It came out recently in a UN report that the world has a mere 12 years to change its behaviour and prevent an irreversible climate change catastrophe. While the announcement caused a lot of stir in the media, it is going to need to do more than that if we want our children to enjoy the earth like we have. We are going to have to seriously reconfigure the way we treat the planet if we want it to have a future. So, starting from right now, what can you do to make a difference to the environment?
Stop Using Plastic
Take your own bags to the supermarket and kick up a fuss when they put a plastic straw in your drink. Reducing our plastic usage will help clear the seas of debris and give our environment and the creatures that live within them a new lease on life. It also reduces emissions from the plants that make plastic products.
Switch Your Lights Off
In fact, switch everything off if you’re not using it. Leaving things idling on standby uses up unnecessary energy and this is a destructive habit of ours we need to combat. The demand for energy is growing and this means more digging and more pollution. Anything you can do to lower that demand is invaluable.
Start a Compost Heap
If you have a garden, start throwing all of your leftover food into a compost heap. This will reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill and return the food to its natural state. If you don’t have a garden, you can use a small tub with a lid to create one in your kitchen or utility room. When it gets full, empty it into your green bin.
Switch Your Bulbs for Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs
If you are going to leave your lights on all the time, make sure you are using the most energy efficient bulbs you can. Compact fluorescent light bulbs using a fraction of the energy normal bulbs use and they last roughly eight times as long – saving you both energy and money!
Avoid Solo Car Travel
If you can cycle or take public transport instead of driving yourself to work, do it. It might be a little less convenient but it will go a long way to saving the planet if everyone adopts this behaviour. If there is no public transport available, try carpooling with people you know who live nearby and are going the same way as you.
Buy Low Sulphate Washing Products
Sulphates are commonly found in washing powder and washing up liquids. When they are released into the water they stimulate the growth of algae, which in turn harms fish and pollutes their environment. This is a really simple action but it makes a big difference.
Only Wash Your Clothes When You Have a Full Load
Try to fill up your washing machine before your switch it on. This way, you will be saving water and energy – both of which we are in desperate need to reduce our usage. If you live with other people, see if they want to wash their clothes with yours so you can fill up the washing machine quicker.