In December 2015, the United Nations created the Paris Agreement, an agreement under the United Nations’ framework on climate change. This agreement addresses climate change and deals with greenhouse gas emissions’ mitigation, its adaptation, and its financing for developing countries. Unfortunately, the president of the United States has withdrawn from this agreement. However, American governors, state officials, state leaders, and major corporations have pledged to continue participating in the agreement to try to limit global warming. Mayor Bloomberg has urged other mayors from the most populous cities to help join in to enforce these regulations, and in return, he will provide $70 million dollars in technical funding. Although these promises have been made by major officials, change has to start with us. The main cause for climate change is carbon dioxide that is released from burning oils, coal, and fossil fuels for energy. This is a part of the energy that we use when driving cars, powering our homes, and using smartphones.
There are many simple changes that we can make in order to help slow climate change, and speaking up is one option. There are not many people who are aware of what is going on with global warming, or how dangerous it is to our earth. We may feel like our voices can’t be heard because we don’t have a platform, but we do. In this generation, most teens to older adults have social media on one or two accounts. This is how many of us stay in touch with family and friends. Social media is a perfect way to have your voice heard, speak up about the dangers of global warming, and express how it is affecting our planet. It is also a way to educate friends and family on how to conserve energy, such as buying LED light bulbs to save energy; unplugging your electronic devices when you are not home; turning off the water when you are brushing your teeth; or washing the dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher. Many people are not aware of how much energy is needed to pump, heat, and treat your water. Invest into energy-saving appliances: this will not only help the climate but save you money on your energy bill.
Other than helping with limiting energy use, you can also help in other ways that will benefit your health. One way is eating all the food you buy and not wasting it. About 10% of American energy goes into growing, packaging, and shipping food, and 40% of that food is wasted. This is a large amount of food that ends up in the landfill; that is extremely concerning when there are still many countries whose people are starving. Cutting down on consuming meat will not only benefit your health but help with the deforestation in the Amazon. Many trees are being cut down for harvesting cows. We need theses trees for so many different reasons, but their most important function is to consume the carbon dioxide that is causing climate change. Another way to benefit our health and the environment is to ride a bike or take a train instead of driving. As cliché as it may sound, doing so will benefit your health significantly if you choose to ride a bike. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, more than 93 million people in the U.S. were overweight. These numbers will continue to grow if we don’t make a change.
These proposed solutions are just a few of the many ways you can try to help slow climate change. The most important things you can do are speaking up, helping to educate, and inspiring people to make changes. Implement these changes in your home; change starts in your home, but most importantly, it starts with you.