LAST April 22, the Earth Day 2021 was celebrated and the theme for this year is "Restore our Earth." One of the pressing environmental concerns that all of us need to address is climate change. We may have stumbled upon this term a million times already, but we must ask ourselves this question, “What have I actually done to prevent or at least reduce climate change?”
I think most of us are not concerned with this issue as result of our misinformation, or further, the lack of it. We do not even care enough to stop and get to the core of this alarming problem that is now affecting the whole world. Our level of awareness towards climate change is inversely proportional to the intensity of its adverse affects to our lives now here in our planet.
The basics of climate change tell us that the term is synonymous to global warming. It is a change in the weather patterns caused by the massive heating up of the Earth’s atmosphere because of gases produced from vehicles, power plants, and deforestation, just to name a few. Some awareness groups and organizations noted that over the 20th century, the average global temperatures increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit.
Other effects of climate change based from studies show that climate change is linked to stronger hurricanes and more drought, or what is known to be the El Nino and La Nina phenomena. It is also linked to an increase in disease-carrying pests that lead to the increased spread of diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, and other viral diseases.
So, is it too late for all of us to start doing something about it? Not yet. It may be a big problem to solve but each of us can definitely contribute our own little part. How? Here are some things that we can do to help reduce global warming:
Avoid using plastic packaging and advocate the use of reusable containers and bags. Whenever possible, go for refillable items and lessen the use of sachets and plastic materials.
Use LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs which are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. These bulbs help fight climate change because they reduce the amount of fossil fuels that utilities burn. Save electricity by minimizing the use of heating and air-conditioning units whenever possible.
Practice the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Products made from recycled paper, glass, metal and plastic reduce carbon emissions because they use less energy to manufacture than products made from completely new materials. For instance, you’ll save two pounds of carbon for every 20 glass bottles that you recycle. Recycling paper also saves trees and lets them continue to reduce climate change naturally as they remain in the forest, where they remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Plant more trees and decrease deforestation. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and use it as their energy source, producing oxygen for us to breathe. A tree in the temperate zone found between the tropics and the polar circles can remove and store 700 to 7,000 pounds of carbon over its lifetime. A tree that shades a house can reduce the energy required to run the air conditioner and save an additional 200 to 2,000 pounds of carbon over its lifetime.
I hope that each of us can share our own little contribution in saving Mother Earth, for us and for the generations to come.