Yesterday, we were shown a documentary film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ in our Environmental Management class. I loved it. The whole presentation, facts and figures, the graphics, and technology, everything was great and inspiring. Sadly, we couldn’t see the complete documentary due to shortage of time :-(.
A graph was presented by Al Gore, which conveyed astonishing facts about carbon dioxide emissions (they were astonishing to me atleast.) Al Gore, through certain facts and figures, proved that climate change is not a natural phenomena, its anthropogenic.
So we all have to be responsible citizens and individuals. We cannot grow boundaries on climate change problem. It is our common tragedy and we have to face it together.
You can visit these very interactive website to know what you can do to stop climate change. Just click on the picture.
So, I thought I should search as to how can we contribute in reducing climate change. Here are a few guidelines (Canada’s Action on Climate Change, 2012)
- Adapt to sustainable transport
Walk or bike whenever possible. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but your overall level of health will improve and you will save money on parking and gasoline.
- Reduce your energy use
For this, adopt energy-saving habits. Make it a habit to turn off the lights when you leave a room. Also, replace standard light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. Turn off your computer and unplug electronics when they are not in use.
- Insulate your home
Insulate yourself and your home. By properly insulating your home, you can ensure that heat stays in or out depending on the season. You can do this by purchasing windows and window coverings that will block out or keep in warmth, and by sealing any existing cracks. In winter, reduce your thermostat by 2 °C to enjoy energy savings and a cozy sweater. In summer, use fans to circulate air, and set air conditioners to make your home a comfortable temperature. Lowering the temperature on your water heater to between 55 and 60 °C and insulating your pipes also makes a difference.
- Cool wash and hang to dry
These are not just washing instructions on a label anymore, but an equation for energy savings. Wash clothing
- Make every drop count
Conserve water by fixing drips and leaks, and by installing low-flow shower heads and toilets. Challenge yourself to a speed shower. Turn off water while brushing teeth or shaving. Treating and transporting water requires energy, while water conservation results in reduced energy requirements and carbon emissions.in cold water and hang clothing to dry outside, or indoors on a drying rack. Taking these steps will reduce your electricity bill and also prolong the life of clothing by reducing wear on the fabric caused by dryers.
- High efficiency appliances
When replacing appliances, look for high efficiency units. Appliances with ENERGY STAR ratings, an international standard for energy-efficient consumer products, typically utilize a minimum of 20 % less energy. This means savings for you and the environment.
- Switch to “green power”
Research where your power is coming from – wind, water, coal, or solar – and talk to your power provider to determine if a greater percentage could be coming from renewable resources. Encourage power providers to switch to green power and, if possible and/or economically viable, switch to a company offering power from renewable resources.
Make recycling part of your daily routine. Recycle all packaging and consumer goods that you can. Aim to purchase items with minimal and recyclable packaging. For certain items with large amounts of packaging, ask retailers if they can recycle or re-use it. For electronics, facilities now exist that can dispose of electronics in an environmentally responsible manner.
Rather than discarding or recycling clothing and household goods, give them a chance at a second life. Gently used clothing can be donated to charity or exchanged with friends and family. Old T-shirts can be repurposed into rags for cleaning. Household goods can be donated to charity or sold at a garage sale. Through repurposing, the amount of waste being sent to landfill sites is reduced, there is no need to use energy for recycling, and others can benefit from your used items.
- Plants, our new best friend
When gardening, select plants that are well suited to your climate and require minimal watering and attention. Better yet, plant a tree, and it will provide shade and soak up carbon from the atmosphere.