It’s Earth Day – the perfect time to start thinking about ways we can all do our part to save our planet. As people who care about the future of our world, we have a responsibility to act and make changes in our daily lives that will have a positive impact on the environment.
The effects of climate change don't just threaten the beauties of our planet, but also our well-being through air pollution, disease, severe weather conditions, displacement, emotional stress, increased hunger and poor nutrition in places where people cannot grow or access sufficient food.
Here are some simple tips to help you get started:
1. Conserve Water. The little things can make a big difference...
Water is a precious resource that we often take for granted. Try to be mindful of your water usage, and make an effort to conserve whenever possible. Take shorter showers (4 mins or less), fix any leaks, and consider investing in water-saving appliances and fixtures.
2. Be Car-conscious. Reduce trips and regular service.
If you can, stay off the road two days a week or more. You’ll reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 721 kilograms per year [source: EPA]. It’s easier than you think. You can combine your errands — hit the school, grocery store and gym in one trip. And if you work onsite, talk to your boss about working from home – if this is an option for you. But being car conscious also means maintaining your car on a regular basis. You can improve your fuel mileage by 0.6 percent to 3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, and be sure to make necessary repairs if your car fails emission [source: EPA]
2.Walk, Bike, Take Public Transit, Ditch the Lift.
There are several ways to lessen greenhouse gases, such as walking, biking, or using public transportation. These methods not only help the environment but also provide physical benefits, such as cardiovascular exercise and calorie burning. If your neighbourhood is not pedestrian-friendly, consider utilising public transport or carpooling to decrease your carbon footprint. Even eliminating one vehicle on the road can make a significant impact.
2.Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…
You’ve probably heard this before, but it really is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce waste. Make an effort to recycle everything that can be recycled, and try to avoid single-use products whenever possible. Instead, opt for reusable water bottles, coffee cups, and shopping bags.
2.Give Composting a Try...
Australia's recycling rate remains stagnant at 60%. In 2020/21, Australia generated an estimated 75.8 million tonnes (Mt) of waste, equivalent to 2.95 tonnes per person (what in the world). While some of it was recycled or used for energy, a significant percentage were dumped in the landfill. Just imagine if you could utilize more of these discarded materials for composting. This would decrease the amount of solid waste that you produce, as well as lower the trash that eventually accumulates in the local landfill. Additionally, compost serves as a wonderful natural fertilizer. If you’d like to learn more about composting > How to compost in 7 easy steps.
2.Switch to LEDs...
While compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are a good option because they consume at least two-thirds less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, they do present some problems like difficulty in disposal due to the presence of mercury. This is where LED bulbs come in. LED bulbs are highly energy-efficient because they emit light in a narrow band wavelength. It is advisable to replace your old incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs because they can last up to 25,000 hours compared to the 1,000 hours of an incandescent bulb. Although they may be more costly than CFLs and incandescent bulbs, it is a worthy investment in the long run.
7.Live Energy Wise...
To save money, improve your home's energy efficiency. The windows in your home contribute to 25 to 30 percent of heat gain and loss, so it may be worthwhile to replace them if they are old or inefficient. Additionally, ensure that your home is properly insulated. The amount of insulation required in your home is determined by the climate, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and insulation location. You can take tiny steps right away, such as frequently replacing your air filter to prevent your system from working excessively, closing windows when it is excessively hot or cold outside, and installing a programmable thermostat for when you’re not at home.
8.Eat Sustainable Foods
Consuming sustainable foods is crucial in reducing greenhouse emissions, as food production contributes up to 25% of them. To eat sustainably, opt for food from farmers who prioritise conservation of natural resources and minimal land impact. Supporting local farmers is also beneficial. A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, while limiting red meat and processed foods, helps as well. Growing your own produce by starting a garden is another option. Start small with planting something like parley.
9.Break up with Plastic.
Startling figures show that people across the globe purchase one million plastic drink bottles every minute and utilise up to five trillion disposable plastic bags annually (what on earth?!). It appears that humanity has formed a dependency on plastic, with a meager 9% of it being recycled. Shockingly, an astounding eight million tons (7.25 metric tons) of this plastic ultimately contaminates the ocean annually. Put an end to this cycle by avoiding the consumption of bottled water, declining plastic shopping bags and favouring cloth ones instead, say no to plastic straws, and use reusable cups instead of plastic ones. Taking these actions can help prevent a significant amount of waste from ending up in the ocean and landfills. Think of the turtles and the beautiful blue ocean we currently enjoy.
10.Plant a Tree or Two.
According to the U.N.'s 2018 IPCC report on climate change, planting an additional 2.5 billion acres of forest could help limit global warming by -16.2778 degrees Celsius by 2050. While this is a significant amount of trees, even planting just one or two can make a difference. Young trees can absorb 13 pounds of CO2 annually, while mature trees can absorb up to 48 pounds. Trees also remove other pollutants from the air, making them beneficial for everyone. Therefore, planting trees is a simple action that can have a positive impact on the environment.