So, you’re ticked off that the White House does not believe in climate change and that the president is making self-serving directives that will harm our planet for the sake of financial gain. Good. You should be furious. Climate change is fact. It’s not an alternative fact or some sort of Hitleresque propaganda. It is a scientific fact.
The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing. Still not convinced? 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001. The ice caps are melting at an alarming rate. So much so that the pace that global sea level has risen in the last decade is nearly double that of the entire last century. This does not just affect us humans, either. The current pace of global warming puts approximately 25-35% of plants and animals at increased risk of extinction.
But hear me out for a moment, if you will, because us ticked off people need a dose of tough love right about now.
We did this. Us. We made the climate change.
Climate changed was caused by generations of people like us who ignored the planet in favor of chemicals and convenience. In fact, the United States is the second largest contributor to CO2 emissions despite being home to a mere 4.4% of the world’s population.
Can you honestly say that you are furious about climate change denial or the president’s will to advance financial interests, and then turn around and continue to contribute to climate change? Think about your actions this week alone. How many of them do you think were probably harmful to the environment?
We did this. And now it’s up to us to undo it. It’s time to fight climate change at home.
If our government is seemingly a lost cause, it’s time to make a difference on our own home turf. You can (and should) consider making a donation to an environmental organization in response to the government’s directives, but you can (and should) also make a difference with your actions.
Here’s What You Can Do to Fight Climate Change at Home
It should be noted that some of the actions be an expense, while others will save you money. While it would be ideal to do all of them, this is about doing what you can, when you can, however you can.
Here’s how you can fight climate change at home:
Think before you buy, and don’t buy what you don’t need.
Money talks, and consumer demand will drive change, no matter what our government does. Look for eco-friendly materials whenever possible. Purchase from companies that have environmentally-friendly practices in place, such as: recycling programs, using recycled materials, utilizing rainwater, reducing waste, offsetting their carbon footprint, and more. Support brands that value the environment, and ditch those that take it for granted.
Pesticides are a leading cause of climate change. Not to mention that they can make you sick. Ditch the pesticides in your food. Supporting organic farmers also means that consumer demand will lead to more organic farming, and more competition means better prices and more choice for consumers.
Stop using pesticides on your lawn and garden.
You can’t pour pesticides into the earth and then claim that you care about the environment. By the way. those toxic pesticides are also entering our water systems and getting into your homes via your shoes and your pets. There are plenty of natural alternatives to try instead. And does it really matter if there are a few weeds on your lawn?
Use more eco-friendly products.
Have I made my point about the products we use yet? Not only are eco-friendly better for the environment, they are safer for you too. This applies to personal care and home-care products. It even applies to textiles and building supplies.
Consider if you will, sales of conventional sunscreens. Did you know that they are bleaching and killing our coral reefs? Last year’s damage alone is expected to kill over 4,630 square miles of reefs. That’s just from sunscreen.
Now think about all of the products you use in your home. Just imagine the impact it would make if they were switched to more eco-friendly alternatives. Then multiply that impact across your town, city, state, and even the country.
Use whatever you can again. Stop using those awful plastic bags once and for all. Bring your own reusable bags or carry by hand. Drink from a canteen or reusable water bottle and get rid of all that plastic. Recycle packaging materials. Choose glass over plastic for storage. Donate your items to others. Simply put, think twice before you ditch it.
Don’t dry clean.
Multiple studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of dry cleaners use toxins such as perchloroethylene as their primary solvent. Perchloroethylene is known to cause a variety of health issues, including cancer. Most of the PERC used in dry-cleaning goes into the environment as air emissions during the dry-cleaning process. Hand wash your items or look for eco-friendly dry cleaning options, and be sure to ask what solvents they use.
Buying from local growers and suppliers means less greenhouse gas used in transportation. Joining a CSA or hitting up your local farmer’s market are both great ways to purchase local organic products.
Eat less meat, especially red meat.
Did you know that the global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains and ships combined? Lamb and beef produce the highest greenhouse emissions and have the most harmful impact on the environment.
Use green travel practices.
Home doesn’t necessarily mean inside your four walls. It means fighting climate change by how you live your life. This means driving more efficient vehicles, commuting by carpool or mass transit, and using alternative fuels. When you do travel either for work or personal reasons, look for destinations that are eco-friendly.
Go green at work.
Encourage your employer to put green practices in place, such as the ones mentioned above. If you are a small business owner, instill eco-friendly practices in your small or home office too. Check out these tips from TomatoInk.com for some helpful tips for ways to go green at work.
Support environmental causes.
Fortunately, while our elected officials are aiming to destroy the planet, there are many, many terrific organizations whose missions are to help protect it. They need our support now more than ever.
Stay up to date on the real facts.
There are tons of reputable resources for more valuable factual information (real facts) on climate change and other environmental concerns. There are still (as of the time of this writing) a few government-related sites with helpful information, as well as sites with real facts rather than alternative propaganda.
We need to face the reality that there is hypocrisy in being angry at the White House as we fill the trunks of our gas-guzzling vehicles with Roundup and head home to grill steaks and fry pesticide-laden potatoes.
But if the actions of the White House are ticking you off, then it’s time for us all to fight climate change at home, and to show future generations how they can fight climate change too. The White House may not care about our children, or about our children’s children. It’s up to us to leave them a viable planet to live on.
Are you ready to fight?
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