The decisions we make now have long term consequences, good or bad.
As of November 1st, the world officially entered the ‘Year of Climate Action’. Marking exactly a year until the UN COP26 environmental conference, hosted by the UK, and held in Glasgow (1st-12th November 2021), a global effort has now been launched to substantially improve climate and environmental conditions ahead of the upcoming conference.
Promising to publish a ‘net-zero’ strategy before COP26, which will detail the national approach towards an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, as well as the creation of 2 million green jobs by 2030, the UK have already begun to respond in a promising manner.
But with the increasingly damaging results from a century of worldwide environmental neglect now being impossible to ignore, it is time for each and every one of us to take a stand and protect mother nature; for “this beautiful blue planet is our only home”, as the Dalai Lama so woefully tells us.
Trapped inside a Greenhouse
There is an undeniable polarity between life as it was before and life as it is now. Comparisons between the two continue to serve us as a bittersweet reminder, because despite the wonderfully rapid development of this world, we now find ourselves edging ever closer to its demise.
Our very way of life is now endangering this planet we call home. The level of greenhouse gases currently within the atmosphere have virtually doubled since the mid-nineteenth century. This sharp rise came from our growing dependence on natural resources such as fossil fuels, as well as our excessive usage of them.
The vehicles we rely on for transport, the machinery we use for industrial development, the natural agriculture we remove and replace with cement to build upon – these activities have increased Co2 emissions tremendously within the past hundred years.
As a result, we continue to suffer the consequences of global warming; seen through an irregularly warm worldwide climate, and felt hardest through the melting Artic, where more than 90% of its oldest and thickest ice has now diminished.
In conjunction to global warming and climate change, lies the prevalent plastic crises. Around 2.4 million tonnes is produced per year in the U.K alone, 1.7 million of that coming from households alone, and all of which should be being recycled. But decades of improperly discarded plastic have now polluted our ocean floors with approximately 5.25 trillion pieces of it.
Marine life is suffering from an epidemic of plastic waste, whereby 800 species are now either being found painfully entangled within debris, or dead from the fatal levels of ingestion.
“I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels”, says Prince Charles, speaking at a reception for Commonwealth Foreign Ministers.
Our very way of life is now endangering this planet we call home. The level of greenhouse gases currently within the atmosphere have virtually doubled since the mid-nineteenth century.
By sTEPHEN HINDS-DAY: Culture Columnist
With basically all statistical and research data supporting the same alarming consensus, it seems abundantly clear that global participation is key. Here are some easy ways to significantly lessen your carbon footprint, and make small daily contributions towards the critical restoration of nature’s equilibrium.
‘Lazy’ Changes You Can Make
Let’s be honest – the idea of eradicating or drastically shifting an integral daily element of our lifestyle can be quite challenging. But if it is a change in lifestyle that is required, baby steps will definitely give us the push-start we need.
Facemask Disposal Etiquette #1
Currently, it is estimated we are using around 129 billion facemasks every month! So even if only 1 percent of those masks were disposed incorrectly, says WWF, that still amounts to a whopping 10 million masks being thrown into the environment.
It is for this reason that proper disposal is very important. Always throw your used masks in a bin (not recycled of course), and while you’re at it, rip off the ear straps too – We don’t want wildlife being entangled within them.
“Who needs a bag for tea, anyways?”
Those bags we remove from a cup of boiling water are made from a thin layer of polypropylene; a non-biodegradable material, and one which can easily find its way into our oceans.
I wouldn’t recommend throwing a used soggy tea bag in the recycling bin, so why not invest in a Tea Infuser? They allow you to use loose tea instead, and they’re relatively cheap, ranging from about £3.50 onwards on Amazon.
Try to ‘meat-less’
Limiting your consumption of meat can also help the environment. It is said that the production of one hamburger alone uses enough fossil fuels to power a car for 20 miles! Eating less meat = Less industrial processing = Lower CO2 emissions. Maths made simple.
Be-e more considerate to green spaces
We absolutely need Bees for a healthy ecosystem, so we must protect them also. Open natural green spaces are perfect for bees, but also for us, because they absorb the heat and excess water from the atmosphere. Let those lawns grow!
If you are looking for more information about environmental improvement, the ‘Year of Climate Action’, or COP26, the UNFCC are planning the ‘Climate Dialogues’ from 23rd November until 4th December. These will be a series of seminars and events held online and free to watch. Their ‘Race to Zero Dialogues’, held from 9th-19th November, can also be found on their website
MACKAYAN: THE YEAR OF CLIMATE ACTIONTweet