Recycling, cutting off lights, and energy conservation are all the rage around Earth day, but soon after, we are lulled back into a sense of complacency. Yet, global warming is our ever-present companion. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies reports that since 1880, average temperature rates have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit a year. The effects of the warming trends are undeniable: islands are being inundated with sea water as a result of rising sea levels, Africa is facing a major drought, melting ice caps have caused serious upset to polar bears and indigenous cultures that depend on the ebb and flow of arctic life, and as oceans warm our weather has become unpredictable and often deadly.
Stemming the global warming tide requires action on everyone’s part to make fundamental changes in our everyday lives. Get started by implementing into your lifestyle some of the tips listed below. Our collective efforts can, indeed, make a real and meaningful difference in current global warming trends.
Cut Back on Energy Usage. Fossil fuel burning energy plants are some of the biggest contributors of carbon dioxide on the planet. Reduce your energy consumption by purchasing energy star appliances and energy efficient light bulbs. Plugging electronic devices into a strip and cutting the power when they aren’t in use is another great energy conservation technique. In addition, maintain your thermostat at 78 degrees during the summer and 72 degrees during the winter to decrease the amount of energy your heating/cooling system uses. Finally, lower your water heater’s temperature to no more than 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
Drive Less, Buy Local. Fuel consumption is another major contributor to greenhouse gas effect. When you purchase goods out of season, they come with increased environmental and actual price tags. As much as possible buy local. It supports the surrounding economy and reduces fuel related emissions. In addition, drive less. Taking the initiative to walk, bike, ride on public transportation, or organize a community carpool can reduce both your carbon footprint and your gas costs.
Cut Down on Meat Consumption. The raising and care of livestock is a main producer of methane gas, which is the second largest contributor to global warming. Cutting down on your meat consumption is good for both your health and the environment. Take it slow- try going without meat for at least one day a week.
Consider Alternative Energy Solutions. Windmills, solar panels, low-flow faucets, and a host of other green building elements can cut your home’s energy consumption to almost zero. In fact, with the correct green innovations, you can end up with energy credits instead of an energy bill.
Commit to lifestyle changes that can make a real difference in the efforts against global warming. Spread the word and encourage similar conservation actions in the workplace or at your school. Going green isn’t a passing fad; it’s a necessity for the future viability of our planet.