The latest CO2 reading, conducted at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii detected 415.26 parts per million (ppm) on Saturday. [11 May 2019] This is the first time on record that the observatory measured a daily baseline above 415 ppm. The shocking new data will comes as climate change experts are issuing fresh warnings over the ‘relentless’ rise in planet-warming man made greenhouse gas emissions.
But what can we do about it? Ethical cleaning company Bio-D has listed some easy ways to help reduce our individual impact on the planet.
- Keep an eye on your diet One way in which we can make a significant difference to our current climate change situation is to avoid eating meat and dairy. Believe it or not, the livestock sector – raising cows, pigs and chickens – generates the same greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined. You may choose to follow a fully meat-free, vegan diet, but if not, avoiding meat just a couple of days a week can still make a huge difference. As well as encouraging people to introduce more greens and healthier foods to their diet, it can simultaneously help combat climate change. There are also other ways in which you can help when it comes to cooking. Something as simple as putting lids on your pans or opening your oven less whilst cooking can help heat food quicker, ultimately reducing the amount of energy used in the kitchen. Keeping a full freezer can even contribute!
- Create an energy efficient haven at home
Another way to reduce emissions is to take a look at energy use in our homes. Quick and simple changes may have more of an effect than you realise. For example, energy efficient lightbulbs can use less than a quarter of the electricity of a traditional lightbulb. This in turn decreases the amount of energy you use at home, which ultimately decreases power plant emissions. Which may not sound like much, but if the whole population made the change would result in a phenomenal decrease.Other simple ways to make a difference in your home include buying thick curtains to trap heat, turning the lights off when out of the room and avoiding leaving appliances on standby to save energy. Even turning your heating down by just one degree helps – which can actually save you up to £30 a year on your heating bill!
- Think about your method of transport According to Friend of the Earth, transport is responsible for around a quarter of the UK’s emissions of carbon dioxide. And with the majority of households owning more than one car, this is only set to increase. Of course, walking or cycling to your destination is an easy solution when attempting to reduce your personal input. As well as using less fuel – which saves both money and energy, it’s a great way to incorporate exercise in to your daily routine. Using public transport also helps when it comes to longer journeys. However, if driving is your only option, you can optimise your vehicle to help reduce emissions as much as possible. Tips for doing this include keeping tyres properly inflated, driving with windows up to reduce drag and switching off the engine if you’re going to be stationary for longer than two minutes – all of which help reduce fuel consumption.