In this edition of Free for All, rather than providing you with a useful tool or website, we address how one can do their part to save the planet, for free! There are a multitude of different approaches to fight Climate Change, so inevitably, there will be some that I do not cover, so we invite you to do your own research and learn as much as you can from reliable sources. For example, check out scientific literature that has been reviewed by multiple experts so that you know it’s valid. Once you absorb the information, share it with your friends and family, as every person that becomes educated then becomes an activist!
The solutions I offer below are ordered by the impact they can make on Climate Change, so without delay, let’s jump in. While it can be hard to hear, changing our diet is one of the most impactful actions we can take to improve the climate. While carbon emissions are a key contributor to the greenhouse effect, as an individual it is tough to reduce many of these emissions as they are a result of our industrial and consumer-based culture. Eating more meat-free meals with locally sourced, or self-grown ingredients, is a fantastic way to lessen your footprint. In case you didn’t know, methane is the gas that is released by landfills, the natural gas industry and agriculture (particularly from ruminants such as cattle), and it is over 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide is also a byproduct of industrial agriculture, and it is 264 times more powerful than CO2. Buying and eating more vegetables rather than meat will have an immediate impact on both the environment and your wallet, since meat is often significantly more expensive than plant-based proteins.
The next best way to save money while fighting climate change is rethinking your transportation choices. In other words, rethink your driving practices, including how often you drive (try walking or taking public transportation when you can), the car you drive (consider a hybrid, electric only or at least a 4-cyclinder compact car), and how you drive it (when you drive, slow down, accelerate smoothly and avoid stop and starting constantly). Other ways to save energy and reduce fossil fuels use include using energy-efficient appliances, opting for renewable energy (solar panels for houses or electric/hybrid cars), and being responsible with daily activities such as sealing windows or lowering your thermostat. The less energy you waste, the more money you save, whether it be on gas or electricity.
While I’ve covered a few ways you can directly impact climate change, there are also several ways to indirectly impact it. For starters, get involved in politics to elect environment-minded representatives and participate in public demonstrations to disseminate information. Even starting conversations with friends and joining local climate marches can have important long-lasting impacts. Money talks so try investing your hard-earned money in renewables and low-impact industries rather than in extractive industries like oil and gas or mining.
In sum, it is important to stay informed, change your daily habits and participate in politics if you maximize your positive impact on our planet!
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