Environment day is celebrated every year on the 5th June, but we can or in fact we must celebrate Environment day every day.
I live in a small island off the east coast of Africa, called Mauritius. While we produce about 3.3 metrics tonne per capita, which seems quite low compared to other nations, we have a rising CO2 emissions over the past few decades. So what actions can we take to reduce our carbon footprint and help fix this planet which is our only home?
Before we dive right into the actions, let’s summarize what we know about climate change.
For thousands of years, the temperature of the earth has been stable, but we have seen a rise in temperatures for the past few decades. This quick rise in temperatures is what we call Global warming.
The graphs above shows just how the temperature has been changing over the years and as we can see it started peaking in recent years. We are now experiencing the highest temperatures mankind has ever experienced.
Global warming has become a bigger problem for humans since the rise in temperatures has destabilised the climate. We have been having more floods, more drought, more heatwaves and more climate related calamities, compared to the past. These environmental changes have caused and are still causing a lot of socioeconomical problems.
What is causing this change in the temperatures?
CO2 levels have also been stable until the past 50 decades when carbon levels have been rising. While a correlation between 2 topics may not be causation, there have been extensive observations and research that support the direct link between increasing carbon levels and the rising temperatures.
Some of the main reasons of the increase in global emissions are as follows:
- An increase in the use of fossil fuels.
- An increase in feedback loops. [See this video]
- The meat industry – The meat industry creates 60% of the total emissions from food production. The meat industry uses a lot of land which need to be deforested for pasture, animals generate a large amount of GHG emissions that further exacerbate the issue of climate change.
So given that climate change is caused by humans, it is only clear that we, humans should be the ones to fix it.
How do we do that?
I have created a 30-day climate action challenge that includes several actions you can take to learn more about climate change while doing your bit to protect the planet from further damage.
The actions within this calendar are actions are on 3 axes – educating yourself, form new habits and thirdly engaging with others and educating them.
- 💡 Learn more about what is being done and how you, as an individual, you can help by engaging with your local and global leaders to influence laws, education, that is learning more about climate change and the international laws surrounding climate change.
- Form new habits, from making compost from your food scraps to upcycling an old outfit to growing your own vegetable garden, to join local organisations in environmental initiatives, do your bit to reduce your carbon emissions.
- Raise awareness around you. Talk to your family, relatives, friends, colleagues, share your newly acquired knowledge and keep conversing with people around you about climate change.
Talking to someone once is not going to help them change their habit. Increasing the number of times a person hears about something in different forms can help them to create a self-awareness that can help to change their behaviour.