We can no longer deny it, our planet is warming. The rise in global temperatures, otherwise known as climate change, is now the biggest single threat facing our generation.
The Earth’s average temperature has risen by more than 1.6 degrees since the early 20th century, a figure that has rapidly accelerated over the past two decades as humans continue to add greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Climate change is not just limited to the increasing average temperatures, but also catastrophic weather patterns, rising seas and the displacement of wildlife populations across the globe.
What can you do to help? There are some simple lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce your impact, but it requires a collective effort.
What to eat
Did you know cattle farming is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases on the planet? As they graze, dairy cows belch methane into the air which then warms our atmosphere as it enters. While carbon dioxide is typically painted as the bad boy of greenhouse gases, methane is roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas.
Try changing your diet to minimise your meat and dairy consumption to once per week, replacing it with balanced servings of unrefined whole-foods, fruits, vegetables and plant-based proteins such as tofu or tempeh.
Check out this Healthy Food Pyramid by Plant Proof for more information.
Rethinking your food choices is not only better for planetary health and animal welfare, but has been shown to prevent and even reverse chronic diseases.
Did you know that palm oil production is the cause of 40% of the deforestation in the world? For those unaware, deforestation is the 3rd largest emitter of carbon into our atmosphere due to the amount of carbon released by forests as they burn (the world’s forests absorb almost one third of the world’s CO2 in our atmosphere).
Why such demand for palm oil? Because it’s cheap, that’s why. Everyday supermarket items like potato crisps and beauty products contain palm oil often disguised as vegetable oil or emulsifiers.
You can reduce your carbon impact by skipping the supermarket and buying from local producers, farmers markets or by simply reading the label. Look for organic products that don’t use palm oil, which will be clearly labelled. It’s all about being conscious of what you’re buying.
Flying is responsible for a hefty chunk of global carbon emissions. If you are a frequent flyer but hate the guilt of a big carbon footprint, you can calculate your impact and make a voluntary donations to various carbon offset programs that help fund reforestation and environmental projects around the world.
Making the decision to walk or ride a bike instead of hopping in the car when you just need to go down the road is a great way to reduce your personal carbon footprint.
We all need power in our lives, however we are too reliant on coal to produce it. We are using way more energy than we need, which has resulted in an environmental emergency.
Try reducing your use of electricity once per month by switching off the power and going ‘off-grid’ by candlelight. Go one step further by escaping the city all together for a unique wilderness experience in a tiny house or cabin designed to re-connect you with the environment.
If you have the financial means, making an investment in solar energy batteries will not only help you save money on your next electricity bill, but will cut your reliance on coal powered energy which in turn helps us shift towards a greener future.
Plant the seed
Forests cover roughly one third of our planet – but they are disappearing at an alarming rate. Trees are vital to the future of the planet as they absorb carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that we as humans emit.
We lose trees at a rate of 50 soccer fields per minute as our food systems destroy our ecosystems.
Trees for the Future (TREES) is an international development nonprofit that meets a triple bottom line by planting trees: poverty alleviation, hunger eradication, and healing the environment.
You can offset your carbon footprint by planting trees through the Trees.org Forest Garden Program. The Program trains farmers to plant and manage Forest Gardens that sustainably feed families, raise their incomes by 400 percent, and end deforestation.
Voting your reliable leaders
Last but certainly not least, major changes cannot be enforced without the help of our political leaders. They are the voice of Australia. Research your parties and pick one that is fighting for the people and the environment, not just the money.
Need more inspiration?
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