We celebrated Earth Day at 50 on the 22nd of April 2020. Many people from across the world demonstrated their love and care for the planet, virtually. As a result here are 7 ways you can help address climate change:
Invest in Renewables
By now, we know the social, environmental, and economic benefits of installing renewable energy sources. Solar, wind, geothermal, and Hydropower being the most common. You may not be in a position to install them as an individual going by the huge installation costs, but you can influence the decisions made by the governments.
Kenya, for instance, had announced an ambitious 100% shift to green energy by 2020, possible or not depends on the level of commitment from the government and the ability of the citizens and other stakeholders to hold the concerned individuals accountable.
Wind power plants in Ngong and Lake Turkana; a huge solar power plant in Garissa, which is said to be the largest in East and Central Africa, according to Renewable Energy Corporation . Geothermal power plants across the Rift Valley and, of course, and Hydropower, which is the primary source of electricity.
How do you use power in your home, office, business premises? Can you survive with a natural source of light during the day? If the answer is yes, then you will be saving the planet with the simple act of switching off electricity as soon as there is enough natural lighting inside.
What kind of bulbs do you have? Invest in energy-efficient bulbs.
Unplug all electronic devices (TVs, computers, mobile phones, Ironing boxes) from the sockets when not in use. I don’t know how many times we forget to do this. Once it is a habit, you won’t leave without unplugging.
Unite for a stronger Climate Voice
Earth Day 2020 demonstrated that the world can unite and speak in one voice to fight climate change. The online community came together, held virtual meetings, recorded videos, and shared pictures with messages of hope and called for action.
Climate change cannot be fought single-handedly; it requires a community to come together and act by first changing their attitudes and their ways of doing things.
Forming stronger climate communities, groups, and movements solidify the messages being passed across. However, what happens to persons living in areas where no one else cares about the environment apart from them? Should they remain quiet? NO!
Don’t waste food; buy organic
I don’t know where you are from, but from where I come from, wasting food is forbidden from ancient times. This norm, which may or may not resonate with many, is a savior to our planet.
Conserving your food means your demand for more reduces; thus, the pressure on environmental resources goes down. Similarly, buying organic means the number of processed foods supplied to the market goes down; it translates to saving energy, reducing the amount of carbon emissions from processing industries.
This point is deeper than it is- I recommend you think about it based on conditions!
The art of reducing, reusing, recycling
This point elaborates my comment above on buying organic and wasting no food. Once you master the art of reducing, reusing, and recycling, you know things are about to change in your household, office, etc.
Humans tend to want more even when they are sure they don’t need those items. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the psychological needs, most of which come from the environment, are very important; the others are secondary needs.
The more unnecessary items you buy, the more wastes you generate, the increased amount of energy used, and possibly increased GHG emissions.
When you buy organic, you have a higher chance of composting for manure for your ‘container’ kitchen gardens. This is where you can make use of those plastic bottles that you consider useless after emptying the contents.
DIY- Do-It-Yourself is a valuable art- if you can reproduce items by recycling old materials, then you are a gem!
Reduce your transportation emissions
The transport sector is considered one of the greatest contributors to carbon emissions in the atmosphere. People have to commute to work, shopping centers, recreation facilities, meetings, and travel overseas.
You can reduce the amount of emissions from your transportation by;
- Walking from one destination to another more often.
- Cycling to work, shops, etc.
- Using public transport means over a personal vehicle (in the developing world where the public transport system is inefficient, you will see more personal cars than public)
- Buying electric vehicles and bikes
- Power your bikes with solar
Take political decisions by participating in voting.
The weight political decisions carry in the climate world is huge. However, most of us don’t realize that the kind of leaders we elect, and the policies passed influence the way our communities and countries address climate change.
You have a president whose cabinet understands the value of the environment. They prioritize developing policies and regulations aimed at safeguarding the available resources, sensitizing the public while allocating sizable budgets for such activities. Five years later, here comes a new president/leader who cares less about the environment. He/she is profit-oriented. Scraps out those policies, withdraws from international environmental commitments, and allocates zero budgets to the environment docket.
What does that mean? VOTE WISELY!