Without a doubt, climate change is the biggest issue of our times. The evidence to support the fact that we’re quickly approaching a point of no return is so overwhelming, that it’s long since indisputable. The title of Leonardo di Caprio’s recent documentary about climate change is indicative of our current situation: Before the Flood.
Even if this issue might feel too big to tackle individually, there are a number of small things we can do in our daily lives that would make a significant contribution. You don’t see some of these issues advertised across mainstream media, since a lot of media is funded by companies who rely on people not changing their consumption behaviours. The United States of America recently decided to redraw from the Paris agreement on climate change, making it that much harder for people and groups publicly fighting this issue. That puts a lot more pressure on every day individuals, like ourselves, to seek out this information for ourselves and find ways to help. We can show politicians and the companies who draw profits from the destruction of our planet, that we will no longer participate.
Here are some really high impact changes that almost everybody can do:
1. Eat less beef
This is number one! Livestock emissions make up anywhere between 14.5 and 18 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Comparably, the transportation sector is responsible for around 14 percent of emissions. By those numbers alone, our current system of meat production is extremely damaging. Perhaps more dangerous, however, is that while transportation creates CO2, livestock farming is hugely responsible for producing methane. As you may know, methane is 23 times more potent when it comes to warming the planet. So, for those who don’t want to give up meat from their regular diets, try switching from beef to chicken, since that is a lot less damaging.
2. Use fewer palm oil products
One of the lesser known reasons for climate change is the production of palm oil. When tropical forests are cleared to make way for oil palm plantations, carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas that is the leading cause of global warming; tropical deforestation accounts for about 10 percent of total global warming emissions. Even if we cut all fossil fuel consumption and all become vegetarians, that 10 percent will still be there. It’s time to check the label!
Some examples of brands we buy a lot, whose products contain palm oil: Colgate, Gilette, Dove, Pringles, Mars, Palmolive, and many more.
3. Plant a tree
Entire forests are disappearing, so every tree planted is a huge deal. The more we can give back, the better. If you don’t have a garden or the means to do it yourself, join volunteer groups and/or donate to organisations like One Tree Planted and have them plant it for you.
4. Get an eco-friendly car!
If you can afford it, contemplate buying a car like Tesla, whose sole purpose is to put gas consuming cars out of business. With the gigafactories they build all over the world, their prices will soon be low enough for more and more people to be able to afford them. Also, admittedly, they have cool cars.
This is self explanatory. Giving time, money or things to organisations fighting climate change is one of the biggest ways you can help. These organisations need us now more than ever. Some examples of NGOs doing cool stuff:
6. Inform others
Share articles like this on Facebook and Twitter. Tell others what you are doing. Sometimes the hardest part of tackling issues that seem as large as climate change is taking that first step. Let others know that you are making that step and that they can do it too.
At We Make Change our mission is to give you the power to change the world. Find out more here.
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