Climate change. So hot right now.
You said it. Most of the rise in Earth’s temp has happened in recent decades, thanks to fossil fuel use by a growing population. All those greenhouse gases (from driving, producing electricity, etc) have trapped too much heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. Now the planet is sweating harder than you after hot yoga.
Yes. This should give you an idea:
The average American emits about 16 tons of carbon dioxide every year, mostly by driving cars. Here are some ways to reduce your impact on the planet…
Travel green...if you can, pick riding a bike over driving a car. If you can’t, carpooling and using more fuel-efficient cars can make a difference. Trains tend to be better than planes. If you have to fly, some recommend offsetting your emissions (hint: donating to charities that plant trees or work to preserve rainforests).
Cutting down on meat and dairy...if you’re serious about fighting climate change, the facts speak for themselves: 14.5% or more of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock. Changing your diet might be the single most impactful thing you do to fight climate change. Climate change advocates are also working to reduce how much of the world’s farms are dedicated to meat and dairy production – and some have proposed taxes on those products.
Doing your civic duty...governments are key in fighting climate change. But since they’re failing, the UN wants state and local governments to step up their game. Vote. Get involved in politics at any level. Run for office. Organize. Call your reps.
Fixing up your house…insulate your house (which will also lower your heating bill. Cha ching). Use fuel-efficient light bulbs like LEDs (hint: look for the energy star label on packaging). Don’t be too generous with your AC. Or consider adding solar panels to your roof. Warning: that could get pricey.
Consider having fewer kids…this is a very personal choice. But one study found this could be the biggest way to cut carbon emissions, since fewer people on the planet means significantly less carbon emissions.
Also important. We get into why over here. Here’s what you can do:
The three R’s...reduce your plastic waste by doing things like keeping canvas bags on hand for groceries, bringing a reusable water bottle with you everywhere, switching from plastic wrap to beeswax paper, using mesh produce bags, keeping reusable utensils at your desk...the list goes on. Reuse your old clothes by turning them into dish rags; turn your empty egg carton into a jewelry holder. Recycle that empty (and clean) sauce jar so it can be processed into something else.
Choosing eco-friendly options might take some adjusting while you learn new habits. And depending on your budget, resources, and situation, some efforts to fight climate change can be more accessible than others. Not everyone can afford investing in things like solar panels. Whatever you do to reduce your carbon footprint is a step in the right direction.
Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter.
Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.
The world has a plastic problem. Everyday life has become increasingly reliant on single-use plastic. Learn more about how bad it is and what you can do.
Trying to understand climate change? You're not alone. Pick up one of these climate change books to get filled in on what's going down with Mother Earth.