Scientists believe the earth began over 4.5 billion years ago. The third planet from the sun is currently the only astronomical object known to harbor intelligent life. For much of our planet’s history, its existence has continued unhindered by human activity.
Only toward the middle of the 20th century did the earth started to feel the negative effects of human activity. The earth’s climate has been changing at an alarming rate for the past one hundred years. The negative effects of global warming will destroy human life and prosperity. As a whole, we must alter the way we live our lives in order to combat climate change.
Sounds impossible? Well, simply tweaking a few aspects of your daily routine could have a positive effect on the earth’s atmosphere. If everyone joins together to make a change, the whole world could benefit from it.
Build a Downspout Planter Box
Philadelphian homeowners are lucky to have the opportunity to learn how to build their own downspout planter boxes for free. The plant boxes are created as an eco-friendly way to keep from flooding and capture rainwater.
An efficient planter is filled with a base layer of gravel to allow for drainage. The gravel is then topped with soil and native perennial vegetation that grows every spring.
Replace Your Air Filter
It is suggested that the average household, without any pets, should change their air filter every 90 days. A household with furry pets should try and change theirs every 60 days.
After a while, dust particles build up on the air ducts, which then causes the system to work even harder to improve the air quality. Dirty air filters are a huge waste in energy and money.
Unplug Electronic Devices
Take a moment to look around you; how many appliances are plugged in that aren’t being used? Many people don’t realize that even if a device is off, it is still using energy.
Almost a quarter of all household energy consumption is wasted on appliances in idle power mode. Grouping your devices on one power strip can make it easier for you to turn them off and on at the same time.
One of the bests ways to give back to your community is by volunteering. Researchers have found that people who volunteer are happier and have higher self-confidence. Volunteering is also a wonderful activity that can help a family bond.
A quick Google search can provide you with local organizations that specifically work towards battling climate change. Whether you are picking up trash, planting trees, or simply helping spread the word, every action matters.
Compost is the process of decomposing organic matter. Sir Albert Howard, an English botanist, is considered the father of the organic method.
Some benefits of composting include rich soil – which helps to reduce plant diseases, reduction in the need for chemical fertilizers, and reduction in methane emissions from landfills. You can purchase your own kitchen compost waste collector for less than 30 dollars on Amazon.
Recycling may seem like a modern concept. A majority of the public believe it started during the 1970s environmental movement. However, people have actually been recycling for thousands of years.
Recycling is an easy way to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Yet, sadly, only around 34% of Americans actually participate in this eco-friendly activity. Let’s get with the act, shall we?
Manage Water Intake
To some people, clean water is a blessing. To others, it’s just another aspect of their everyday life. The amount of energy it takes to clean water varies from state to state. In California, it takes around 1,000 kWh of energy to treat 300,000 gallons.
Next time you leave the water running while brushing your teeth or washing dishes, try to remember how much energy goes into purifying it. Taking shorter showers, installing low-flow toilets, and fixing household leaks are all ways you can reduce your water intake.
Restore Old Furniture
Every year, an estimated 10 million tons of furniture is taken to landfills, according to Curbed. A good majority of that furniture could have been donated or even better, restored.
The good thing is that recently there has been a rise in restoring old furniture. Giving vintage objects a second life is a great way to combat climate change. Rustic furniture is also quite charming and can be a classic centerpiece in any home.
Wash Clothes with Cold Water
Some ways to combat global warming are harder than others. Changing a daily routine isn’t always easy. People get so used to doing something a certain way that it becomes a habit.
However, washing your clothes with cold water is one of the easiest ways to make a positive difference in the environment. Almost 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes goes towards warming up water.
Switch to LED Lights
As small and insignificant as a regular lightbulb may seem, one bulb can use up to 876 kWh of energy a year. Now multiply that number by 45, because that’s the average number of lightbulbs in a U.S. household.
Switching to LED lightbulbs can enormously affect climate change in a positive way. They have the ability to work in extreme temperatures and can save households hundreds of dollars a year on their electricity bill.
Use Energy Wisely
Some of the smallest changes to your everyday lifestyle can help make the biggest impact on climate change. One of the first steps is to acknowledge the amount of energy your household uses. Only once that is completed can you begin changing the way you use energy.
One of the easiest changes is to simply unplug electronics that aren’t in use. Also, hang your clothes to dry during the warmer months. Install a programmable thermostat that can make a big difference in reducing energy consumption.
Grow Your Own Food
Nowadays, people have gotten used to going to their local grocery store to pick up their weekly food items. In some cases, that convenience has caused people to grow out of touch with how their food is produced.
Grocery stores tend to display only nice-looking produce. As a result, billions of tons of food go to waste every single year. The amount of energy it took to produce and transport that food is likewise wasted.
