How Do I Be More Conscious of Climate Change ?
Everyone agrees that climate change is real, but many still debate whether climate change is a natural cycle or man made.
When you look at the science the answer become clear.
The levels of carbon in our atmosphere are higher than they've been in over 800,000 years.
And it's not even close.
We are no longer a small herd of hunters and gatherers.
The human race is now an international community of over 7.7 BILLION strong.
All of us using electricity, driving, eating, connecting to the internet, ect.
All of these activities are small by themselves, but when you multiply by 7.7 billion x 365 days a year, it doesn't take long for the sum of the individuals to have a MASSIVE impact on our global climate.
The question is, how can you become more conscious of how your actions effect climate change?
When you are conscious about climate change, you're thinking about the things you do that will positively effect the environment around you.
Understanding Climate Change: Natural Cycles or Man Made ?
How do we know if climate change is man made?
Could climate change just be a natural cycle?
Either way, the climate is changing and it's going to effect us, so us humans need to take some action to prepare.
Here's what we know for sure about climate change.
Our climate does change naturally over time.
This has been documented through ice core samples, tree rings, samples of sediment on the bottom of the ocean, and by testing fossil samples.
HOWEVER, through these same tests we now know that we are FAR, far, far outside the "normal range" of climate change.
Our climate is changing and warming much faster than ever before in the last 800,000 years.
Scientists who have been studying climate change at NASA for over 50 years now understand that our rapid change in climate is due to high levels of carbon in our atmosphere.
These higher levels of carbon come from burning fuel to power our daily lives. Electricity, cars, transportation, manufacturing ect, all burning fuel and releasing carbon to keep 7.7 billion of us alive day after day.
How do we know the carbon levels are so high and also man made?
We test the ice cores, test ground cores from the bottom of the ocean, and test pre-historic fossils.
All the data points to a large increase in carbon dioxide since the industrial age.
Typically, our planet is good at protecting itself from increased carbon levels, because the earth naturally traps carbon in our oceans, traps carbon in the soil, and filters carbon out of the atmosphere with our forests.
But, we humans are having a huge negative impact on the Earths natural defense systems as well.
We've polluted oceans, built cities on top of swamps, and torn down forests for farming.
These human interventions have not crippled earth's natural carbon filtration systems, but we're getting close and need to be more conscious of our impact if we want to plan ahead for the future.
So to be conscious of climate change the approach is 2 pronged.
1. Reduce carbon emission.
2. Reduce impact on the Earth's natural carbon filtration system
5 Small Things You Do To Be More Conscious of Climate Change To Have A BIG Impact.
Climate change is a complex challenge with a worldwide impact that requires the active participation of everyone.
We can't just rely on the government.
We all know governments are too slow at making changes. Climate change needs to be a top down and a bottom up approach. We all need to contribute in small ways.
1. Educate Yourself And Others To Be Conscious Of Climate Change
The number 1 thing you can do to combat climate change is first educate yourself about climate change. Understand the natural cycles. Understand carbon emissions. Understand the greenhouse effect. Understand the effect we're having on deforestation and ocean pollution.
Do you understand the problem at its root cause?
You don't have to take our word for it, but look at as many "reliable sources" as you can. NOT FACEBOOK or TWITTER.
Once you've done the research and understand the problem at it's root cause then you can speak about climate change at a higher level to raise the consciousness of those around you.
If you don not truly understand the problem, then having conversations with others around you will likely be unproductive.
Speaking from experience, it wasn't until I reached a deep understanding for climate change that I was able to raise above confrontation and have peaceful and productive conversations about what is true.
2. Consciously Think About Living More Efficiently
See the "BIGGER Picture"
It's very hard for individuals to understand the scale of human existence. We all live in small towns, city's and suburbs.
Even our largest cities on the planet like New York and Tokyo contain only a few million people. This is small in comparison to the 7.7 BILLION that live on the planet.
In order to be more conscious about climate change you need to see the bigger picture and understand the scale on which humans exist on Earth.
How Efficient Are You Living Vs. Everyone Else?
The way we measure you climate efficiency is by what's called a "Carbon Footprint"
Your carbon footprint is a measurement of how much carbon you use in your lifestyle vs. the average carbon use for everyone else in the world.
3. Eat More Efficiently
We're not taking about saving bread by stacking more greasy burger patties on top of each other.
Most of us just go to the local store and buy whatever food we want without even thinking twice about it.
But how long can Earth support feeding 7.7 billion people (and counting)?
That's a lot of mouths to feed.
I'll never be a vegetarian, but according to studies conducted at Oxford University, eating less meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their carbon footprint and impact on the environment.
