Let’s face it, climate change is a gigantic problem playing out on a planetary scale. Because of its implications, it overwhelms most of us, so much so that many feel helpless. Many also assume that only major corporate entities, big governments, or teams of scientists can fight global warming.
But that’s simply not the case. Consider that there are seven billion people on the planet. Each person, including you, is making numerous simple decisions every day. If millions or billions of people make even small changes in their daily choices and behavior, the cumulative effect is enormous.
So, let’s take a look at five simple things you can do to counter climate change. These suggestions will not only help the earth. But they can also make a positive difference in your own life.
1. Reduce the Amount of Meat You Eat
If you opt to eat just one or two meatless meals per week, you will be striking a significant blow against climate change. That’s because producing meat is among the most energy-intensive activities on the planet. It also generates huge amounts of waste and uses up vast quantities of fresh water.
You don’t have to become a total vegetarian. In fact, you can still eat meat every day! But if millions of people make just one or two meals per week meatless, the effect would be profound on a mass scale. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently issued a Special Report on the power of plant-based diets. It said eating less meat represents a “major opportunity” to mitigate climate change.
2. Tighten Up Your Home Against Drafts
Fighting climate change means tackling those areas that are significant drivers of the problem. Obviously, one of the largest is the energy required to heat and cool homes. Some people go all out and deck their roofs with solar panels and switch all appliances to energy-efficient models. Others add insulation to every nook and cranny of the house.
But we’re talking about simple, inexpensive hacks you can do right away at little cost. Go for the easy wins! For example, if you feel cold air streaming in from under a doorway, block it up with a cloth, maybe an old beach towel. Cover your windows with clear plastic for winter months. Find any holes, gaps, or opening and stop them up with something. Again, millions of people plugging small leaks make a gigantic difference.
3. Change Out Lights to LED Lights
Do you want to save $15 to $20 a year for every traditional bulb you replace with an LED bulb?
Many people are resistant to buying LEDs because of their high cost. But have you checked the price lately? Costs on LED lights have come way down. Even if they are more expensive, they draw far less energy. More importantly, they’ll easily pay for themselves over time. Millions of people have already switched to LED, but millions of inefficient bulbs still burn across the world. Each one replaced makes a difference.
4. Change Your Driving Habits
Like heating or cooling a house, driving an automobile is one of the most energy-intensive activities for most people. That makes it a primary point of attack in terms of life changes we can make to battle climate change. All you have to do is take one less trip for a week from your regular routine.
You might also opt to ride a bike for a short trip or pedal your way to work one day if that’s feasible. Even choosing to drive slower would result in fuel savings, and you will have done your part. The cumulative effect of this action taken by millions of people would make a genuinely huge difference.
5. Hunt Down Vampires
No, we’re not talking about the blood-sucking undead who roam the night. We’re talking about devices in your home that continue to draw energy even when they are not in use.
Often called “phantom or vampire energy devices” because they suck energy juice, even if you don’t use them for days. Examples might be a printer, scanner, radio, coffee machine, bread maker, video game, and many more. They draw power for convenience only so that they’re ready to go when you turn them on. But unplugging all vampire devices can reduce your monthly electric bill by as much as 30%. That’s more money in your pocket while you make yourself a climate change battling superhero.
Every one of us is in this fight together. We are all passengers on “Spaceship Earth.” Every choice we make matters. You, personally, can do your part to battle climate change. What you choose to do is significant, meaningful, and it matters.