Make your New Year’s resolution a climate-conscious one in 2015
by Chelsea Chambers
The world is constantly changing, evolving, and adapting—and us along with it. This process is what keeps everything in working order, providing food, water, and life for the habitants of Earth and in turn, we should learn to coexist with the balance of nature and live sustainably. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and it often seems difficult to lead a sustainable lifestylewithin our fast-paced society fueled by technology and smog-laden machinery.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released their annual assessment report, and the results were a notch above dismal. As a whole, we are releasing excessive amounts of carbon emissions into our atmosphere and the effects could prove to be devastating if changes are not put into place. Global warming has been around for decades but for some reason, not many place much credence in the phenomenon, instead chalking it up to hysteria. The IPCC seeks to change that mentality and inspire governmental figureheads as well as society to change their emissions and to reduce our carbon footprint left on Earth.
The basic summation of global warming, or climate change, is that the dense amount of pollution and carbon emission is causing a temperature increase across the board in our biosphere. As a result of this, glaciers and ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, and the climate is being affected. The IPCC assessment report can be found online for all those interested in the scientifically proven ramifications and potential outcomes that will result from this continuing problem.
As an individual, there are a lot of things to be done in order to reduce the damage that we all leave on Earth. While it is one thing to understand the problem, it’s entirely another to actually take steps that make a positive impact. By taking responsibility to decrease resource consumption and reduce waste, we have the propensity to save our fragile ecosystem and increase the quality of life for all those living on Earth, both in the present and for future generations.
It’s a new year and I challenge you to make your resolution to reduce your carbon footprint!
Steps to Reduce:
Around the home:
• Install energy efficient lighting
• Unplug unused devices (ex. Phone charger, toaster, coffee pot)
• Install energy efficient appliances (ex. Dishwasher, shower head, heater, a/c)
• Turn off lights when not in use
• Ensure proper weather stripping and insulation
• Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth (this saves thousands of gallons per year)
• Carpool, even just once a week can be beneficial
• Minimize the need for multiple trips to the store
• Get a bike
• Always pick up your trash
• Bring your own lunch or walk to a local shop nearby
• Print on both sides of the page
• Enable power save modes on computers and devices
• Insist unused lighting be turned off
We should be encouraging everyone around us to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. If each of us began to take steps towards sustainability, we could guarantee a healthy Earth for many generations to come.