Climate Crisis: Why Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Is An Important Step

WhyOnEarth logo mobEditor’s Note: Are you bothered by the drastic changes in our climate, causing extreme weather events and calamities such as the Kerala Floods? #WhyOnEarth aims to take the truth to the people with stories, experiences, opinions and revelations about the climate change reality that you should know, and act on. Have a story to share? Click here and publish.

Humanity has come a long way, from creating fire to being on the verge of discovering life forms on another planet. We have grown to become the most intelligent beings on the face of the earth, and have brought every resource available on this planet to some use or the other. But in the race to create innovations, we have gone too far in exploiting them, thus creating a situation where apocalypse seems to be just around the corner.

Our comforts have pushed us away from nature, and our lifestyles are used to activities which are destroying the only inhabitable planet we have. Our climate is changing, our ice caps are melting, the water levels are rising, and the temperatures are soaring with each passing year. The time is not far when the only habitable planet will become inhabitable. While our governments are fighting on whether climate change is a reality, our Earth is dying with the passage of time.

A chart detailing the carbon footprint of the month-long FIFA World Cup in 2010. (Data: GDS Infographics/Flickr)

While this grave situation seems to be irreversible, there are certain steps which each individual can take to help the lives of our future generations. Because there is no Plan B!

One great phrase we keep hearing while we read about climate change is carbon footprint. So, what is a carbon footprint? In layman’s words, it is the amount of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization or community.

So, what are the factors affecting your carbon footprint? Everything! The use of electricity, air conditioners, refrigerators, microwaves, cars, single-use plastics, taking flights and the excessive use of water, all contribute to an individual’s carbon footprint.

While there are debates as to how an individual’s contribution helps save the earth, and bigger companies and organizations have a bigger role to play in climate change, but we are a population of more than 7.5 billion. If each person works towards reducing their carbon footprint by 5% each day, it is likely to create a huge impact on our future generation’s existence.

Say no to single-use plastics for a day, take smaller showers, switch off the lights and air conditioners when they are not required and use the stairs as much as you can. An elevator uses about 500 kW per second going up 5 floors, and on the contrary, taking the stairs helps maintain your fitness.

Keep metal straws, spoons and forks with you when you travel, try to use public transport at least twice a week (saves money and the environment). Pool your cars. It is a great way to make friends and to save the environment.  Improve your food habits. Eat what nature gives you. Animal agriculture is the second-largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after fossil fuels and is a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution and biodiversity loss. Think about that the next time you eat while debating on climate change and its factors with your friends.

With countries fighting with each other, ridiculing climate change and its effects and turning a blind eye towards our doom, maybe the faith of the future humanity rests on our shoulders. And as the famous saying goes, the earth won’t die, it would just take another birth; and if we don’t take small steps today, humanity will not be a part of this change.

Featured image for representative purpose only.
Featured image source: Rahul/Pexels; NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland Mission/Official Website.
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