Climate Change is a fact, even though certain high-ranking Politicians try to denounce it as a hoax to increase profits and sneak out of their responsibility to take actions towards more sustainable industries.
It is true that climate has naturally changed over the centuries, but we cannot deny any longer, that humans are the primary factor of the global warming we are witnessing today.
Over the past decades, we developed a lifestyle causing overproduction, exploitation of natural resources, destruction of natural habitats and violation of animal rights. We want more value for less money, are choosing comfort over common sense and often close our eyes from reality in order not to be confronted with the ugly truth.
If we opened those eyes just a little bit, we could witness the global disasters our current lifestyle is causing. Massive deforestation, pollution of land, air and seas, tons of plastic waste in our oceans, toxins in rivers and crops and extinction of entire species in lightning speed. Where does this lead? To our own damage as nature is firing back with massive force. We have never witnessed such high numbers of floods, typhoons, hurricanes, droughts, and heatwaves. And that's not the end. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.6 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution.
Will it end here? No, it will become worse! Far worse! Climate change will have devastating consequences, extreme heat waves and droughts will make several areas in the world inhabitable, which will result in wars for resources and massive migration of humans, trying to survive. The number of immigrants fleeing their countries that we are witnessing today will be nothing compared to the number of people that will urge into those areas that are still livable. Click here to watch the official trailer for the documentary "Before the Flood" directed by Leonardo Di Caprio in cooperation with National Geographic to get an idea of the situation we are already facing today.
So how much longer will it take until we wake up? How much longer will we ignore the signs until we finally take action and feel responsible for the damage we are doing to our planet?
Confronting people with such facts, I often hear that the governments have to step in, that the industries need to make changes and that the individual doesn't have the power to create change. Indeed, governments should step in, and industries should change, but corruption and greed for profit are often closer to their hearts than our future. So it's on us to surrender to this downward spiral or to do something about it. Every single individual can make a change on each and every day!
It all starts with a plan. Be it your home or workplace; you can make significant changes to reduce your carbon footprint today.
1. Sign petitions and engage your community to stand up against corruption, inactive politicians, oil companies and other industries that are destroying our remaining natural habitats.
2. Educate yourself on the topic and spread the word about global warming. Engage your family, friends, colleagues, and bosses in supporting you in your efforts. Teaming up with others will enable you to have an even more significant impact.
3. Recycle as much as possible and reduce the plastic in your household.
Replace individual plastic bottles with dispensers or drink tap water, if it's safe to do so. For further ideas on reducing plastic read my article "The future of our Oceans".
4. Turn electrical equipment off when not in use. This counts for heatings, AC's, lights, electronic devices etc. in your home, office or hotel rooms. Only wash when your washing machine is full and ask hotel staff to replace towels and bed sheets only every other day.
5. Recycle paper in your home or office. Some companies offer to pick up shredded paper and recycle it for further use. This will save a large number of trees from being cut just for paper production.
6. Reduce heating/AC. Reducing your heating by 1⁰C can reduce your energy consumption by 8%. The same counts for Air Conditioning. By setting your AC 1⁰C higher, you will not only save energy but reduce your monthly bill. Set the AC level at a fixed level of 23⁰C or higher.
7. Fit energy saving light bulbs - LEDs can save 90% of lighting energy costs. Switch off lights when not in use.
8. Use more public transportation and share your car with friends and colleagues on the way to work. You will not only reduce the amount of CO2 emissions but also save a considerable amount of money.
9. Save water. Reduce your shower time and don't let water run unused.
10. Replace old electrical items like refrigerators or water boilers with energy efficient ones of energy rating A++.
11. For short journeys, walk or cycle.
12. When replacing your car, make sure you choose a low emission vehicle.
13. Buy local and in season. Avoid imported food and only eat fruits and vegetables that are growing at this time in your own country. If you have a garden or balcony, try growing your own.
14. Reduce your consumption of meat. The meat industry is one of the major contributors to global warming. By reducing meat you will not only positively contribute to the wellbeing of our environment but also to your own.
15. Calculate your carbon footprint and learn where you can make changes that will positively impact our environment. Click here for a personal carbon footprint calculator and here to calculate the carbon footprint at your office.
16. Offset your carbon footprint with a donation and enable the planting of trees or other environmental causes. Click here to take action.
As always, please spread the word about this cause, like and share this article with family, friends, and colleagues and let me know what you are doing to contribute to a healthier environment. I look forward to hearing from you!