Updated: Mar 18, 2021
We observe the impact of climate change in our daily life. Look at the catastrophic fires spreading across California or Australia every summer, the powerful hurricanes marching through Texas, the abnormally wet winter months across Europe, and much more. But that is only the visible manifestation of the slow change in climate.
The impact is in fact much more profound for our planet and our society as a whole. As symptoms worsen year after year, climate change will push entire populations to migrate to more livable places, it will turn our soil less fertile and decrease crop output and how much food we can produce, it will put pressure on forests, and it will accelerate the disappearance of many animal species, to name a few.
No matter how terrible this all sounds, we know exactly what is causing climate change and how to prevent it. The global population has increased tremendously over the past 200 years [from 1 to 7.5 billion people], while at the same time wealth has increased and that means that people spend more on travel, build bigger houses, buy more powerful cars and consume like there is no tomorrow.
There is also the fact that we burn ridiculous amounts of dirty fuel [like oil, gas and coal] to help us to move around (by car, train or plane), to heat or cool our homes, to light up our house at night, and pretty much to do everything we do in a modern world. We are completely addicted to our lifestyle, but that is leading us to disaster.
Given the magnitude of the problem, it seems daunting to see how any of us can make a difference. Not everyone can be like Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish girl who started a movement a few years ago to influence governments in acting now. But if each of us make small changes in our day to day life, we will yield amazing results. Here are a few things you can do.
The first thing is to be aware of where each of us add to the problem. Let’s start where you live. Be conscious of the energy you consume and make sure you are efficient. For example, turn the lights off where not needed, put a sweater on as opposed to turning the heat up, or use a simple fan as opposed to air conditioning. You can also discuss with your parents how you can reduce your family footprint. You can research whether installing solar panels on your roof and maybe an electric battery make sense where you live. Another great initiative is to switch your car for an electric vehicle, it is not only friendly, but it is also very cool.
It is also clear that eating meat has a huge impact on our planet. Cows need space to grow and live, and each year millions of acre of woodland disappear to make space for grassland. Cows also add to pollution by farting gigantic volumes of methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas. When you count the hundreds of millions of animals culled every year, that adds up. So reducing your consumption of meat, or becoming vegetarian is an easy way to make a difference.
There are many other initiatives you can think of. Maybe going on holiday by car not far from where you live, as opposed to crossing the world for a few days at the beach. You can also make sure that you recycle what you consume, or give away what you don’t use. We have become accustomed to having whatever we want whenever we want. But have a look around your house and ask yourself, do we really need all this. And next time you want something, ask yourself if it is really necessary, or whether there are alternatives.
At the end of the day, we are the generation who has to lead the change, because we will be living in this world for decades to come, and we’d rather be living in a beautiful world we all care about, and that starts today.
Make sure you share some of your ideas as to what you can do to help mother earth!