Have you seen Bill Gates’s latest interviews and grown anxious about what’s happening to our planet Earth? Or you might have heard Greta Thunberg, David Attenborough, or read some climate change report. In any case, climate change, or previously known as Global warming, needs global attention right now and if we do not act now, it will be too late.
While the challenge seems too big for organizations and states, what can an individual do to help save their environment? If you have seen David Attenborough’s A Life On Our Planet, you’ll have noticed how after painting a very grim picture, the narrator shows a silver lining. With emerging technologies, climate activism, and the green revolution, we have a chance to fight this menace.
Read on to discover six ways you can make your contribution to saving the planet.
While you have already taken a step by reading this article to find out the ways you can make an impact, there’s a lot more to this subject that can never fit into just one article. There are numerous ways we are harming the planet and similarly numerous ways to prevent ourselves from doing so.
If you are really serious about educating yourself on this subject, we suggest you read more about what’s going on with the planet in more detail. If reading a book is too difficult for you, we suggest you watch some documentaries online
It has been observed that societies keep polluting their environment because they don’t know any better. People think it is beyond the scope of humankind, let alone individuals, to save the planet. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of the educated class and organizations to step in and present ways that individuals can follow.
Each person who educates themself of the grim future of our Planet and how we can prevent it will ultimately convey the information forward creating a ripple effect. Therefore, awareness is the most important step that one can take to save the environment.
2. Supporting Green Businesses and Climate Change Non-profits
There are numerous Climate Change and Conservation organizations around the world. Some are protecting the rainforests, some wildlife, while others focus on algae in bodies of water. While all are playing their part globally or locally, they need volunteers or donors to support their cause. They can not do so while they are vilified by society.
As for the green revolution, we are witnessing businesses launching eco-friendly products or adopting eco-friendly practices. It is true that some industries are at the risk of annihilation, it does not mean that people will be jobless. It only means industries will transform just like they have always been throughout human history.
Therefore, we should accept green businesses with open arms and support non-profits. The failure of these businesses and non-profits will be a huge setback for this mission and will give way to businesses that are damaging the planet.
3. Adopt Reusable Energy Production
While it is obvious that reusable means of energy production are far better than non-reusable, making wind power plants or hydro plants is way outside the scope of an individual. One of the most convenient reusable energy sources then becomes solar panels, which can be applied to almost every building or open space. There has been a lot of advancement in the quality of solar panels and they are becoming inexpensive by the day. Also, with net-metering being legalized, solar panels are becoming a good investment as well.
That being said, it’s also important that we avoid overconsumption of electricity and other fuels. Air Conditioners and heaters are one of the main contributors to global CO2 emission and other harmful compounds. By limiting their use in our daily lives, we can at least play our part.
4. Reduce Plastic Usage
Plastic has become omnipresent. It’s there in our electronics, our packaging, our cutlery, and whatnot. It has been observed around the world that fish and other animals are carrying plastic compounds in their bodies and are dying by the numbers due to this. Since plastic was invented in the 1960s and became common in the 1970s, it means only in just a half-century, we have caused so much damage to all the living organisms on Earth.
This is why plastic bags and straws are discouraged and in some cases banned. In 2018, India, one of the biggest producers and consumers of plastic, pledged to become plastic-free by 2022.
Developed countries are making huge strides in their race to becoming plastic-free but governments cannot achieve this without the help of their citizens. Therefore, people who want to help should cut down their plastic use to zero. Some of the ways to do this are:
- Use reusable water bottles or coffee flasks
- Use reusable straws instead of plastic straw
- Avoid plastic bags at all cost, instead use bags made out of paper, canvas, tote, or cloth
- Avoid disposable cutlery
- To avoid plastic packaging of soaps, conditioners and shampoos either opt for open bars or some kind of eco-friendly packaging
- Lastly don’t throw away your plastic with the rest of your garbage. Keep it in a separate container and send it to recycling units.
Recycling various products is increasing around the world. Countries like Austria, Belgium, and South Korea are leaders in recycling rate with Germany with a whopping 68% recycling rate. Compare these numbers to numbers of your country and the difference will tell you how much you can cover only if most, if not all, citizens start recycling their discarded materials.
Recycling reduces harmful emissions from landfills and helps decrease one’s carbon footprint.
6. Reduce Paper Consumption
Paper is made from trees and the more paper we use the more trees we will be cutting down. Keep in mind, this also affects the biodiversity of these forests and plantations. With laptops, smartphones, and e-readers becoming common, we no longer need to buy paper books, notes, or documents.
Instead of writing lectures down on paper, we can either ask our teachers to upload them to our portals or we can write them down on our computers. Similarly, instead of asking for receipts from the ATM, we can have an SMS or email service that informs us about our transaction. We can do the same with our office’s paperwork and the books we read.
With that being said, we want to address the elephant in the room which is the attitude people have towards this massive challenge. It might seem like a daunting mission but throughout history, mankind has achieved the marvelous feat by coming together. Only if we believe that we can and by ensuring our contribution we can overcome this challenge.