Climate change is one of the most defining issues of our time. Many people see it as the most important issue we are facing in current times. From community destroying flooding, extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels, rising temperatures and country-wide wildfires, there’s no doubt that we need to take action to find ways to fight climate change on a global level.
Heatwaves are becoming more common, hotter than ever before and longer-lasting longer. Over the past 5 years, the country has seen temperatures rise to nearly 50 degrees (celsius) in some parts, which is not only having an effect on our health and wellbeing but also to our country and the plants and animals who live on it.
“Since 1910, Australia’s climate has warmed by more than 1 degree Celsius (or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). In fact, without action, Australia is expected to warm as much as 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2090.”– Climate Reality Project
We know this doesn’t sound like much every day, you may be thinking “a degree or two here and there can’t hurt”, but in a country that is already hot and dry a degree, or 5 degrees, is a huge concern.
The Paris agreement was signed in 2016 limiting global warming temperature rises to a maximum of 1.5C but the fact is that even at this temperature, we are already seeing the huge impact of climate change. Not only does the rise in temperature cause our bushfire season to be longer and bigger, but droughts and heatwaves are also affecting our food production from agriculture and livestock, and the rise in water temperatures are also killing the Great Barrier Reef and affecting our Oceans.
We know that fighting climate change is not an easy task. Rising CO2 concentrations – and related global warming – will only stabilise once annual emissions reach net-zero, but there are some easy changes we can make to our day to day lives to help the cause and help our own health. We’ve put together a few ways to fight climate change which you can easily implement in your household today.
Learn the facts and speak the truth!
Education is one of the best things you can do to start your journey in fighting climate change. We know there is A LOT of information out there, and far too many opinions about the right and the wrong way to deal with the situation, but reading the information out there is a great way to start on top of what is currently happening and how you can help. After all, the more you know, the more you can do!
Follow some independent news channels, join The Plastic pollution Coalition, follow some environmental influencers or eco-friendly business accounts on social media to get bite-size amounts information throughout your day if you’re overwhelmed by long, scientific articles and news stories.
Once you have some information, talk to your friends and family and see what they are doing to help or what information they can offer. It doesn’t need to be a huge debate or an argument over the breakfast table but sharing ideas is the best way to spread the word and begin to influence others. Each small step goes a long way! Do you really need 3 soy sauce filled plastic fish with you sushi lunch, maybe you could ask for a squeeze from their large bottle. Sadly ironic right?….Eating fish, with the help of plastic fish, that kill the real fish, by eating the discarded plastic fish and then we eat the real fish poisoned by the plastic fish.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Energy, resources, fossil fuels, and environmental impacts all go into producing clothes, textiles, white goods, phones, computers etc. so focus on buying second-hand, up-cycling or reusing old things you have in your house.
Focus on the proper disposal of the items which you really don’t need or use any more and find loving homes for them or find appropriate recycling points. Limit your food waste by buying only what you need and buying local food to reduce your food’s carbon footprint by the number of miles it has travelled.
Reduce the amount of plastic you use in any way you can by switching from single-use plastic items, like razors, water bottles and coffee cups and instead buy a reusable water bottle that you can keep refilling and take your own reusable bags with you when you next go shopping. The planet will thank you!
Eat your way to climate stability
The decisions we make about food can have a profound effect on the environment. Buying organic and local whenever possible, growing your own, only eating sustainable seafoods and eating more meat-free meals will all make your diet more climate-friendly. It’s not just about what we consume thought but also how much of that food we waste.
Food waste is responsible for 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Once in landfill, food waste breaks down and emits greenhouse gases, including not only carbon dioxide (CO2) but methane (CH4) – a gas 25 times more potent than CO2. Therefore, reducing the amount of food you send to landfill and composting any waste can help to reduce those CO2 emissions.
Adjust your thermostat
Greenhouse gas emissions occur anytime non-renewable energy is used to heat our houses. One of the top tips for saving CO2 is to turn your thermostat down by 2 degrees C in the winter and up by 2 degrees in the summer. These are temperatures that you won’t even really notice, but make a huge difference to energy saving.
Try to think about when you will really need the house heating too and only turn the heating on when you are in the house. For example, if you’re heading for a trip away for the weekend and it’s the summertime, you could probably knock the heating off while you are away.
Likewise when it comes to your air conditioner, open up your house when the cool change comes in the evening and sleep with a light cotton sheet.
Walk or ride, don’t drive
Draw a 2km circle around your house and try to walk as much as possible within that circle. Walking or cycling is better for your physical and mental health, but ditching the car to limit the number of unnecessary car journeys are also a great way to reduce the number of carbon emissions you contribute to the atmosphere. Adding a basket or panniers to your bike instantly increases its versatility.
Use it as an excuse to explore your local area too, instead of driving off to that beauty spot or packed beach for a walk on the weekends, make the most of your own backyard and explore local parks and rivers within walking or riding distance of your house. You might be surprised at what you find!
There are hundreds of ways you can help but these are just a few easy ones to get you started. Once you get these in place you will be able to and want to, start introducing more and more into your daily life. The future is in our hands. The time is now to make our own small efforts to keep the Earth alive for our future generations.