By now, you are probably familiar with Greta Thunberg and her activism on climate change. Certain celebrities, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, have also pledged their time towards educating people and raising awareness of our impact on the environment. The subject of climate change can leave us feeling helpless as many of us are unsure where to even begin tackling the problem. However, there is actually plenty we can do to lessen our impact quickly and easily. Try these small changes within your home to help fight global warming and save the planet.
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From @cnnclimate: Polar bears rely on sea ice for nearly every aspect of their survival, and with ice beginning to melt earlier in the season, these animals are becoming thinner and having fewer cubs, according to a new study. Polar bears “are an icon of climate change, but they're also an early indicator of climate change because they are so dependent on sea ice,” writes Kristin Laidre, the study’s author and a professor at the University of Washington. Polar bears are considered a vulnerable species, one level below "endangered." Their future, the researchers write in their findings, depends on scientists' ability to predict how climate change will continue to impact the bears. (📸:Paul Souders/Getty Images)
1. Turn Down The Heat In Winter
If you have underfloor heating or a penchant for oil heaters, simply turning the heat down by one degree can save 10% on your energy use over a year. Plus, when you use less power, you reduce the toxic fumes released by power plants and help conserve natural resources.
2. Check Your Beauty Products
Palm oil is the world’s most widely traded vegetable oil, found in everything from moisturisers to toothpaste. Millions of hectares of forest in Southeast Asia have been cut down and replaced with palm oil plantations, devastating species such as orangutans, tigers, rhinos, and elephants, and releasing tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also linked to the burning of peat soils which has caused a dense haze over parts of Southeast Asia, threatening general health.
So, what can you do? Check product labels, ask questions, and look for products bearing the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certification. Producers with this stamp must adhere to strict guidelines.
3. Invest In Solar Panels
Solar energy creates clean, renewable power from the sun, making it a great alternative to fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gases across the globe. As solar panels produce energy from daylight rather than sunshine, they work even on the gloomiest days – and if there’s load shedding! It’s not a cheap solution, but the cost is offset by smaller electricity bills.
ALSO SEE: 5 Essential Books On Climate Change
4. Get An Electric Car
With zero exhaust emissions, an electric car helps reduce harmful air pollution. However, with charging infrastructure still in its infancy, an electric car isn’t for everyone. So what can you do to help fight global warming? If you and your friends are heading to the same event, share one car or use Uber. One less car on the road is fewer exhaust fumes being released into the air.
5. Pull The Plug On Standby
Switch everything off at the plug socket as appliances still use up to 90% of their power in standby mode, accounting for around 8% of the total electricity used in our homes. This adds up to large bills of wasted electricity every year and around four million tonnes of excess carbon dioxide. Make it a daily habit or download an app that will remind you to check.
6. Switch To Meat-free
Research has shown that widespread adoption of vegetarian or vegan diets could lower carbon emissions by 63% and 70% respectively. Beef production requires 160 times more land and produces 11 times more greenhouse gases than potatoes, wheat, and rice.
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7. Save More Water
Simply turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can help you save around 6ℓ of water per minute. Is your tap dripping? It could be wasting 15ℓ of water a day, or 5 500ℓ of water a year. By using less water, less money needs to be spent on energy, chemicals, and additional reservoirs to treat and pump it.
8. Reduce Your Paper Trail
Switch from paper bank and utility statements to online billing and, when travelling, opt for e-tickets.
9. Turn Your Garden Into a Bee Sanctuary
We’ve all been warned that the decline of bees could seriously impact agriculture, with farmers relying on bees to pollinate their crops. As a result, human life may actually be in danger.
Honey and wax are also two very important products made by bees. You can help fight global warming by creating a haven for bees in your garden:
- Leave a wild corner in your yard and allow the grass to grow, or pile logs for shelter.
- Plant flowers that bloom at different times of the year to keep the bees well fed year-round.
- Plant flowers that attract bees, such as jasmine, lavender, Cape honeysuckle, fuschias, and agapanthus.
- Buy plants with single, “open” flowers, such as daisies and foxgloves, so bees can reach pollen and nectar easily.
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So what will you be doing to try and save energy from home?
Compiled by Food and Decor editor, Claire Badenhorst