Updated: Feb 8, 2021
Climate change is a complex subject matter, tough to get your head around and often loaded with complex terms and political jargon. Swedish climate, activist Greta Thunberg, put it simply:
“The eyes of all future generations are upon you.”
And when it comes to changing the climate, she couldn’t be more on the money. But in order to instigate change, it helps to understand in the the situation at hand.
Here we break climate change down for you; what it is, what causes it and most importantly what you can do to make a difference.
What do we mean by climate change?
According to the Climate Council, climate change comprises of variations in weather patterns including temperature, rainfall and wind over a period of time. In many instances this occurs naturally, however scientists are telling us that the current changes are happening at an increased rate because of our actions and as temperatures get hotter, we’re causing irreparable damage to our planet.
What is causing climate change?
Human activity is triggering an excessive amount of greenhouse gases to enter our planet’s atmosphere, increasing global temperatures. Scientists are particularly concerned about carbon dioxide (CO2). According to the Climate Council, CO2 levels in the atmosphere have increased by more than 45 per cent since the Industrial Revolution and are the highest levels in 800,000 years.
Types of activities that cause high emissions of greenhouse gases are:
The clearing of land for agriculture removes trees and plants which naturally absorb CO2, meaning more is left in the atmosphere.
When burnt, fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas fuse carbon with oxygen molecules together to form carbon dioxide. Cars, trains and planes rely on the burning of fossil fuels for propulsion.
The energy we use at home and in the office contributes to an increase in greenhouse gases. According to the Climate Council, electricity is responsible for 32 percent of greenhouse emissions because 84 percent of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, 62.3 percent of which comes from the burning of coal.
What can you personally do to reduce your carbon footprint?
Action must be taken if the effects of climate change are to be reduced and individuals have the power to help make a difference.
This is a simple and often overlooked way of reducing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere otherwise known as carbon offset. An offset works by engaging in an activity that does the opposite to producing carbon, rather you do something to absorb carbon. Planting a tree is a good start.
Think before you travel
Reduce your personal emissions by using your car less or switching to an electric car. Bicycles create zero emissions and are an affordable mode of transportation especially if you live in the city. Reduce your amount of air travel and when you do travel offset the carbon by planting a tree.
Use renewable energy such as solar power
Solar panels are one of the best resources we have for fighting climate change. Solar energy is one way to stop the use of fossil fuels and lower the emission of greenhouse gases. Aside from saving the planet by cutting energy coming from carbon polluting fossil fuels, solar systems save you money. When you’re producing your own energy, you’re buying less from big energy retailers. And in many cases, you can even sell the energy you don’t use back to the grid. It literally puts the power back in your hands.
Avoid single-use plastics products
Plastic is everywhere and it can feel that small changes on your behalf won’t make a big difference but they do. Buy a keep cup for your morning coffee, use metal straws, glass containers and avoid purchasing anything made from or wrapped in single-use plastics. If there’s no demand for it, changes will be made.
Reuse, reduce and recycle.
Keep an item out of landfill by keeping looking after it, repairing it or upcycling it. Avoid fast fashion, and ask questions about where and how your clothes are made and what materials they are made from. Reduce purchases wherever possible ensuring you’re mindful of your consumption.
Turn it off
Make energy savings in your home. Don’t leave appliances on standby, switch lights off if you’re not in the room and switch to a green energy provider.
To learn more about how Solar Energy can work for you get in touch with an Energy Wired expert.