Climate change has been accepted by most of the world as a scientific fact. People of all ages are making an effort to decrease the negative impact their actions have on the environment on a daily basis. Some of the most proactive options include making more intentional choices in where one’s energy comes from, limiting the amount of waste put into landfills, and choosing energy friendly modes of transportation.
What is a carbon footprint? It is the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the environment as a direct result of your daily actions. Each person’s carbon footprint is different in the same way that their actual footprint will be different based on their height, weight, and the way they stand or walk. There are a number of ways to decrease the impact of your personal footprint. You can eat food produced locally with organic techniques, reduce the amount of beef and dairy eaten each week, and choose energy efficient appliances.
There are larger changes individuals can make such as flying less frequently and choosing environmentally friendly energy sources. Companies like Alberta Energy have made it their mission to help consumers choose energy companies that best fit their environmental goals. There are programs that allow people to choose companies that are using a variety of renewable energy sources or that offset carbon emissions with credits.
Recycling has many environmental benefits. One which is often overlooked is that by recycling, you are reducing the amount of trash that is being buried or sent into the ocean. It also reduces the amount of energy needed to create new products and conserves valuable natural resources. Most communities have recycling centers and many provide curbside pickup for sorted recyclables to make the process easier.
Upcycling is a form of recycling in which an item is used for a new purpose rather than being discarded. This happens when people use wine bottles to line the edge of their gardens, old license plates are transformed into purses, or old books are turned into art. Upcycling allows people to use their creativity and ingenuity to transform everyday items into functional works of art and even homes.
One of the most significant changes an individual can make is the way they choose to transport themselves and their family to and from destinations on a daily basis. A wide variety of fuel efficient cars has entered the market in the past decade at every imaginable price point. Fuel efficiency has skyrocketed in traditional gas based models but there are also electric and hybrid cars that can make a more substantial impact.
Public transportation is another powerful tool for those who want to make a substantial difference in the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere. Areas with a robust public transit system are able to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse emissions, lower energy expenditure in the area, conserve land, and reduce road congestion.
There are many ways people are able to address climate change by transforming their own lives in some small way. While each action on its own may seem insignificant when combined with the individual actions of others the force of movement becomes substantial enough to create meaningful and lasting change.