Attention Youngsters: Here's How You Can Help Tackle Climate Change

The world is facing a climatic crisis. There is a drastic change in weather patterns and temperature. Erratic rain, snow, and extreme temperature variations have impacted every sphere of life and have threatened our very existence on earth. The hottest temperature in this century was recorded in the last four years. Ice sheets are melting at the polar ends of the planet and increasing sea levels. These climatic changes occurring in nature can be natural or due to human activities; the burning of fossil fuels (coal, gas, and oil), deforestation, fluorinated gases, increased livestock farming, etc., have accelerated and contributed to climatic changes.

The world is now looking for ways to combat this issue. Today's youngsters are the promise of tomorrow and can positively impact and bring about a radical change. Their collective power can help us find remedies and solutions to prevent further damage to the environment. Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist, caught the attention of world leaders and persuaded them to take immediate and sustainable action to prevent climate change. She pointed out that 26 million people worldwide are struggling with food scarcity due to a lack of rain. Her words made the world look up and take some positive initiative. Youngsters can find novel ways to tackle climatic changes.

Our way of living has a significant impact on the environment and climatic changes. Private households contribute to two-thirds of global greenhouse gases. About 20% of emissions come from the food, energy, and transport sectors. Right from the food choices, the way of commuting and the power source we use all make a difference to our environment. So let's now look into easy, practical ways by which we can prevent further damage to our environment and create sustainable living.

Energy Conservation at Home

Coal, oil and gas power most household appliances directly or indirectly. Washing laundry with cold water and using energy-efficient appliances, LED lights, sustainable natural products like jute bags instead of plastic, earthen wear and soapstone as kitchen vessels go a long way in protecting the environment.

Use of Public Transport

With the increase in economic status, the use of vehicles has increased in leaps and bounds. The roads are overburdened with excess vehicles driven by the burning of diesel or gasoline. This incomplete and inefficient burning of fuels is one of the major causes of pollution. The use of public transport, carpooling, cycling and electric vehicles can help prevent air pollution to a greater extent.

Consuming Less Meat

Meat production is known to be one of the contributors to environmental pollution and leaves carbon footprints. Emptying of the ocean, pollution, and food shortages are all a result of activities of the meat industry. An excess of energy, water and land is required for the meat industry. Apart from these, pesticides, antibiotics and bacteria are present in greater amounts in animal flesh. Waste produced by animals is more and adds up the burden on ecosystems.

Eating More Vegetables

Eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and less meat and dairy can significantly lower your environmental impact. Producing plant-based foods generally results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and requires less energy, land and water. Eating a vegetarian, high-fibre plant-based diet is a win-win for the individual and the environment. Choosing seasonal, fresh produce grown locally helps reduce pollution through carbon emissions.

Reducing Air Travel

Significant greenhouse emissions are produced by air travel. Using less air transport and taking trains helps reduce stress on the environment.

Avoiding Wastage of Food

When food is wasted and thrown into the garbage, you are not only wasting resources; the energy required to grow, process, pack and transport is also wasted. Garbage disposal becomes a problem, and when food rots, methane gas is produced (a powerful greenhouse gas), which pollutes the atmosphere. So buy only things you need and compost waste food. Use recyclable material for packing food. E.g., banana leaves.

Promoting and Using Eco-Friendly Products

Use glass containers in place of plastic, cloth napkins instead of regular plastic-based napkins, cloth shopping bags, organic and recycled fabrics. Switch to induction cooktops to reduce the amount of LPG fuel. Replacing chemical-based home cleaning products with natural, commonly found substances at home like vinegar, tea tree oil, enzymes prepared naturally at home .use solar-powered charges and solar emergency lights.

Recycling, Repairing and Reusing

Certain products such as electronic goods and clothing can generate carbon emissions from production, processing, manufacturing, and marketing. So care should be taken to reuse, recycle and repair things rather than buying them unnecessarily.

Social Activism and Climatic Change

The power of mass media, social media has to be harnessed to bring about awareness. Making your voice heard at your local governing authority can also help in bringing about necessary changes. As policies are made, these governing bodies pass legislation concerning the environment - developing green spaces, cycling tracks, more efficient public transport systems, providing incentives to power-efficient homes, recycling water. Air quality improvement in cities by developing parks and preserving water bodies will have a more significant impact on better management of the environment. All these reduce carbon imprints.

Use of Sustainable Agricultural Practices

70%of the population depends on agriculture. Growing drought-resistant crops, water conservation methods, using biofertilizers and biopesticides, and ways to prevent soil erosion must be promoted.

Use of Natural Means to Cool or Warm-Up Rooms

A lot of energy is consumed, especially in big establishments, to cool the room to a comfortable temperature. Air conditioners consume a lot of power, thereby exerting a load on power generation units. Designing buildings is a way to efficiently cool open spaces and reduce power consumption. In cold places where warming up of rooms is required, use natural methods of retaining heat such as reversing the fan's direction, using draft stoppers on doors and preventing drafts around the electric outlets.

Remember, our duty and prime responsibility, as citizens of the world, is to protect our beautiful earth and help sustain the many forms of life here. We have the moral duty to leave a clean planet to coming generations.