In 2016, scientists announced that the hole in ozone layer has shrunk by 1.7 million square miles and that by the year 2050 it would be completely covered. This piece of good news indicated a huge success and served as clear evidence that through collective effort and sustainable pro-environment legislation, pollution levels could be kept in check. Nevertheless, the shrinkage of the hole in the ozone layer does not mean that climate change and environmental decline halted. Unfortunately, they are at an all time high. The latest findings reveal that Greenland ice is melting at alarming levels and environmental groups point out that wildlife protection should be a given higher priority. In light of the fact that certain world powers have reduced funding for climate change research even downright denied its existence, the average responsible citizen wonders what can be done at a personal level and why such a small effort matters at all. The good news is that it does. If everyone made a few lifestyle changes, the results would be visible in a couple of years. All the overwhelming evidence for environmental decline might be discouraging, but it is never too late to take action and get involved in saving the planet, one small change at a time.
One of the main causes of global warming is that we emit too many gases responsible for the greenhouse effect. Not only do these decrease air quality, but also lead to a rise in temperature levels. So, what can you do to reduce your carbon footprint?
Our modern existence relies of electrical appliances and giving them all up would be drastic and unpractical. Fortunately, you don’t have to, because quality standards have changed and there is a huge difference between what our parents used and what we use now. Today’s appliances are made with eco-friendliness in mind and they cause less emissions that older ones. So, if you are still using an old fridge, cooker or heater, consider replacing it with one that has A+ energy efficiency. It works better, consumes less electricity and helps the planet in the long run.
Paying thousands for high-end appliances is of no help for the planet if they work 24/7. Insulation can help change that. Experts at gni.ca inform homeowners that a well insulated house locks in heat, which increases home comfort and reduces the need for electrical appliances. Uninsulated houses have small cracks around windows and doors, sometimes even in the roof or in the attic and heat exchange occurs through those cracks which might not even be observed with the naked eye. As a result, you can never get the right temperature; it’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, so some kind of HVAC appliance must always be turned on. This increases energy bills and releases many emissions into the air. But, if you insulate your house, this transfer no longer occurs. You can have a comfortable temperature all year round and only turn on appliances every once in a while.
Waste and pollution are very dangerous for the ecosystem and can cause the extinction of many endangered species. Although you might not be aware, some modern products and habits can increase waste and pollution, so here’s what you can do.
Everyday things such as window cleaner and detergent can cause pollution if they are made using toxic or harsh chemicals, so you should try and switch to gentler formulas where possible. eco-friendly products are less readily available, but the search is worth it. If saving the planet is not a good enough incentive, then keep in mind that harsh chemicals are equally harmful for your health. For example, the innocent looking beaded face scrub can end up in the sea and back into our plates if we eat seafood.
The amount of toxic waste that humans produce is incredible and there have never been more awareness campaigns for recycling. Instead of using one trash can for everything, use several smaller ones and sort your trash based on its type. Dispose of waste responsibly and always call your local recycling service to get rid of broken or old appliances. Last, but not least, re-use when possible and encourage the entire family to embrace upcycling rather than consumerism.