Bushfires are a common feature in Australia's calendar, and natural phenomenon like lightning strikes often triggers the fire. But can the climatic change and rising greenhouse gas emissions be held responsible for the disaster? Probably yes. You can blame the ferocity of the blazes to hotter and drier conditions which are making the country's fire season much longer and dangerous. And while saving the planet (think of the thousands of animals suffering) might seem depressing and insurmountable, small efforts made by you can translate into significant results. Here are real ways to make a difference in the environment starting today.
1. Eat Earth Friendly Foods
All the producing, shipping and packaging of foods can contribute to one-third of all the greenhouse gas emissions. To lighten the load, eat more local and seasonal produce and cut down on meat. Did you know animals are far more energy-intensive to raise as compared to plants? For instance, animals such as pigs and cows contribute to greenhouse gases as they release a lot of methane.
2. Leave the Car At Home
The average car emits around 450g of carbon dioxide per mile. So if you bike to the office once a week instead of driving, you will subsequently reduce your carbon footprint. If you are nervous about hitting the road on a cycle, you can train yourself by joining an urban biking class first. Children in India Face Higher Health Burden of Climate Change: Lancet Report
3. Shop Green
When you buy environmental-friendly products religiously, you send a powerful message to the business community that people are looking for alternatives. Also, shop from brands that support environmental activism. Climate Change is Making Animals Smaller, Says Study
4. Support Women Globally
Brookings Institution suggested that educating more girls can have a significant overall impact on reducing carbon emissions. This is because educated women can take better decisions about family planning. They will have fewer children, and the lesser the population, the fewer will be the emissions. Therefore, support groups that support access to family-planning information and birth control.
5. Make Efforts at Office
Form a 'climate team' with representatives from each department to encourage sustainable behaviour. Small efforts like switching off the light and swapping single-use cups for reusable bottles can go a long way in reducing the carbon footprint. You can also install bike racks to inspire people to ride to work everyday. Climate Change Will Damage Health of Entire Generation Unless There Are Immediate Cuts to Fossil Fuel Emissions
6. Consume Conscientiously
Ask yourself if you need that new phone or that new dress. Business sectors emit a large portion of greenhouse gas emission, so if you boycott fast-fashion and use second-hand products, businesses will have to change. If you really feel the need to refresh your wardrobe, do it once in three to four months instead of shopping every week.
In the end, push for green policy in any way possible. Don't get apathetic. This is the time to show up whether it is in protests in the streets, or voting booths, or as consumers.