When you look at the numbers, the effects of climate change on our planet right now is staggering. Just this year, we have had the warmest months ever in this century. The strongest typhoon the world has seen just passed various countries in Asia last week, with a promise of more intense storms to come after it.
This is why the United Nations started the Convention on Climate Change, further supported by the Paris Agreement wherein countries around the world pledge to push for projects that will conserve and protect the environment.
As homeowners, you can look at the goals of this agreement and see how you can help achieve them. However, if they prove too much to undertake, you can always just do these simple tips at home.
Recycling electronic waste
The simple act of TV recycling already contributes so much in saving the environment. When we throw away our electronic devices in dumpsites or landfills, these breakdown and release chemicals into the air, water, and soil. This contaminates the area making it unlivable or infertile.
You can start buying electronic products from companies that offer to buy it back when it is already outdated. In this way, you are also helping the company save more on their production costs, minimise the need to mine new materials, and make cheaper products available to you in the future.
Another way is to look for companies who offer to buy your old electronic devices and handle the extraction and recycling for you.
Start composting organic waste
For those who are not too into gardening, this may be a good time to start doing so. A compost uses recycled organic matter as a soil conditioner, which can improve the fertility of your garden. Studies done by the Environmental Protection Agency saw that organic materials like food make up half of what is being dumped in landfills. These then breakdown and release methane, which is a greenhouse gas.
By composting at home, you are reducing the emission of this gas. Plus, you will be able to grow your own healthy vegetables or herbs if you consistently use compost for your garden.
Save electricity by switching off lights and unplugging appliances
The basic rule is: if you are not using it, turn it off. Simple switching off the lights when you leave the room can help you save money on your bill. To know how much energy you are saving, look at your bulb wattage and divide it by 1,000. Then, to find out how much money you are saving, you can look at your electric bill and check how much you are being charged per kilowatt hour.
The same thing applies for plugged devices. Sometimes, we are consuming unnecessary electricity because we leave it plugged in.
Use tote bags when grocery shopping
A lot of disturbing videos show animals dying because they accidentally got stuck or ate plastic materials that we throw in the ocean. That is why various campaigns have started pushing for efforts to stop using plastic material and instead use reusable bags or straws.
Avoiding to use plastic starts with bringing reusable bags with you when you go grocery shopping. This will encourage establishments to make their packaging more environmental friendly, and hopefully prevent animal death by plastic, albeit in a small way.
Consider carpooling with your neighbours
Carbon dioxide is another greenhouse gas that we need to address. And you can reduce emissions by considering carpooling with the people in your neighbourhood. You can ask where their office or school is so that you can schedule your routes easily.
If you do not want to carpool, you can always choose to ride public transportation more often than driving there yourself. You may also choose to ride the bike; but remember that we also expel carbon dioxide whenever we exhale, so try to minimise this as well.
These little actions can help the environment in big ways if we all continue practicing it. Next year, the countries part of the Paris Agreement will in a Climate Change Conference, hopefully by that time, our situation will have improved.