How to Combat Climate Change at Home
To help combat climate change at home, a number of options for making environmentally friendly choices in your own space exist. Every action has consequences, and your choices can influence the environment for the better.
According to The World Bank, if changes aren’t made in how our current populations are using the environment, climate change will “push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030” and “by 2050, without concrete climate and development action, over 143 million people in just three regions (Latin America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa) could be forced to move within their own countries to escape the slow-onset impacts of climate change.”
Climate change starts at home. If every household committed to eco-friendly choices, the climate would change for the better. Here’s what you can do at home and in your community.
Start Climate Conversations
For many, climate change is only a political conversation and a great point of contention. But does it need to be?
Whether or not someone believes in climate change, most would agree that it’s important to make decisions that care for their home. In many situations, eco-friendly decisions often benefit the wallet as well, such as a smart thermostat that will regulate your home’s temperature to your daily schedule, conserving energy use when you’re not home.
When you start a conversation about ways to care for the environment, share from your personal experience. This can be a moment to come together rather than fight about the pros and cons of it.
In some situations, it may be possible for you and your family to choose commuting options that will be better for your health and the planet. A big part of pollution is emissions from vehicular transportation.
When you can, choose to walk or ride your bike. As you research to purchase a new or new-to-you vehicle, choose a vehicle that is more fuel-efficient or is a hybrid. Fly less, and when it’s safe, use public transportation.
Be Energy Aware
Energy efficiency is not only about lessening pollution but also about saving money. For example, if your home has old windows, new windows will help seal in the temperature of your home. This keeps you from expending more energy to heat or cool your home..
- Unplug electronics that are not in use
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Wash clothes in cold water
- Search for Energy Star label on new appliances
- Opt for energy-efficient light bulbs
- Consider an at-home energy audit to determine other small changes to make
While plastic used to be an easy, durable option, it doesn’t decompose well. And it’s ending up in the street, rivers, beaches, oceans, and so much more. Plastic is also produced with fossil fuels, and every cycle of plastic’s life emits emissions.
- Skip one-use plastics such as cling wrap, sandwich bags, disposable coffee cups
- Stop purchasing bottled water
- Opt for secondhand when you can to avoid plastic packaging
- Support companies that don’t use plastic
Shrink the Digital Footprint
Did you know that using your digital devices actually cause more CO2 emissions? They do. Digital technologies require energy, too, which means that streaming music and videos can tax the environment as well. Some data analysts are comparing digital technologies to the aviation industry in terms of emissions.
One way to cut down on the size of your digital footprint is by downloading music or videos rather than streaming them each time. According to Variety.com, Netflix consumed 12.9 percent of the world’s internet bandwidth – that’s crazy. Consider choosing a “green” search engine such as Green Maven or Blackle or keeping your email inbox more minimalist.
Educate Yourself and Make Informed Decisions
Your purchases add up. When you purchase from companies with a goal of sustainability, you are telling them and other brands that the environment matters to you. Since the 100 largest companies in the world are responsible for over 70 percent of global emissions, it’s important to consume carefully.
While you’re voting with your dollar by purchasing from environmentally responsible companies, also research your politicians and vote in that capacity too. The more you know, the better you’ll be at making informed decisions.
Changing the narrative of climate means taking steps at home, right now.
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