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Climate change. What a dreary subject.☹️
Not only dreary, but climate change is also very complicated.📊 With problems, solutions, causes and effects in the form of a 🕸web rather than a legible sequence, things become confusing very quickly.
To understand climate change, we have to understand a 🌱greenhouse. You know, those clear glass or plastic structures that allow ☀️sunlight to come through but is sealed off so that heat gets trapped in it. This allows plants to be unharmed from frosts or colder-than-livable seasons. If a home is built correctly, the same can help cut down heating costs down in the winter.
The same greenhouse effect happens on our planet as well, but what traps heat are the gases that we emit into the air, known as greenhouse gases. 💨These are things like CO2, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, and Fluorinated gases. Wow, so this makes sense but what can I do about climate change? That's probably how a lot of us feel, especially with how big the world is and how many people there really are. Let's try and dull it down to three major things.
The combined energy sector is responsible for 73% of global emissions. Those can be broken up into things like electricity, manufacturing, and transportation. Or we can look at those things separately as well. One thing in common between these things? They all currently use 🛢fossil fuels in some way.
Over a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are mostly used to generate electricity, and in countries like the US, the largest consumer of ⚡️electricity is residential housing, with commercial buildings not being so far behind.
Manufacturing and construction then also counts towards 19% of global greenhouse emissions. The material goods we don’t need, yet continue to buy, are reaping havoc on the planet. But luckily...the solution is easy: buy less. 🚫
This is why minimizing is so important. By minimizing our homes (whether that be the things in our space or our actual space itself) we will decrease the energy required to heat and cool the space as well as manufacture the material goods which we are over-consuming. And since we don’t use, or maybe even want, a lot of our house space...we probably won’t miss it.💚 Nor will we miss the things we don’t really need or are just in the habit of buying.
Just like fossil fuels, transportation is responsible for close to 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 🚗People drive a lot, and they have to get a round a lot. And that requires energy. There are of course more efficient ways to move people around such as buses and trains. Or if people are close enough to our destinations, we can bike or walk!
Even if it’s just 10 miles less of driving here and there, or some additional car pooling. Or even just trying to bike somewhere really close for once. Every little bit counts and it’s the only way to get comfortable with these sustainable alternatives.
Food and how we grow it has the potential to either contribute to further climate change, or even reverse it. 🌱Soil, plants, and trees can actually sequester CO2 and clean the air...reducing greenhouse gases.📉 Even if we stopped all emissions today, there would still be too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. That needs to go.
The more that food is grown organically and with permaculture principles, the more regenerative and healthy it will be for the planet. Eating as local as possible is also important. Typically the more local something is the smaller scale and more regenerative it is. And, it won’t have to be 🚚transported nearly as far.
By turning to more efficient and ethically grown plants, this will prevent further forests from being clear cut, another natural carbon sink, or potentially a carbon release if cut down.
Plants of all kind take carbon from the air and sink it into the soil for good. The healthier the soil and the better the land is treated, the more carbon that will be sunk.
🌈Everything on this list can be easy for some and hard for others. Some actions will be harder or easier as well. And while it depends on how far we will go to better align with our values, sometimes what is making things harder is bad policy and bad leadership in our communities. 🍊Access to fresh, local, organic, and affordable food varies from community to community. So does access to public transit, or the affordability of living within close proximity to our destinations.
There are however, parts to these problems and solutions that we can get to work on right now. That can be in the form of taking baby steps in our own lives, or even pushing for less barriers in our community so that we can take on these actions easier. ✊🏽