Every day we are reminded that climate change is real. Whether it be the extreme heat or seemingly haphazard weather events, there are certainly many changes unfolding before our very eyes. You may be wondering if your role in protecting the earth even matters when considering the bigger picture. Don’t be dismayed, here are 10 ways you can play a part to protect the earth.
Droughts are among the most prevalent challenges facing the Caribbean, so it is especially important to conserve water. Did you know that showers account for approximately 30% of the water used indoors? Taking shorter showers and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing dishes are ways to conserve water.
Start a Compost
Do you have a garden at home or maybe know someone with a garden? Creating a compost of organic materials will serve you well, by helping the plants to grow. A compost requires three main ingredients: browns (e.g dead leaves), greens (e.g vegetable waste), and water. Composting helps to reduce waste that is emitted from the harmful greenhouse gas, methane.
Invest in LED Lights
LED lights have been proven to be more energy efficient and generate less heat than incandescent light bulbs. They are also long-lasting, with up to 30,000 hours of usage.
Large-scale food production accounts for about 25% of greenhouse gases emitted globally. Consuming more fresh fruit and vegetables alongside whole grains is not only good for you but the earth too.
Say NO to Plastic
With as many as five trillion plastic bags being used across the world annually, it is safe to say no to plastic, especially single-use plastic. Though a number of bans have been implemented on plastic bags, play your part by saying no to plastic in all forms. Investing in a reusable bag will be helpful when you go shopping or a reusable straw for dining.
It’s as simple as turning off the lights in an empty room! There are several ways to save energy, but it’s first important to understand the breakdown of your energy bill. Once you know how your energy is being used, you can begin to plan how to decrease your home’s overall usage. Investing in energy-efficient appliances, washing at colder temperatures, using solar-powered devices, and unplugging devices when not in use are ways to save energy.
Recycle and Upcycle
High waste disposal is the main reason for overcrowded landfills. Here’s where recycling and even upcycling come in. Recycling items such as cans and bottles will contribute to waste reduction. Upcycling is another creative way of reducing waste by making old items even more valuable than before e.g turning a can into a plant pot.
Thrifting has become a popular way to shop in a more eco-friendly manner. Did you know that it tastes hundreds of gallons of water to make a single T-shirt? Shopping secondhand is not only limited to clothes but furniture, toys, and even cars.
Use Fewer Chemicals
Opt to use fewer chemicals in your everyday life. From garden maintenance products to beauty products, these chemicals are harmful to our environment. Natural soaps and fertilizers (like compost) are a good way to start.
Giving your time to an environmental agency or non-governmental organization is a good way to be the change you want to see. Getting involved in a simple beach clean-up or assisting with a campaign on the ground are great volunteer opportunities.