What Can I Do About Climate Change?
In this article, I will answer a question that many people have been asking: What can I do about climate change?
Climate change is one of the world’s most urgent and challenging problems. It is becoming increasingly obvious that it is up to people like you and me to take collective action to minimize and adapt to the extraordinary changes that the Earth’s climate is undergoing. In this blog, we’ll explore practical ways that you can help the environment and meet the pressing need for sustainability. You can take many activities to counteract climate change, ranging from minor lifestyle adjustments to participating in community efforts and pushing for policy changes. But the most important thing to realize is that what YOU do makes a difference. If we are to face the problem of climate change, we will need to face it as individuals deciding to make a change. So, read along as we explore these strategies and discover how each and every one of us can contribute to a more sustainable future.
What is Climate Change?
The United Nations describes climate change as:
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Such shifts can be natural, due to changes in the sun’s activity or large volcanic eruptions. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.
Burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket wrapped around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures.
The main greenhouse gases that are causing climate change include carbon dioxide and methane. These come from using gasoline for driving a car or coal for heating a building, for example. Clearing land and cutting down forests can also release carbon dioxide. Agriculture, oil and gas operations are major sources of methane emissions. Energy, industry, transport, buildings, agriculture and land use are among the main sectors causing greenhouse gases.
As our climate continues to warm, we see more extreme weather events occur worldwide while sea levels rise and more and more plants, animals, and even human life become endangered.
Global warming has become such a global issue that it can sometimes be hard to see what you – as an individual – can do to help resolve climate change.
In this article, we will summarize a few things you can do to help, however before jumping into them, we want you to consider these two important points:
The first is that any movement to improve and help reverse climate change is sparked by and made of individuals. Mahatma Gandhi once said:
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
So while climate change and global warming impact the entire world, can the things you do help to have a worldwide impact?
The second point is that today, many people, communities, and groups take climate change seriously and work to take action.
“We must remember that one determined person
can make a significant difference and that
a small group of determined people
can change the course of history.” – Sonia Johnson
So, with that in mind, here are some things you and anyone can do to help fight climate change:
- Look for ways to use less energy or use your energy more wisely. This not only helps reduce the overall energy demand and so energy production, but it will also help you save money on energy costs. Installing and using energy-star appliances, a programmable thermostat, washing clothes with cold water, or hanging drying clothes can help you reduce your overall energy use at home.
- With a national push to use cleaner energy, there has never been a better time to switch to solar power. Solar power for your home not only helps you reduce your carbon footprint and reduce carbon emissions, but it also saves you money on energy costs. Tax breaks and incentives also make it very affordable and convenient. As one of Tampa Bay’s most trusted Solar Installers, we have helped thousands of people contribute to the environment by installing solar panels.
- If you are renting or cannot install solar power on your home, there are ways to contact your utility and ensure the power you use comes from renewable sources, and you can even get a certificate stating that the energy you use is green.
- Your diet can also help improve the climate change problem. What you eat and your diet can have a significant impact. Consider eating less meat, buying organic and local where possible, not wasting food, and growing your food if possible.
- Talk to others about climate change. It sounds simple, but it’s powerful. What you say can cause a ripple effect because people listen to you. If you are taking action to reduce climate change, talk about it and let people know what you are doing and why. Family, friends, and co-workers will listen and perhaps start adopting some of the things you do and get involved.
- Emissions created by the transport industry have a major impact on global warming. Consider ways to reduce the amount you drive or ways to commute greener. Many cities offer sustainable transport methods or special lanes for people carpooling. Electric vehicles are also more and more convenient as time goes on. Whatever the solution, see if you can reduce the emissions created by your daily transport.
- Use less plastic products and recycle more. Today, it’s easy to find products not made of plastic or material that harms the planet.
- Support green movements and local groups that advocate green energy and climate change goals.
While there are more things you can do, these are nine simple actions anyone can take to help improve the climate problem and do their part.
Expert Solar specializes in solar installations for homes in the Tamba Bay, Pinellas County, and Hillsborough areas. With hundreds of solar installations under our belt, we are very proud and passionate about helping homeowners and business owners across Florida become greener and save money on energy through solar PV systems that not only help you create your energy but every day make you feel great about the energy you use!
Senior Editor, Expert Solar