People have been getting more aware of the climate change implications and in recent years the voices against reducing the global carbon emissions have grown only louder. While when we talk about climate actions, our focus is mainly on the world leaders, policymakers, government authorities and corporate giants. However, if we want to mitigate climate change risks, communities and societies can make an immense contribution to the fight against climate change, at all levels, by incorporating radical shifts in the way we consume energy, the way we travel, the diet we follow and, broadly speaking, the way we live. There are five lifestyle changes by which we can reduce our carbon footprints considerably, and they are as follow:
Embrace Renewable Energy
Fossil fuel consumption is one of the major contributors to the emission of greenhouse gases globally. Using non-renewable sources for our energy needs have severe impacts on our environment. However, switching to renewable energy sources like solar energy in our daily lives can reduce our carbon footprint significantly. Installing solar panels in the buildings to generate electricity can be one of the cleanest and greenest ways to fulfil our daily energy needs. However, it is not feasible for everyone as it can be expensive. Other small and cheaper ways could be switching to LED bulbs, reducing air conditioning and heating appliance usages and insulating homes with efficient heat-trapping materials.
Reduce Meat Consumption
The processes involved in meat production lead to the emission of greenhouse gases. Livestock production is estimated to contribute 14.5 per cent of global GHG emissions annually. Most of these emissions come from cattle in the form of methane gas. Further, forests are being cleared to build cattle ranches which not only release carbon back to the atmosphere but also degrade the arable land. Reducing meat and dairy consumption and including more plant-based food like fruits, vegetables, legumes and lentils can help to mitigate our carbon footprints by reducing the demand for meat.
Take Fewer Flights
Flying involves combustion which releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and that accelerates the process of global warming. With air travel becoming cheaper and more affordable, more and more people are taking long international and domestic trips. This has caused a growth in the aviation sector but simultaneously the negative impacts on the environment have shot up too. We can reduce our carbon footprints by choosing to travel less by air and avoiding long-duration flights.
Use Public Transport
Purchasing a four-wheeler is a matter of status for many. However, the fuel used in these vehicles, mainly petrol and diesel, emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which not only contributes to global warming but also pollutes air drastically. Choosing to avoid using or buying a personal vehicle altogether can help in mitigating carbon emissions and thus managing climate change. Switching to public transport like trams, buses or trains, and car-pooling or just walking when the distance is not much can be more environmentally friendly options than using a personal vehicle.
Last but not the least, choosing and voting for a right candidate who understands the impacts of climate change and who has plans to take actions against it, is one sure shot way tackle climate change effectively.