I'll never be a vegetarian, but I can certainly eat less meat.
It's hard to grasp how eating less meat can have an impact, but it's not the meat itself, but the cost to produce the meat.
When you take into account the energy, land and water it takes to raise, feed, and harvest animals the tax on the environment is astronomical for meat products.
A study by Cornell University found that the US could feed over 800 million people with the amount of grain our livestock eats every year.
So eating less 'red meat' will have a much bigger impact than just 1 less steak at the grocery store.
4. Be Conscious of Your Travel Habits
Do you "Need" to fly ?
Do you "Need" to drive ?
Consciously being aware and changing the way you commute can have a huge impact on your carbon footprint and on climate change.
Costs of traveling are one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions and man made climate change.
Lots of us travel for work, flying included. But in the age of the internet and post COVID, millions of us are re-learning how to work more efficently.
Whether using zoom or Microsoft teams or any other software, it's time to re-think your need to travel. Can you work remote? Can you host a remote meeting?
Hosting a meeting remotely can have a huge impact!
If 5 people travel 1 hour to a meeting, thats 10 hours of back and forth travel total. One Zoom meeting can save all the at time and gas.
If that same time is saves thousands of times across the globe, thats a major (major, major) savings on the climate and on carbon emissions.
5. Reduce Your Energy Bill
Save money and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
There's a few ways to go about reducing your energy consumption.
1. Switch to a "Low Carbon" Energy Provider.
There are lots of local energy companies that provide a low carbon option. Community solar is a very popular option and available in many communities where unfortunately residents are unaware
2. Residential Solar
Forget community solar, be in control of your own energy grid.
Buying or leasing solar panels for your own home is a great option option to reducing your power bill and lowering your carbon footprint at the same time.
3. LED Lights
The easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint in 5 minutes is to change your lightbulbs to LED bulbs.
they cost a little more up front, but they last longer and save you money on the backend of your electricity bill.
6. Let Your Voice Be Heard
Do you have a great idea about how to help the environment and protect your community against climate change?
There are many ways you can express your consciousness about climate change and promote awareness in your community.
Be an active part in your community. Organize tree planting efforts, create fundraisers, talk to local politicians about what you can do.
let your voice be heard.
But don't be confrontational. Raise above confrontation. Educate others.
Convey positive messages that promote environmental consciousness.
The Personal Advantages of Being Climate Change Conscious
When we are more aware of what is happening around us it changes how we process information.
Consciousness Promotes Compassion
Consciousness promotes compassion for the environment.
It helps us understand what needs to be done on a personal level and how everyone can influence other people to make a shift towards a sustainable future.
Being conscious about the environment changes your perspective from being angry, to understanding.
Climate Consciousness Drives Action
Consciousness is associated with greater emotional intelligence.
It's a simultaneous cycle where you eventually learn to learn and gain knowledge about your actions and their consequences to the environment.
It rewires your brain and helps you develop an environmental conscience.
Consequently, you will learn to think about the social and environmental crises that affect the world and help to take actions needed to build a more sustainable future for your community.
Consciousness Leads to Mindfulness
Developing consciousness with climate change motivates people to find purpose in life and to help create measures that will help the environment recover from man made climate change.
Being conscious of climate change leads to "mindfulness"
Mindfulness is when you start to develop climate adaptation measures with-out thinking about it. You become mindful with-out having to think twice about it. You understand climate change as a reality you need to help deal with.
You no longer concern just about yourself but your cause becomes bigger.
Climate Consciousness Creates An Aware Generation
Modeling consciousness to the youth educates the future generation how to be more mindful about the environment.
For example, when you throw empty bottles on the street the youth will think it is okay to do the same.
Act responsibly now and you will leave a positive environmental impact, the next generation can follow.
You can be the role model and game-changer for the environment and create a ripple effect.
The earth cannot support an unlimited use of natural resources.
As individuals, we feel small compared tot he size of the earth, but as a global community, we're 7.7 billion strong (and counting).
Our global impact on the climate is real.
If 1 person cuts down a tree, no big deal.
If 1 company pollutes, no big deal.
But when you look at the bigger picture of the entire global community, we're having bigger consequences on the environment than most of us are conscious of.
And, the rate at which we're effecting the global climate is alarming.
When you’re conscious of what is happening around you, and conscious of your impact on the environment, it's easy to make a change.
Promoting eco-friendly practices in the home will influence family members, friends, and eventually the community.
If you develop consistency you can influence a bigger social group. Be the 'bigger person' and taker responsibility for your carbon footprint today.
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