A controversial topic at times, climate change is believed to be a long-term phenomenon that’s mainly caused by human action. There’s a laundry list of reasons why you should take action, to include an increase of extreme weather-related catastrophes: warmer and more acidic oceans, water shortage, unpredictable weather patterns, destruction of ecosystems (both flora and fauna), and several other major concerns.
Reversing or controlling these changes is a group effort, and you can do your part by making environmentally friendly changes in your home while encouraging others in your community to take action.
- Home Modifications
You may not think that leaving too many lights on or taking an extra long shower is negatively affecting the planet, but they do — especially if you consider that millions of people (if not more) are doing the same thing. Home modifications, repairs, and a few simple lifestyle habits can make a big difference. For example:
- Install solar panels on the roof of your house: There’s no denying that solar panels are a costly investment (the U.S. average is $17,056), but you’ll be able to recoup that money, thanks to tax rebates and incentive programs. If you have a net metering system in your locality, you won’t have a monthly electricity bill, that is if you purchased the panels instead of just leasing them.
- Install low-flow sinks, showers, and toilets to save water: According to reports, the average family uses nearly 40 gallons per day on showering alone. One of the reasons this number is so high is because old shower heads spew around five gallons of water a minute. Low-flow versions only release two gallons or less, which saves water and energy (there’s less stress on the water heater) while reducing your bill. Even more than the shower, toilets use up even more of your home’s water — approximately 30 percent. Using a more modern and efficient model can reduce water usage anywhere between 20 and 60 percent.
- Switch to LED or CFL lights to save on electricity: LED and CFL bulbs use an impressive 75 percent less energy than standard versions — they also last 10 to 25 times longer and emit less heat so you won’t have to crank up the air conditioner in the summer.
- Purchase energy- and water-efficient appliances: Replacing big-ticket items like your washer/dryer, refrigerator, and dishwasher for lower water and lower energy models can be costly, but many utility companies are making these investments more appealing by offering tax rebates for making your home more green.
2. Community Involvement
There are several actions you can take within and with your community to help fight the war against climate change. Something as simple as taking public transportation, starting a carpool, or riding your bike to work will have tremendous cumulative effects in reducing air pollution.
You can also roll up your sleeves and communicate with elected officials in your area regarding what you feel should be done about climate change in your area, whether that means pushing for 100 percent clean energy or advocating for more use of solar power.
Despite a political game of tug of war between the White House and France due to the recent Paris Agreement, nobody can stop you from implementing responsible changes within your home and community to help fight climate change.
Many recent studies suggest that the rate at which climate change is negatively impacting the planet is happening faster than originally predicted, so there’s never been a better time to take action.
How far will you go to help save the planet?
Guest post by Ginger Reid from ourpreciousresources.org