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Do Your Part

Mahim Pritom

Climate change is a global issue caused by human activity. According to scientific estimates, humans have caused about 1.0°C (1.8°F) of global warming compared to pre-industrial levels. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming is likely to increase by 1.5°C (2.7°F) between 2030 and 2052 at the current rate. However, limiting warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) is not impossible if we all do our parts to help slow, stop, or solve climate change. Unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society are required to face climate change. “Change only happens when individuals take action,” Aliya Haq, deputy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Clean Power Plan initiative, says. “There’s no other way if it doesn’t start with people.” Here are some of the effective ways each of us can make a difference and impact climate change.

The biggest way we can make an impact on global climate change is to talk to our friends, family, neighbors. We can use social media to voice our concerns since it is easier to reach out to a bigger audience via social media. Using hashtags in the post will make it more important. Another way is to reach out directly to the elected officials to say that that we care about climate change, and encourage others to step forward as well. Overall, each individual needs to speak up to alert others and take the necessary steps to slow down climate change.  

Another effective way is to userenewable energyas the source of power for our homes. Therefore, we need to support utility companies that use renewable energy sources. The power generated from wind or solar is considered as green energy. In New York City, Con Edison is rolling out smart meters and using at least half of its power from renewable energy.

When we shop for home appliances, we need to make sure they are energy efficient. Efficiency standards for appliances and products have kept 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the air since they were first implemented in 1987. It’s the same amount of the annual carbon pollution emitted by nearly 440 million vehicles.  “Energy efficiency is the lowest-cost way to reduce emissions,” Haq says. So, we need to look for the Energy Starlabel when shopping for home appliances.

Reducing the waste of watercan reduce carbon pollution because it requires a lot of energy to pump, heat, and treat our water supplies. So, as individuals, we can do our part to take shorter showers and turn off the water faucet while brushing our teeth or washing dishes. Each step counts towards saving water, a.k.a. saving energy. According to an estimation by United States Environmental Protection Agency, if just one out of every 100 American homes were retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, about 100 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year would be saved, avoiding 80,000 tons of global warming pollution.

We also need to reduce thewaste of food, which means buying only the food that you need rather than wasting or throwing it out. Study shows that approximately 10 percent of U.S. energy use goes into growing, processing, packaging, and shipping food. If we waste less food, then it will reduce the amount of energy consumption which slows down the impact of climate change. Consuming meat-free meals can make a difference since livestock products consume the most intensive energy to produce.

We can replace our traditional incandescent bulbs at home withLED bulbs. These LED bulbs consume up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Not only are these LED bulbs cheaper but they also save around $125 of our electric bill if we replace a traditional 60-Watt incandescent bulb with a 10-Watt LED bulb. Additionally, we can reduce power consumption by unplugging power cords when we are not charging our devices. Nowadays, the most advanced technical gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, Bluetooth headphones, even electric cars support fast charging. So, it is useless to connect the charger brick to the power outlet if we are not charging any devices or plugging in fully charged devices. It is simply a waste of energy leading to climate change. So, we need to be cautious and make changes to our habits.

Finally, driving afuel-efficient vehiclehas a huge impact on climate change. Driving fuel-efficient cars such as hybrids and fully electric vehicles can save both fuel and money. In the United States, Americans would spend $80 billion less at the pump each year and cut their automotive emissions by half if all cars and light trucks meet clean car standards by 2025.

In conclusion, climate change is happening because of us. Therefore, it is our responsibility to solve this issue. We cannot resolve the climate change issue instantly. That is why everyone must do their part. If we can follow those ways suggested above effectively, then we can help to slow, stop, or solve climate change.

References

July 17, 2. (2020, March 09). How You Can Stop Global Warming. Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.nrdc.org/stories/how-you-can-stop-global-warming

Spiske, M. (2019, September 22). Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash. Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://unsplash.com/photos/RN14PbITnnM

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