Greta Thunberg, 16-year old Swedish environmental activist on climate change, said “We are going to change the fate of humanity whether you like it or not.”
Being kinder to the environment is no longer a nice thing to do. Making small changes in our lives can greatly impact our environment and our future. Climate action isn’t the next generation’s problem, but every single citizen of the world’s. Drastic action needs to be taken by everyone if we want to save our environment.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change defines climate change as ‘the alteration of our climate as a result of human activity, this changes the composition of the earth’s atmosphere.’
The effects of climate change include:
- Record high rises in sea levels
- Unusually high land and ocean temperatures
- Melting glacier
- Droughts and heatwaves.
One of the main contributors to climate change and global warming is CO2 emissions, with methane gas being the second largest contributor. Through global platforms like the UN Climate Action Summit and agreements such as the Paris Agreement, nations around the globe have united to combat climate change and its alarming effects, while still encouraging economic growth.
An effective way of helping combat climate change, while enabling economic opportunities, is through recycling. You can play a part in preventing climate change by re-evaluating your household, or office, and identifying areas where we can reduce, reuse, or recycle.
Simple ways to be eco-friendly:
Grow a snack
Sprout almost any seed or pulse from lentils to chickpeas for a low-cost, eco-friendly and super nutritious snack. Make your own sprouts with a jam jar and a piece of muslin or buy a sprout starter pack from a specialised health shop such as Fresh Earth.
Set an example
Bring a mug or Ecoffee cup to work to cut waste from disposable cups, and ask your canteen for a discount for those with their own mugs or cups. Next, form a green committee to talk to management about buying recycled stationary.
Do away with milk cartons
Instead of buying milk from supermarkets and throwing away several milk cartons a week, take your own sterilised glass bottles to Food Lover’s Market and get farm fresh milk straight from the tap.
Did you know? For every ton of waste glass used to manufacture new glass, an incredible 1.2 tons of natural resources is saved. This means that less CO2 is emitted as 1.2 tonnes of virgin raw material does not need to be quarried, processed and transported prior to being converted into glass packaging. In addition, glass can be infinitely recycled without any decrease in quality of new glass packaging produced. – The Glass Recycling Co
Tumble with dryer balls
If you have to resort to the tumble dryer, add dryer balls to your load to cut energy use, they’ll reduce your drying time by up to 25%. Place two of these reusable plastic balls inside your machine and they’ll work together to soften your clothes – and they don’t contain the chemicals found in fabric softeners.
Did you know? One of the biggest benefits when it comes to recycling glass is the reduced use of energy. When you compare the energy used in the production of glass from raw materials to the use of recycled glass, the melting of cullet (recycled glass that is crushed and melted), you will find that the required energy is considerably less. The less energy used results in a decrease in CO2 emissions. – The Glass Recycling Co
As well as basics like recycled loo roll and paper, there are more and more highly desirable products on the market, like stylish jars, bottles and drinking glasses from Consol. Visit The Refillery for interesting products.
Save your kettle
Limescale build-up in your kettle makes it take longer to boil so it will cost more in energy. An eco anti-limescale trick is to drop a few seashells in the bottom – they will rattle around as the water boils and act as an abrasive. To descale, fill the kettle with an equal mixture of white vinegar and water. Don’t boil, but leave it cold for an hour or two, then scrub with an old toothbrush.
For more information on glass recycling, go to The Glass Recycling Co’s website.