Springtime, to me, means rebirth. It is the time when leaves regrow on trees and flowers seem to bud everywhere. Unfortunately, there is something threatening the beautiful gift of nature. That threat is climate change. While climate change is a global issue, there are ways to leave a positive, lasting impact on the environment, therefore, contributing to the climate change issue.
Changing light bulbs is one simple way to help the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests changing the five most used light bulbs in your house from regular light bulbs to ENERGY STAR light bulbs. Making this simple change uses about 75 percent less energy while lasting 10 to 50 times longer than regular bulbs. This, in return, helps lower the overall greenhouse gas emission.
Be mindful of how much water is being used every day. Energy must be used in order to pump, filtrate and heat water. Conserving water use can lower the greenhouse gas emission as well. Make sure to turn off the water when it is not necessary to be on, such as when brushing teeth or shaving. Cutting down on shower time can drastically conserve water. According to Home Water Works, the average shower uses 2.1 gallons of water per minute. The average U.S. shower lasting eight minutes. This adds up to over 17 gallons of water is used for each shower. Reducing the average shower length to five minutes and replacing shower heads to an updated or low-flow faucet can also help conserve water. Installing a rain barrel is another easy and inexpensive way to conserve water. Use this to water on the lawn, flowers and/or garden instead of water from the tap.
Everything that is thrown away sits in landfills producing even more greenhouse gas. According to the EPA, 20 to 30 percent of all trash is food and yard scraps. Both types of scraps are able to be composted easily in one’s own backyard. In order to compost, there are three ingredients required: browns, greens and water. This compost can be used to enrich the soil and reduce the need for chemical fertilizer.
On the Road
It is no secret that cars are a major contributor to the issue of climate change. According to the EPA, the average passenger vehicle emits 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year. In order to reduce this number try to keep idling time to under 30 seconds. Make sure to not accelerate too quickly, and do not slam on your brakes. Both can increase carbon emission. Also, whenever possible, try to cut down on time spent in the car altogether. Start carpooling. To further lower carbon emission, try walking or biking around town or to work.
Volunteer time to give back to our planet. Participate in local Earth Day events or take a much-needed break during finals week and participate in Campus Beautification Day. It is not possible for one person to reverse the effects of climate change. However, by making these simple, daily changes and spreading the word, together we can make a difference.