3 Small steps you can take in your own life to help protect our planet.
Climate change is ravaging our planet. It’s destroying our oceans and natural landscapes, causing extinctions, harming our own health, and having severe effects on natural weather patterns. The hard truth is that we, as a species, are largely responsible for it. In recent years, major global government initiatives – such as the Climate Change Act (2008) in the UK and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (2009) in the US – have been launched to help combat the detrimental impact modern life is having on our planet. But there are small changes that each and every one of us can make as individuals which will, over time, dramatically help the environment to recover.
Eat Less Meat
The global demand for meat is huge. As a result, meat is often intensively farmed, which requires a huge amount of land, energy and water. To make way for grazing pastures, wild habitats such as forests – and consequently their wildlife – are eradicated. According to PETA, a huge 51% of greenhouse gasses are the result of the meat industry. Choosing to lower your weekly intake of meat will have a big impact on both the damaging emissions of meat farms and your own health. With less demand for meat, greenhouse emissions will be lowered. Reducing your personal intake of meat also means you will be reaping the healthy benefits of consuming less fat.
Change Your Travel
Whether travelling to work, doing the school run, or simply popping to the shops, the modern world makes traveling part of everyday life. But all this travelling can be harmful to our planet. In 2013, modern transportation contributed to more than half of carbon monoxide and nitrogen emissions into our atmosphere. But fear not, there are ways you can help reduce your travel emissions without becoming a hermit. If you are driving, take care of your car. Properly inflated tyres, for a start, can reduce drag and lower harmful emissions. If you can hitch a lift with a colleague to work, carpooling can be a great way to cut emissions. Taking public transport is also a greener way to travel. If the distance you must travel is fairly short, take lengths to improve both your own health and our atmosphere by walking or cycling. Such changes to your daily routine are small, but they can make a big difference.
Manage Your Waste
Recycling can have a massive positive impact. Greenhouse gasses, pollutants, and harmful chemicals are released into the atmosphere by landfill sites, so the less you can send to landfill the better. Many household products now come in recyclable containers or packaging. The recycling guide can help you identify what you can rescue from your landfill pile and recycle instead. Beginning a compost heap to fertilise your garden, taking reusable carrier bags to the shops, and donating unwanted items to worthy causes – rather than throwing them away – can also help to reduce your landfill contribution. Try to take a more creative approach on waste: if something is broken, can it be fixed or reused somewhere else rather than taking it to the tip?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that greenhouse gasses and harmful emissions into our atmosphere are the main cause of global warming and climate change. If we all take small steps to reduce our own harmful impact on the environment, our planet can will readily reap the benefits.