|Climate change is real, and it’s happening at an alarming rate. Man has hastened the amount of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases present in our atmosphere through industrial processes and agricultural proliferation. The global temperature is increasing, polar ice is melting, and the sea levels are on the rise. The effects of climate change are far-reaching and have the potential to impact weather, food production, animal habitat, and much more. Here’s what you can do, locally, to help combat it.|
|Start At Home|
|You can’t look outward until you look inward. In other words, figure out how to implement some green changes at home first. Your first step is to invest in energy-efficient appliances (dishwasher, washer/dryer, and fridge) and lighting options. Next, practice water conservation. Take fewer baths and more showers. Save cooking water to help water plants. Install a rain barrel to collect rainwater for your lawn. Remember: If you’re not actively using water, turn it off (this includes while brushing your teeth!).|
|Change the way you commute|
|One of the things you probably do every day that contributes the most to climate change is driving your car. While telling you to give up your automobile is not realistic, and recommending that you get a hybrid or electric car may be cost-prohibitive, it’s reasonable to suggest you use your car less. Switching up your commute is a viable solution. Walk more. Ride a bike sometimes. Use public transportation as much as you can. Carpool. All of this helps.|
|Eat local and sustainable|
|You can do your part at the local market to reduce the effects of big agriculture on climate change. When shopping for your family’s groceries, try to buy local, organic, and sustainable. Yes, it may cost a little more. But your wallet is a great tool in combating climate change. If you can, buy your dairy and produce at local farmers markets. The less distance your food has to travel before it reaches your plate, the better for the environment. You can even try to grow your own food (or at least some of it).|
|Recycle, yes, but first reduce and reuse|
|Remember the three Rs: Reduce, reuse, and recycle. There’s a reason they come in that order. Recycling is good, but it takes energy to recycle stuff. Your ultimate goal should be to mostly eliminate non-recyclable trash and severely limit what you put in your recycling bin. Think reduce and reuse first.|
“It turns out that transporting and processing materials for recycling is carbon intensive. Recycling still uses less energy than making new products from scratch, but reducing and reusing are even cleaner,” notes Forbes.
|Write Your Local Politicians|
|You can do all the biking, recycling, and water conservation you can manage, and it won’t be enough to tackle the enormity of our global climate change problem. That’s where local officials come into play. All politics is local they say, but what they really mean is that politics begin at the local level and spread from there. So make sure to write your local government officials about your concerns about climate change.|
The vast majority of scientists agree that we are at a tipping point when it comes to climate, and the actions of you, your neighbors, and everyday citizens all around the globe will determine which way we tip.
Photo by Kaur Martin on Unsplash