You may have already heard about the sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, popularized for her famous speech at the Climate Action Summit 2019.
If you have, you might remember her saying, “people are suffering, people are dying, ecosystems are collapsing…we are at the beginning of mass extinction and all you can talk about is money…”.
The Swedish teenager Greta is vehement about the issue that threatens her future, but it is not just her future, it is our common future, and unfortunately, many of us do not understand the nature of this dire danger that staring mankind right in the face.
In case you didn’t know about the great climate crisis which we are currently facing, read on to find out why it is urgent and why Greta is right on her part to demand immediate action:
The climate changes
That the climate system is warming, is an unequivocal being voiced by scientists all over the world and almost ninety-seven percent of them agree that this change is being sustained by means of anthropogenic activities.
Many earth-orbiting artificial satellites and other technological sources have collected data that reveals heat-trapping greenhouse gasses have affected the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere, thereby contributing to a global temperature rise.
The decline in ice caps and rise in sea level
As the emission of greenhouse gasses increases (mainly carbon dioxide, due to human actions), more heat gets trapped in the atmosphere of the earth.
This causes the polar ice caps to melt.
It’s said that if all the ice covering the poles and the mountains were to melt, the sea level would rise by about 230 feet, covering all coastal or delta cities like Shanghai, Osaka, London, Amsterdam etc.
Even some of our very own Indian cities like Kolkata and Chennai are not beyond the risk.
Deteriorating air quality
As it is, many studies have shown New-Delhi to be one of the most polluted cities in terms of air quality.
As mentioned above, the carbon emissions from vehicles, the toxic let out from factories, the suspended particulate matter in the air from incineration makes the most basic human activity, that is, breathing, a struggle.
A future with clean air to breathe in is gradually becoming unattainable.
It is our duty to give the coming generations the same quality of the environment, if not even better, as what was left to us by our ancestors.
Extreme weather phenomena
Climate change fuels extreme weather phenomena, be it in any part of the world.
The spike in global temperatures is said to have been linked with stronger storms, more severe droughts and flooding, change in weather patterns, delayed and erratic monsoons that affect crop production in many countries and even desertification to some extent.
So now that we know what the major effects of this climate change are and how that could directly affect us.
The question arises as to what we can do to save our planet on an individual level.
Here are some important, yet, easy steps to take in order to help in saving the planet :
1. Say no to single-use plastic:
Single-use plastic materials like bags, Pet bottles, food packets, etc. must be replaced.
Carry your own bag, bottle or box if you must!
You could look for more environment-friendly and interesting alternatives- for example, jute bags could be a good start!
2. Try carpooling:
If possible, try carpooling or use public transport.
You could even go for healthier options like walking or cycling to school or work!
Even if you are carpooling once a day, you would be greatly helping! After all, every little step matters.
3. Try to save water:
This is something anyone could do. Don’t waste drinking water.
Reuse water for some other purpose like cleaning dishes or watering plants.
If you are not going to drink it, find another way to use it, for we might not have enough drinking water for all of us in the near future.
4. Try to reduce electricity usage:
If you cut down on your electricity usage, you could help in minimizing the country’s coal consumption.
Turn off lights and fans when not in use, don’t leave devices plugged in and minimize your consumption of ac, that would also help in reducing CFC emissions.
5. Opt for a vegetarian diet:
At least once a week, try having vegetarian meals only.
Not only does this help curb overconsumption of meat, but also it saves the animals a great deal of cruel treatment!
Also, remember to never waste cooked meat- a living creature was killed so that you could have food on your plate!
6. Reuse more:
Just as you would reuse wastewater for other purposes, try reusing and recycling waste materials too.
Think before throwing your trash away.
Give up old newspapers for recycling.
Reuse pet bottles and aluminum cans.
Here’s a pro-tip: you could even look for interesting DIY ideas to turn waste materials into home decor!
Did you know:
During World War II, Americans used waste aluminum food wrappers to contribute to the war effort. Aluminum can be recycled multiple times, and such recycling is cost-effective too!
7. Plant a sapling:
This option is one of the more amusing ones.
Pick a sampling of your choice and plant it in your neighborhood! Look after it routinely and watch it grow big!
Even though you might wonder how one sapling could change the world.
But if all the seven billion people on this planet decided to plant one sapling each, we would surely have quite a several trees to compensate for the damage done due to deforestation.
Did you know:
The Philippines government has made it compulsory for all students to plant at least 10 trees in order to graduate from high school or college.
So those were a few ways to actively help in protecting the environment. You don’t have to stand in long rallies and protest the harms that are being done to the environment if you cannot. You can follow these simple steps at home to be a part of the great movement, to save your own planet!