Some statistics to warm your cockles:
- The amount of wood & paper we use every yr = enough energy to heat 50 MILLION homes for 20 yrs
- A single polysterene cup contains a billion billion CFC molecules (1000,000,000,000,000,000)
- 1 car driving 1000 miles a month adds 120 tonnes of CO2 a yr
- Every yr, a million seabirds, 100000 marine mammals & 50 000 fur seals are killed from strangulation by plastic
- In 2008, 500 people across Hungary died due to a heatwave that reached 41.9C.
There's a lot more but, really, aren't we already aware of the dangers that our selfish activities has wrought upon us?
We can do our part to reduce our negative impact on earth. Go Green, I say:
Avoid Fast Food
Fast food are usually overpackaged (not to mention overpriced) & cutting down on fast food will help cut down the excessive plastic packaging used.
If the destination isn't too far away, bike instead of driving a car. Not only will you help reduce carbon emissions (plus other toxic gases), you will also benefit from the light exercise!
Getting 4-5 people to drive together to work or to play cuts down a lot of emissions compared to having an extra 2-3 cars on the road! It also helps to build better relationships :)
Change A Light Bulb
Replace the standard fluorescent light bulbs with the power-saving one. Doing so will cut down electricity consumption & also encourage the development of more effective power-saving equipment!
It's easy to do & useful! Create a compost pile from biodegradable wastes (egg shells, orange peels, onion skins...you name it!) & watch your garden grow! It reduces the load on landfills & provides a nutrient-rich environment for your garden friends!
Not just money to aid environmental efforts, but even used toys, books, clothes etc can be donated to needy people, rather than tossing them away at the rubbish bin. There are creative ways to fix a broken toy to let it delight other people.
Eat Organic Produce
Organic produce use less chemicals (if any) than non-organic. Less usage of chemicals reduces the chemical hazard on the environment & ultimately, you. You can even grow your own vegetables at home! Even organic soap is available these days!
Grow A Garden
Having more plants in your garden will help to absorb more CO2 & provide more O2 for your breathing pleasure! Grow a bamboo fence or have flowering pots...Your garden will look prettier too!
No to Steak
In 2008, the international meat industry contributes to 18% of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions. Switch from red meat to eating greens, you can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 1.5 tonnes of CO2 a yr.
Pay Bills Online
Paying bills online via Maybank2U etc cuts down the paper used for receipts etc. You save more trees & reduce the solid waste generated from paper.
Trees are nature's best tools to absorb CO2 & replace it with more oxygen in the atmosphere. Plant trees outside your house, get the local council to plant more trees in parks, schools, by the
roads etc. Not only will you reduce the concentration of CO2 in the air, you will also have more shade!
Put Plastic Away
Plastic bags take 1000 yrs to break down in landfills & the process emits greenhouse gases. every yr 500 billioin bags are distributed & only 3% are recycled. Put the bags away: bring a canvas bag to carry your groceries; if you have to ta pao from the hawker stalls, bring your own food container.
It's important to remember the 3 R's when going green: Refuse, Reuse, & Recycle. Recycle newspaper, aluminium cans, etc. Either help bring them to the recycling plant or reuse them for household items, you can even make decorative gifts from used plastic bottles etc. Producing new glass, aluminium, paper products etc consume a lot of energy & releases a lot of green house gases. Do your part to cut them down.
Reduce Electricity Consumption
According to the US Dept of Energy, 75% of electricity consumed are standby power, which is used to keep the electronics running in PC, TV, etc while they're "off". A PC used only 4 hrs a day will save you RM260 compared to leaving it on 24/7! Shutting it down reduces the CO2 emissions by 83%. Also, do your bit to reduce electricity consumption by wearing comfortable clothes (as we know Malaysian weather can be quite a bitch) to reduce usage of fan(s) etc.
There are so many steps we can take to cut down the greenhouse-gas emissions. It will be more effective if we can rein in our family & friends to play their part too. We have only 1 Mother Earth. Love & care for her wisely :)