Global warming was brought up more than ever this year, and that’s because the effects of it are quickly unfolding. This year was just weird. We’ve had a multitude of floods, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions, but I don’t think it hit that these disasters were not so natural until we heard it directly from the experts.
On October 8, a report from the United Nations claimed if we don’t start making critical changes toward reducing carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouses gases, Earth will be facing irreversible catastrophic changes in as few as 12 years.
The Earth’s temperature has risen 1 degree Celsius since the 19th century. If it increases another half to 1 degree Celsius, the disasters we will experience will make these past ones look like nothing. They could leave millions displaced, and deadly weather events could become commonplace. Although not everyone may believe in global warming or our influence in it, 97% or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: “Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”
Knowing that we have this much of an influence on the Earth should encourage us to make better environmental decisions. Although this huge problem will take more than one individual to manage, and major corporations have the most work to do, your end-of-year reflections should include what you’ve done to contribute to climate change, and your New Year’s resolutions should include reducing your carbon footprint. So how can you reduce your carbon footprint?
Eat Less Meat!
The meat industry – particularly red meat and dairy – is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emission because of the large amount of fossil fuels used in meat production. Eating more veggies is not only healthy for you, but it’s also healthy for the planet. If we were to all go meatless once or twice a week it would have a huge impact on the planet.
Carpooling and using public transit are little ways to reduce our carbon footprint throughout the week. Biking has also become more mainstream; by biking you can look cool and save the planet simultaneously.
Go Organic, Shop Local!
Fast fashion is a huge polluter. And so are the pesticides sprayed on crops and the amount of fuel used to transport fruits and vegetables. We have to stop supporting the same corporations that are killing us. So, minimize your fast fashion shopping, and when you can, shop organic and local!
For more information on how to reduce your carbon footprint, check out: cotap.org/reduce-carbon-footprint
Kleo Sincere is a Motif intern and student at The Met School.