Start Today For A Greener Tomorrow
This post is part of Blog Action Day 09 – Climate Change.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi
While it’s easy to sit back and criticize and dismiss government officials, world leaders and scientists about their – scare tactics, embellishments, over exaggerations – it’s a lot more difficult, but so important, to take ownership of our role in the issue of climate change. For the record I personally don’t believe that what these people say are scare tactics, embellishments or over exaggerations. I think climate change is very real and should be taken seriously.
We’ve all heard about the Earth’s temperature rising at an alarming rate. But surely any little thing we do as individuals won’t make a difference right? Wrong.
Imagine if everyone thought that they could make a difference and everyone did just one little thing, changed one little habit, or made one different choice. There are roughly 6.8 billion people on the planet. If everyone made one little change that would equate to 6.8 billion little changes. Suddenly our effort doesn’t seem so insignificant.
Alternatively, if we all take the same “I can’t make a difference” approach the results could be catastrophic.
So yes it starts with us. The best time to have started was probably 20 years ago, the second best time? Right now.
What can we do today for a greener tomorrow?
1. Give cloth a go. Try cloth napkins, wash cloths, dusters, and towels for wiping and cleaning around the house. It produces less waste than their paper alternatives and they aren’t nearly as inconvenient as you might think.
2. Reuse and recycle. Re-purpose plastic containers and cardboard boxes where you can. Recycle plastic, paper, cans and bottles when you can. Reducing what goes into the landfill will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas that is emitted.
3. Buy smarter. When you can look for items that have less packaging. Buying spices from a bulk bin, for example, can greatly reduce the amount of packaging we bring home and eventually through out. Same goes for fruit, vegetables, meat and bread that we buy. When bought from a local market there is often little to no packaging.
4. Buy local. When you buy local shipping distances are reduced which means fewer emissions from trucks, boats, or planes that contribute to climate change.
5. Get energy smart. Switch the lights off as you leave the room. Change to compact fluorescent lights when you can. When buying new appliances seek out replacements that are energy efficient. The more efficient your house is at heating and cooling the less energy you require and produce fewer emissions.
6. Make different choices. Choose to take a thermos or travel mug with you when you get your morning coffee instead of using a disposable cup. Use green bins or reusable bags to cart groceries home from the store. Take sandwiches in reusable containers instead of wrapping them in plastic wrap – less waste and your sandwich doesn’t get squashed.
7. Transport. Walk, run, ride your bike, or roller blade whenever you can. Choose public transport or car pool to get around when distances are too great to get there by foot. Or if you require a vehicle consider buying an electric car or hybrid or a compact family car over an SUV or large truck. Not only will these options produce fewer emissions they are quite frugal as well.
8. Do more at the same time. Only do full loads of washing for both clothes and dishes. Plan out your day and gather a list of all the errands you need to do so you can get them all done with one outing as opposed to having to make multiple trips.
You don’t have to erect a wind turbine in your backyard to make an impact on climate change. Making a few simple changes, a few different choices can make a big difference in the long run.
For further reading on climate change and for more ideas of what you can do please check out these great resources on the subject.
David Suzuki Foundation
Climate Change Central
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Photo courtesy of: fatboyke