When you think about all the problems caused by global warming today, it’s hard not to get discouraged. However, each of us can do something to stop contributing to this phenomenon.
Climate change is happening on such a large scale, and many of the main contributing factors seem to be far beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. However, your daily habits can make a significant contribution.
But is that really true? You may find it encouraging to know that there are actually things you can do to reduce global warming. Each person emits a carbon footprint, produces waste, consumes energy and buys goods. In all these areas, you can take more sustainable measures.
5 habits you can implement to reduce global warming
So what can you do? You have many different options, but there are some daily habits that are especially easy to incorporate into your busy life.
1. Control your energy use
Many of us expend energy without conscious thought. This way you may not even realize the impact your energy usage has. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to be able to manage your energy consumption at reasonable levels. Here are the ways you can achieve it:
Read the labels on your appliances
The labels on your appliances will give you a good idea of how much energy they use. Try to choose the ones that are more sustainable than others.
Pick the right lights
We all need to use electric lights at some point. But what you should always do is make sure you pick the right ones. LED lights are great recyclable options, and they come in a wide range of colors. There are also some energy-saving lamps.
Use lids when cooking
When you cook, cover the pots or pans. This will allow the food to cook faster thanks to the steam it traps, which saves energy. (And speaking of “cover”, also make sure to close your fridge when you’re not using it!)
use renewable energy
In these modern times there are many renewable energy options. If you have the means to pay for an investment like this, go for it! Install solar panels and use them to get energy. You will save on electricity costs and at the same time reduce global warming.
Keep your house warm, but not too warm
We all like to feel comfortable and warm in the colder months. But using too much heating can add to your electricity bill and make your carbon footprint that much more severe. Keep your house warm, but not too warm.
Just one or two degrees less could reduce the release of carbonic acid gas by 200 kg and save up to 10% of your energy consumption.
Of course, the same goes for air conditioning. Keep your house cool, but not freezing!
2. Learn to recycle
Almost mandatory, everyone should take the time to learn to recycle. It is a crucial skill. You can probably find educational programs or classes on the basics of recycling in your area, and if not, there are plenty of resources to do so online. Here are some tips to recycle and reduce global warming:
Start by reducing the amount of things you use on a daily basis. Find ways to keep your consumption to a minimum.
Try to reuse as many items as possible in your home. Slowly eliminate single-use items from your daily life. When you need to buy new things, try visiting flea markets, thrift stores, and other such places. Save money and save the planet at the same time!
Try to only use items made from recyclable materials. Things made from paper, glass, plastic and metal are all great options as they can be recycled most of the time and it takes much less energy to make new products from them.
3. Change the way you travel to reduce global warming
Travel is essential to get from point A to point B, but there are more positive ways to get around. It is very likely that your current transportation methods are contributing significantly to global warming. This is what you can change:
Reduce your car trips
Motor vehicles produce countless harmful emissions into the air that lead to air pollution, climate change, and exacerbation of health problems. This includes an increased risk of complications from heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory infection, stroke, COPD, and asthma.
If your car uses a combustion engine, diesel fuel, or something similar, you’ll want to reduce the amount of time you use it as much as possible.
Carpooling or carpooling is a good way to continue using common vehicles to get to farther places. It’s not exactly eco-friendly, but a single car is much better than four or five of them, especially if they’re all going to the same place.
Use the public transportation
Public transportation runs every day, and riding it instead of using your own vehicle can help you get to faraway places quickly without your car’s emissions negatively impacting the planet.
Reduce your air travel
Air travel burns large amounts of fuel and produces large volumes of carbon dioxide. The resulting vapor trails in addition to a wide range of other problems are highly damaging to the ozone layer. A single plane trip can emit a carbon footprint equivalent to an entire year of driving a car.
Walk or ride a bike
These are great ways to get some extra exercise. This way you and the planet will be benefiting. As long as you don’t need to travel too far and you’re in a safe area, these are viable options.
4. Forget single-use plastics
The production of single-use plastic is one of the main reasons behind the tremendous amount of waste. Below are some statistics from 2010 on single-use plastics that definitely do not reflect positively on the state of plastic pollution in the world. All these statistics are given annually:
- Approximately 275 million tons of plastic waste is produced globally
- 9 million tons of plastic waste is managed very poorly, causing it to end up in the oceans
- 5 million tons of plastic waste enters the oceans from coastal areas
- Approximately 270 million tons of plastic are produced per year: plastics practically never degrade and do not break down
So how can plastic waste be reduced? The best thing would be to start eliminating as much plastic as possible from your life. Of course, nobody expects perfection. After all, plastic is cheap, durable, and accessible, and pretty much everything is made from it in some way.
But gradually strive to buy more and more sustainable products. If you have a positive thought, you can break the daily habit of using plastics.
In the meantime, make an effort to eliminate single-use plastics specifically from your life. Here are some things you should avoid buying or using:
- Food wrapped in plastic wrap
- plastic water bottles
- Plastic bags (don’t use paper bags either; go for reusable cloth or bamboo bags!)
- Anything that has a plastic wrapper or package
5. Change the way you eat
Dietary changes are difficult to make, but making them can be a great positive step in your personal journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle, as well as increasing healthy daily habits. Here are some changes you can make:
The production of red meat, through breeding, and the cruel treatment of lambs, cows, and other livestock, has especially negative effects on the environment.
It can be difficult for meat lovers to give up these foods, but with positive thinking, anything is possible. Opt for protein that comes from plants (like nuts) or eat white meat!
Shop locally at farmers markets
Farmers markets are full of healthy produce produced by local farmers. Their products do not go through the damaging production processes of factory farms or large-scale production plants.
Plus, buying local means you won’t be eating products that had to be transported or shipped to you from long distances. This reduces your carbon footprint and contributes less to the emissions caused by those shipments.
Reduce your food waste
Don’t waste food. Get and cook only what you need. Instead of throwing out leftovers, consider composting. Try to avoid buying food wrapped in non-recyclable plastic as much as possible.