Whatever you call it, global warming, wacky weather, natural evolution of the planet, the facts remain that we, on Earth, are experiencing some of the hottest temperatures ever in recorded history. In fact, Nasa figures show that April 2016 was the seventh month in a row that broke global temperature records. And 2015 was the warmest year ever.
We’ve also had the worst fires and droughts as a result of the extreme temps. 330 million people in India are without local drinking water because there’s been no rain, the weather is absurdly hot, and the rivers are contaminated and drying up.
They have to transport water (in tanks) to villages by train. The Water Resources Minister has given the green light for the government to link rivers for water-transfer. Who knows if this will even work?
So what does this mean? What are the implications of these facts and figures? Well, it means that our ozone layer is depleted and the planet is becoming too hot from our sun.
The main cause is carbon emissions, and it will only get worse unless we all change our everyday living habits. Everything we eat, use, drive, fly, waste, etc. contribute to the creation of greenhouse gas emissions. How we personally cause harm is measured by our “carbon footprint”.
The average yearly footprint worldwide is about 4 tons of emissions. The average American footprint is embarrassingly 17 tons. You can calculate your print online or on an app. We can reduce our carbon footprint by making small, but mindful changes.
Each effort can reduce. If everyone got on board, immediately, it’s possible we’ll be able to save the planet at least for our children. Here are some tips for doing your part:
1. Reduce waste: Recycle. Compost. Buy things with little or no packaging. Use refillable items. Waste discharges carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. It can also pollute the air, groundwater, and soil.
2. Plant trees.
3. Conserve water.
4. Replace incandescent lightbulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs.)
5. Move your thermostat three degrees lower in winter and 3 degrees higher in the summer.
6. Cover your pots when cooking.
7. Use the washing machine or dishwasher ONLY when they’re full.
8. Buy recycled paper products: It takes less energy to make and saves forests.
9. Buy locally grown food: It saves fuel from transporting and also keeps money in your community.
10. Reuse your shopping bags.
11. Eat less (or no) red meat: Cows emit methane, which is the second most significant greenhouse gas. Boo to the Moo.