‘How cute!’ exclaimed Hanaa, watching the documentary on polar bear cubs sliding on their bellies on television. They were explaining how the bears are highly endangered and how global warming is a threat to their survival. She grew a little morose at those words, completely unaware that even when she is concerned about the cute […]
‘How cute!’ exclaimed Hanaa, watching the documentary on polar bear cubs sliding on their bellies on television. They were explaining how the bears are highly endangered and how global warming is a threat to their survival. She grew a little morose at those words, completely unaware that even when she is concerned about the cute bears, a lot of her daily lifestyle is to be blamed as being threats to the bears’ survival.
There is such a Hanaa in almost all of us. We do not know much about how our lifestyle is affecting global warming and climate change. Some of us are simply not bothered. But we should be. Especially since global warming is irreversible. Once the green house gases are out there in the atmosphere, green house effect will happen, global warming will occur and the polar ice caps will melt. The sea level will rise, the coastal cities will drown, polar bears will float to their extinction (quite literally) and erratic climate change patterns will prevail. The effects don’t just stop there, a lot more is yet to come. There is no coming back from there.
Here are certain things you can do, some really simple conscious changes in your lifestyle that can bring about a major betterment in the global warming scenario.
• Green Commutation: The maximum amount of air pollution occurs due to automobile exhaust. Green house gases constitute a large chunk of pollutants coming out as exhaust from vehicles. Replace your ignition fuel from diesel or petrol to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). If you can manage car-free, brilliant. If not, always car pool to office from the same area. Car-pooling works efficiently for dropping children to school from the same apartment or colony. If you can bicycle or walk, even better. Not only will you be preventing global warming, you will have a healthy exercise as well.
• Reduce Your Garbage: Garbage filled landfills are a factory of methane, a poisonous green house gas, which is infamous for a large chunk of global warming. If you efficiently trim your waste and compost biodegradable waste in your garden, a lot of waste going to the landfill is reduced. Likewise, sell your paper, glass and plastic waste to the waste mart or, the raddiwallah for recycling. This not only effectively reduces your garbage quantity but also gives input for recycling and filling your pocket.
• Eat Organic: Buy organic foods. Hit farmers’ markets. Not only do you get fresh locally grown food, you also shun processed food items. A lot of greenhouse gases are let out from food processing units. Also, tame the carnivore in you. Try going vegetarian for at least one meal a day. The meat and dairy industry produces a great deal of methane and reducing your meat demand effectively reduces methane production. Buy fresh food instead of frozen food. It takes 10 times more energy for freezing and processing foods than fresh ones. Also, choose products that come with minimum packaging.
• Choose Energy Efficient Appliances: While buying appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, ovens, blenders, etc. always look for the finer print. If the appliance has aerosol support written on it anywhere, leave it and flee. Choose appliances with ‘Energy Star’ of 3 stars or above.
• Use Appliances efficiently: Never put computers,televisions, laptops, etc. on ‘Standby’ or ‘Sleep’ mode. Almost 40% energy can be saved by simply switching off your laptop when not in use. It also saves the battery life of your laptop and reduces the heat radiated from it.
• Renewable Power: Form committees in your colony, raise funds and install solar panels for streetlights. Saving power indirectly means reducing the tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide let out due to electricity generation from coal.
• Clean the AC: Cleaning the filters and panels of the air conditioner can save the atmosphere from as much as 350 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
• Dry you Linen: Use the old traditional method of drying clothes on a clothesline out in the open instead of using the dryer. Such heavy power-consuming appliances not only produce a lot of heat but emit carbon dioxide as well. It may take a little more time, but, the traditional method is more eco-friendly.
• Cooking Ideas: Cover your pots and pans with a lid whenever cooking. This saves 70% energy. Saving energy means producing less carbon dioxide, an inevitable green house gas. Also, whenever not essential, use medium to low heat on the stove for cooking.
• Plant a Tree: Trees are the ONLY organisms on Earth that can take in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and produce the life-supporting oxygen. Plant as many trees in as many places possible. The reason that a forested area is around 3-4 degree Centigrade cooler than urban areas is that carbon dioxide is in lesser quantity around trees.
• Protect Forests: Forests absorb almost 80% of the absorbed quantity of carbon dioxide on Earth. Green house gases also promote forest fires each year, causing loss of lives and a big loss of wildlife. Do not buy paper products made from tropical forest pulp. Try buying non-chlorinated paper made from sustainable forests.
Global warming has already arrived. If thing go on at this rate, very soon Mauritus will be under water and other coastal cities will follow suit. In less time than you imagine, we could be floating around homeless in the ocean, much like the polar bears.