Monday, June 7, 2010

How to Reduce the Effects of Climate Change

Climate change is one of the biggest reasons so many people are trying to think of progressive green ideas. Research has shown that stopping climate change dead in its tracks is nearly impossible, but we can try to slow it down. That way, we'll feel less of the effects of climate change down the road, whether those are high temperatures, rising sea levels, or rapid water evaporation (and a dwindling water supply).

The things that effect climate change the most are the actions of man, but events like volcanic eruptions can contribute to global warming. While we can't plug all of the volcanoes on the planet, we can try to reduce our own emissions that are building up in the atmosphere. As you may already know, the more greenhouse gases that enter our atmosphere, the warmer the air is, and the more damage it causes to our ozone layer.

There are two main factors that influence climate change, and those are the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. There are several other factors that contribute to global warming, but these two factors alone cause most of the greenhouse gases.

How do we reduce the effects of climate change?

Almost everything we purchase and use expels greenhouse gases. Much of the greenhouse gases we emit are from our food and transportation. Even the produce at the supermarket and a small lawnmower cause some emissions. Now, those bunches of grapes aren't sitting there expelling greenhouse gases themselves, but the process used to grow the grapes, transport them to the supermarket, and keep them cool does cause greenhouse gas emissions. The water that is pumped to the farm, the workers that drive to the farm, the tractors that maintain the land, and the delivery of materials to the farm all contribute small bits of emissions and energy use (and cattle farms use far more than plant farms). When the grapes are picked, they're transported to a facility using trucks, which use gas and oil. Once the grapes arrive in the supermarket, you'll drive to the market to go get them, burning more fossil fuels.

So how can we use less energy with our food?

First, we can avoid packaged foods. The fact that grapes are usually unpackaged is better for the environment and our atmosphere. The production of packaging is one extra step that will cause more emissions. Second, we can buy locally. Buying locally means fresher foods that use less transport energy to get to you. Third, we can grow our own food.

How can we use less transportation energy?

Buying your food locally is a big step in using less transportation energy. Second, you can reduce the amount of time you drive and carpool when possible. Public transportation is another option that uses far less energy than a single car.

There are many more ways to reduce climate change, from switching to reusable bags to taking cooler showers, which you can read about at the above link.

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