By growing your own food, you will not only reduce food waste, but you will also improve your family’s health.
Install Solar Panels
Edmond Becquerel, a French physicist, invented solar power cell technology in 1839. However, it took almost 165 years for the invention to make its way into the mainstream market.
In 2005, DIY Solar Panels started to become a popular item in households. Homeowners started to take advantage of that renewable energy and reap the benefits of solar panels. Not only do they reduce electricity bills, but they are also good for the environment.
Knowing where you do business is just as important as recycling and cutting down on plastic waste. According to a report by the nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project, “Just 100 companies worldwide are responsible for 71% of the world’s industrial greenhouse gas emission since 1988.”
That is why it’s so critical to shop eco-friendly businesses that care about the environment. If consumers continue to buy from companies who are negatively impacting climate change, things will just keep getting worse.
Bring Your Own Shopping Bags
In the majority of European countries, plastic bags aren’t just frowned upon; they are illegal. Countries like Kenya, Mali, Uganda, and Morocco, just to name a few, have all banned plastic bags. In England, most stores don’t even offer plastic bags because people are expected to bring their own reusable ones.
Sadly, the United States hasn’t gotten that far yet. However, as an American consumer, you can take matters into your own hands by shopping with a reusable bag.
Invest in a Reusable Straw
Americans use more than 500 million disposable straws every day, according to USA Today. That is almost nine million tons of plastic waste at the end of the year.
Investing in a reusable straw is a simple way people can help combat climate change. Researchers have found that reusable straws significantly lower the pollution in our oceans. They are also more economically beneficial than disposable straws.
Talk about Climate Change
Communication is a powerful tool. When people discuss issues, they take the first step towards making a change. It’s only when problems are ignored due to silence that a true crisis emerges.
Global warming activists are urging the public to continue to talk about the negative effects greenhouse gasses have on our atmosphere. Public discussions can help transform a culture. Talking about these issues can also educate people and spread insight on local ways to help make a change.
Plant a Tree
What screams “I love the environment!” more than planting a tree? One single tree can produce up to 260 pounds of oxygen every year. It’s amazing how just one tree can have such a positive impact on the environment.
Visit your local plant nursery to find out which type of tree would thrive in your yard. Planting a tree also offers a fun activity the whole family can enjoy.
Cut Down on Flying
It almost seems unnatural how an 80,000-pound airplane can soar perfectly through the sky. It takes around 18,000 kg of aviation fuel to get that hunky piece of metal off the ground.
Just how cars negatively affect the atmosphere, airplanes do too. Aviation releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. The most effective way to reduce this problem is simply by flying less.
Build a Wind Turbine
Watching a tall wind turbine spin is like watching a war hero do a salute. There is something extremely honorable about wind energy that gives the structure a sense of pride. Also, wind turbines provide a clean fuel source and don’t pollute the air.
If more funding was invested in wind energy, it could make a huge, positive impact on climate change. The goal is for the United States to one day be completely energy-independent.
Buy Second-Hand Clothes
Giving gently-used clothes a second life can be exciting; it can also save you money. Retail stores are known for charging ridiculous amounts for name brand clothing. On the other hand, thrift stores typically sell items at an extremely discounted rate.
Buying second hand is also more sustainable. In just the United States, over 21 billion pounds of textile waste gets thrown into a landfill every year.
Americans have the privilege of living in a country where elected representatives are voted in by the population. Whether it’s voting in the mid-term elections or in the presidential elections, your vote does matter. We give the politicians we elect power to fight for our beliefs. That is why it’s so critical to vote for people who we think are going to implement environmental change.
Change Your Diet
If you haven’t noticed, the vegan diet has been on a steady rise. Not only is the plant-based diet healthy, but it is also good for the environment. Practicing vegans abstain from the use of any animal products, especially in their diet.
Researchers found that the meat and dairy industry is the second biggest contributor to climate change. Slightly changing your diet could have a bigger effect on the atmosphere than you might think.
Reduce Food Waste
It’s quite shocking to know that we live in a country where a whopping one-third of the food from farms is wasted. Not only do an estimated 800 million people worldwide go hungry at the same time, but the amount of energy wasted making that food is astronomical.
Researchers believe that food waste contributes 3.3 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Both retailers and consumers need to start thinking about how they can reduce food waste.
Cut Down on Driving
The first practical automobile was created in 1885. Ever since then, it has been a modern luxury. Let’s face it: cars make life more efficient. They can take us from point A to point B in a matter of minutes.
Despite how useful they are, however, car pollution is one of the biggest causes of global warming. If getting rid of your car isn’t an option, try cutting back on driving by carpooling with coworkers or riding your bike to nearby locations.