If we’re destroying our forests, destroying our environment, hurting animals, hurting one another and all the negative stories you read in the newspapers, there’s got to be a powerful energy out there to stop it. Money may not be enough.
The environment is an issue that only action will change our current trajectory to get to a more sustainable planet. We have spent the last six decades finding out what and why the issues exist, but now it has to be about the how.
How do we need to understand this?
Climate change is an issue that impacts the stability of our environment which is important for us to live with minimal interruptions. Climate change is happening due to the pollution, which is a by-product from human actions over the last few hundred years. It has increased greatly over the past sixty years due to the increase of population.
Pollution is one of the biggest killers, affecting over 100 million people each year. That’s comparable to global diseases like malaria and HIV. People who live in regions with high levels of air pollutants have a 20% higher risk of death from lung cancer than people who live in less-polluted areas. When considering polluted areas in the world, many people will think of China and India due to the growing population and the manufacturing industry. This is not actually correct, China, for example, produces fewer emissions per person than the USA, the UK and Australia. The United States of America, still rely on coal which contributes to four of the top five causes of death and is a third of the worlds total carbon emissions.
Each minute, we consume 35,000 barrels of oil, add 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and destroy 51 acres of tropical forests.
Each hour, 60 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in the United states alone, the governments spend $120 million on military expenditure while watching 1,800 children die of malnutrition and hunger.
Each day, on average 350,000 babies are born, while 25,000 die of a water shortage or contamination. Over 60 tons of plastic packaging and 372 tons of fishing nets are dumped into the sea while 10 tons of nuclear waste are being generated by the existing nuclear plants.
The environment is everything that surrounds us and allows the human race to live. We are destroying our environment and taking the rest of life with us. There are creatures on this earth that have no control when this is their home too. We are in control and we have the opportunity to solve this.
How can we help?
As Leonardo DiCaprio was suggesting in his captivating documentary ‘Before the Flood’, we have control over what we consume. Consuming products that are bad for our body and the environment can be stopped. As soon as we stop buying these products, the corporations have to change. The most powerful companies exist as they are fuelled by consumer demand. The governments, companies and organizations across the world have to understand that climate standards need to be met and monitored to help us as individuals. We have the power to start the change and we can certainly make an impact.
Energy is clearly something we cannot go without. Vehicles, electricity and appliances need fuel to operate, however these are all things we can adjust to make less pollution and need less consumption. Electric cars are becoming more popular with Elon Musk’s ‘Tesla’ leading the way, the more we buy the more affordable and accessible this becomes. Solar and wind power is the future of electricity for our work places and homes. There has been a slow up take on this due to its affordability, I don’t believe this will be affordable short term but it will make your bills more affordable long term, and is more environment friendly. Again, it is worth following Elon Musk for what he is doing in this space especially with his ‘Roof Tiles’.
Recycling is an important measure that has been operating for the last decade, but this will only improve if people remain consistent with recycling and more companies make their products recyclable or reusable. The benefits of recycling are that each ton (1000kg) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water.
When discussing this subject with people, they’re very negative towards the belief of climate change, that’s if they even care t all. They have the attitude of how can they change the world as they’re only one person. Well, if you don’t want to change what you consume or how you power your life.
Here are a few small things you could do to save money and to minimize your contribution to climate change:
Driving: Studies have shown up to 30% of the difference in miles per gallon (MPG) is due to driving habits alone. For example: accelerating slowly & smoothly will improve your MPG.
Electrical Appliances: If you’re going away or not using an item for awhile, unplug it to prevent “vampire” energy loss from electricity usage on standby. Always pay attention to the total lifetime cost, including energy—not just the price tag. Leaving a computer on overnight for a year creates enough CO2 to fill a double decker bus.
Heating/Cooling: Keep your heating and cooling system(s) tuned. When it’s time to replace, do your research. Do not leave your fan on overnight. Leaving a fan running over night is enough to power your IPhone for 25 years.
Lighting: Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) have that cool curly shape and save more than 2/3rds of the energy of a regular incandescent. Each bulb can save $40 or more over its lifetime. Do not leave lights on if you’re not using that room. Leaving a light on can be producing the same CO2 emissions as driving London to Paris.
Waste & Recycling – This is a big one.
Don’t waste food: About one-quarter of all the food prepared annually in the U.S., for example, gets tossed, producing methane in landfills as well as carbon emissions from transporting wasted food.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: 60% of pollutions come from everything we buy and use – goods and services. Pay attention to your consumption and waste habits.
Buy Locally if possible: Shipping burns fuel. A 5-pound package shipped by air across the country creates 12 pounds of CO2 (3 ½ pounds if shipped by truck).
Cut down on the amount of meat you eat: A total ban on meat is impossible but over 30% of greenhouse gases results from consuming meats while also there is a connection between the more meat we eat, the higher the risk of cancer.
The only way forwards
The only way forwards, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved. Steve Jobs stated that you as an individual need to be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. There is enough room for people on this earth, but there isn’t enough for those who are greedy.
I want you to ask yourself… are you doing enough?