lives, it is helping a lot. The impact will not be seen straight away and will take time, but the damage needs to be reversed. If we don't do something about it now, it will be irreversible and our planet will suffer, so take your time to read this post and other sources of information to learn about climate change and help to solve the crisis.