Climate change has become the most important issue in the world. Global warming, which is the emission of greenhouse gases, has led to an overall increase in the world temperature. The biggest cause of global warming is an enormous increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and an increase in deforestation activities. If the overall temperature of the planet increases by the estimate 2% that is being expected, the survival of life on Earth will be extremely difficult. This increase in temperature can also cause a mass extinction of all humans and other life forms. Humans have only 11 years remaining to prevent irreversible damage to the environment. It is the responsibility of every individual to contribute to the protection of the environment.
Here are the top ten simple and easy and yet extremely helpful ways to protect the environment:
1. Reduce Plastic Consumption
Plastic takes decades and decades to disintegrate and decompose. To dispose plastic, burning is the most common method used. This burning of plastic leads to an enormous amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses to be emitted into the atmosphere.
The consumption of single-use plastic should be completely stopped. Individuals must use cloth bags instead of plastic ones and plastic utensils should be replaced with steel ones. Metal reusable bottles must be used instead of one time used plastic water bottles.
Though plastic can not be completely eliminated from life, as much of it as can be removed must be.
2. Conserve Water and Electricity
The available natural resource budget of 2019 has already been utilized, as given by the report in the UN. This happened on 29th July, when the world consumed the year’s natural resource budget in just 7 months.
The need to conserve electricity is very important. This will help in preserving the natural resources available to the entire population. This can be done by simply switching on the ACs and heaters for as little time as possible. All the lights and fans not required should be turned off. Television, if not necessary, must also be kept switched off. These little steps will go a long way in protecting the environment.
Water conservation should be every individual’s top priority. Chennai has been facing a water crisis due to the depletion of groundwater, but this will soon be the case for the entire country. According to a report published by the NITI Ayog, 21 major cities of India, including New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, etc., will run out of groundwater by the year 2020.
There are many ways to conserve water. Using a bucket to bath instead of a shower or bathtub is the simplest way to conserve water. Getting all leakages fixed also goes a long way. Individuals owning houses or buildings must get a Rain Water Harvesting Mechanism in place to help conserve rainwater.
3. LOWER YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
If every person works on reducing their carbon footprint, i.e., the amount of carbon emission they are responsible for, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will significantly reduce. This can be done very simply by avoiding the use of personal cars and bikes and using public transport, like metros, autos, buses, taxies, etc. This will help reduce vehicular emissions. The use of airplanes must also be avoided when possible. Air travel contributes to a large amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Using much more sustainable ways to travel, such as buses, trains, cars, ships, etc., can help lower carbon amounts in the environment.
4. PURCHASE SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS
A huge array of available to consumers across the world. But not all these products are sustainable and ecofriendly. Before making a purchase every customer must research how sustainable is the product they are investing in. While buying electronic appliances, the stars present on the product must be checked. More the stars, more eco-friendly is the product. One must research all the clothing brands and how sustainable their apparel is before buying clothes. This must be done for all products.
5. MAKE COMPOST
All households must segregate their biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. The biodegradable waste must then be used to make compost for house plants. This helps in making the soil more fertile and helps the plant grow more. This also reduces the amount of waste produced by a household.
6. PLANT TREES
Trees are the only things that can help significantly reduce the carbon content in the atmosphere and increase oxygen levels. If any individual can undertake a plantation drive and plant trees in an open area, it will be their biggest contribution to environment protection. The inspiration should be taken from Ethiopia, whose citizens planed more than 100 million trees, across the country, in less than 12 hours, to protect the environment.
7. GROW PLANTS
The human to plant ratio should be 1:2, i.e., every individual must have at least two plants at home. This will not only help increase the oxygen level in your house but also lead to a significant reduction in the carbon content of the atmosphere, is followed by all. Growing a few vegetables at home can be eco-friendly and also economical. Individuals will also have access to fresh and healthy vegetable in this manner.
8. REDUCE MEAT CONSUMPTION
The most deforestation activities that take place, happen in order to clear land for the grazing of cattle. If every individual reduces their meat and dairy intake, these deforestation activities will be significantly reduced. A report prepared in early September proposed that every individual must consume meat as less as once a week and the milk intake of every person must be one glass a day. If converting into a vegetarian or vegan is something people feel they can do, then they surely should as this will help reduce deforestation.
9. REDUCE. REUSE. RECYCLE
Everyone must adopt a minimalistic attitude and keep only those items that are absolutely necessary. Reusing and recycling old products is also a great habit that one must adopt. These attitudes help in reducing the amount of waste created by an average person on a daily level, which will, in turn, solve the problem of disposing of decomposable items which are almost always burnt.
Ignorance is the biggest cause of climate change. For more than 30 years the signs of climate change have been glaringly obvious, and yet no one did anything to make a change. This was due to widespread ignorance. Educating those who do not believe in the concept of climate change or are completely oblivious about it can make a significant difference. As they say “Knowledge is Power”; the more the people that are aware of global warming and climate change, the greater the support to protect the climate.
These are some very simple steps that if every individual follows can make a huge impact on the fight against climate change. Even one person can make a difference.