CW: This article discusses topics of threat to life which could be distressing to some readers.
The Earth is dying. The carbon dioxide (C02) levels as of now, is at 418 Parts Per Million (PPM). Research, from I Love My Carbon Dioxide, shows that C02 is set to reach 500 PPM by 2050. This would increase temperatures by over 3 degrees, melting snow and ice, increasing sea levels, and putting some of us in water.
Internet geography says flooding would put lives at risk, disrupt power, contaminate drinking water, and close schools and hospitals. Habitats would be destroyed, reducing biodiversity, and food supplies will be shortened. Soon we will not be able to survive on Earth. We must battle climate change now. There are ways to help stop climate change.
Public Transport's smaller footprint
Vehicles that run on fossil fuels need to be phased out. Government statistics found a petrol car contributes 3.3 times the amount of C02, than a train on the same journey.
Results, for a trip from Glasgow to London, show coaches contribute the least amount of emissions, at 21 kilograms of CO2 (KGC02). Trains follow close, producing 27 (KGC02) on the same trip, which is 1 (KGC02) less than an electric car.
Motor bikes, petrol cars, and diesel cars all produce significantly more, roughly 90 (KGC02). It was found planes produced over 7 times the amount of emission compared to a coach, adding 155 (KGC02).
Different trips resulted in the smallest footprint for transport changing, respective to the distance travelled. The consistent result was that public transport, specifically coaches and occasionally trains, had some of the smallest footprints.
Public transport needs to be used more to influence, and push increased government funding in the sector. This will reduce C02 emissions, and reduce our carbon footprint, helping the battle to stop climate change.
Plane companies have made efforts to make a smaller footprint. Companies now delay the use of main engines until it is necessary.
Some companies, unrelated to transport, have claimed to reduce their footprint without any evidence.
Greenwashing is an advertisement from companies, that make themselves appear more environmentally friendly than they are.
Companies are said to Greenwash to appeal to an eco-friendly aware audience, such as Gen Z (born 1996 - 2010), to gain more money from people who seek to reduce climate change.
In 2019, a Ryan Air advert was banned, for claiming they had low emissions. They had no sufficient evidence.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) warned Hyundai in 2021, after an advert was released claiming their car, "cleaned the air", when they added an air filtration system.
In 2018, Greenpeace challenged Nestle after they claimed to aim for 100% recyclable packaging, with no concrete plans to prove it. Greenpeace campaigner Maria Ledesma responded,
"There's no such thing as 'plastic neutrality', it echoes the same ugly strategy Nestlé has used to make people and communities shoulder the costs of the clean-up of plastic waste.
To avoid supporting the false companies, who add to climate change, you need to know who your buying from.
How to spot Green Washing Companies
Been aware of "fluffy" language, such as been 'eco-friendly, followed with no evidence to prove the claim.
When companies claim to be greener than its competition, without proof or research.
Noticing companies using jargon that only experts will understand.
When companies provide no statistics, or proof to their claim.
The way to spot Greenwashing is to really know the company, and research for yourself. This way you will be able to look through the lies.
As consumers, we have the power to decide how companies operate. If we do not buy, they cannot produce goods, or produce emissions. We will be actively stopping climate change.
5 Young Green Activists shaping the future
Individuals have begun campaigning against climate change, influencing others, and forcing governments to take action.
Greta Thunberg, 19, is a known name. In 2018, skipping school, Greta sat outside the Swedish parliament to pressure the government to reach carbon emission targets. She sat with a sign reading,
"School strike for climate".
In 2019, inspired by Greta, 1.6 million people came together for the first global strike for climate. She also made speeches to Uk and EU parliament, and was nominated for a Nobel peace prize, inspiring many young activists.
Aditya Mukarji's, 17, door to door campaign influenced 150 restaurants and cafes to go plastic free. He stopped the use of 26 million single use plastic straws. He sees single use plastic as,
"One of the most dangerous inventions by man".
Alexandria Villaseñor, 15, began her own weekly school strike in front of the UN in December 2018, soon after becoming a Friday For Future organizer. She became Co - founder and Youth Staff coordinator for Earth Uprising. She will continue her activism until sufficient actions are taken to help the climate.
Ella and Caitlin McEwan, 11 and 9, gathered 400,000 signatures on a petition, for MacDonald's and Burger King to remove plastic toys. They suggested books or cardboard games as a replacement. Ella said,
"I don't like the toys - they're really bad for the environment."
MacDonald's responded by reducing plastic content by 60% in Happy meals.
Lesein Mutunkei, at 12 years old, began planting a tree for every goal he scored. Combining his love for outdoors and football, the efforts of Trees 4 Goals grew. Now he plants 11 trees per goal. He says,
"I have planted 1,000 trees in the last two years".
All over the world, young activists are doing their part to stop climate change. They are acting themselves, pushing the companies and governments to make changes. They fight to stop climate change, influencing others to shape the future, with green leading the way.
Going Green at Home
There are more ways to go green at home, to help stop climate change, and to reduce emissions. We can save the Earth by going green. Ways to go green include,
Switch to energy efficient bulbs to reduce electrical use.
Use cloth, and rip up old clothes to use instead of paper towels.
Unplug items when they are not been used to avoid phantom loads.
Buy second hand items, such as furniture, rather than new ones to avoid need for logging.
Repurpose old furniture by painting them to avoid buying new ones.
Have solar panels put on your property to use renewable energy.
Have more insulation installed to allow heating to be turned down, or even off.
Walk, bike, or use public transport to get to work to reduce C02 emissions.
Plant one or two trees in your back garden to reduce your footprint.
To go green in the kitchen,
By performing some of the minor changes, we can go Green and reduce our own footprint. We can reduce emissions and stop climate change. We can save our planet. We can save our future, one change at a time.