We already have limited time on this Earth, so why would we want to shorten it by not acting now to protect ourselves and the ones we love from diseases and bad health due to climate change?
How does climate change affect humans?
Climate Change is the biggest health threat for humans. Climate Change started in the late 19th Century, and scientists claim its declining, due to the temperature of the planet being over the average temperature. Although Climate Change is very complex, we aren't doing near enough of what we need to do in order to save the planet and our future generations to come.
Climate Change affects our health due to the dangerous air pollution and gases, extreme weather events, food insecurity, diseases and many more vicious consequences. A lot of negative impacts of Climate Change is due to manmade products humans have created, like plastic and electricity, therefore it is our responsibility to take action for our actions.
Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone.
Even though we are a long way to go from helping the planet, a little help from everyone can help make a difference, so here are some ways we can help and protect ourselves and the ones we love:
Walking to the shops instead of driving will not only diminish transport emissions, but it will improve your mental health and overall fitness. Research shows that people who are more connected with nature are usually happier in life. So, get your steps in and have a long conversation with your friends, because reducing transport emissions will lead to better air for humans and animals to breathe in, and less health problems for you and the ones you love.
If the rest of the world was to cycle and walk everywhere like they do in Holland, we could save 680 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
Heart disease and stroke could fall by 10–20%, with reductions in breast cancer (12–13%), dementia (8%), and depression (5%). Combining increased active travel with low-emission vehicles would bring greater benefits by further reducing air pollution.
Save energy at home
Turning off the lights may not seem like a big change, but not switching off lights leads to harmful primary greenhouse gases that are destroying the environment and our health. Not switching off lights at home or work also effects human sleep and obscures the stars, known as light pollution. Having lights switched on when it's naturally dark outside can affect your own health too as it confuses your circadian rhythm-increasing anxiety, fatigue, headaches and more.
Funnily enough, grabbing an air fryer on your walk to the shops can cut your energy costs at home by nearly half of the energy that it takes to cook something in the oven. There are also many advantages to an air fryer, like healthier eating, quicker cooking times, and easy to use and clean.
'Food is fuel'
Agriculture and food production account for 10–12% of greenhouse-gas emissions. Livestock farming is responsible for four-fifths of these emissions, which include methane (a greenhouse gas more potent than CO2) emitted by ruminant animals
Throwing away food causes methane to enter landfill. Methane is even more potent than carbon dioxide emissions, which means that wasting your food is more harmful than you think. Instead, try freezing your foods like fruit and bread. These are the easiest types of food to go rotten quickly, therefore making it easier to throw away. Also, measuring your portions or saving the rest of dinner for tomorrows' lunch can make a huge change to your personal food waste (and your bank account).
Watching the intake of meat you eat can improve your health substantially, and protect you from heart disease and certain cancers. Instead, it could be an idea to research how to cook a fulfilling meatless meal that gives you more benefits than eating meat. If people were to eat less meat, or switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet, livestock farming will decrease, improving the environmental emissions. Although there is a lot of controversy around the topic of a plant-based diet, one thing is for certain- cutting down on meat is the most significant action you can take to help the environment and save vast amounts of water and land, and increase biodiversity.
So it's simple- turn off all your lights before walking to the shops where you will buy an air fryer and walk back to cook your favourite meatless dish without leaving any waste, or saving the meal for tomorrow's dinner. An easy change and a powerful impact.