How to Cut Down On Carbon Emissions and Remain Humble

Many beloved and dedicated scientists are singing in choirs, bursting out ballads of melody on the importance of taking care of the earth.

The earth is spinning us around 1,040 miles per hour. We are going really fast through space. And life goes on, and on, and on. Though the earth is spinning thousands of miles per hour, does that mean we have to? No- thanks to gravity. And because of that, we have some control of what we do with our time.

As a culture, we are moving pretty fast. What’s the next car model? When is the next game system? What can I buy with this money? Fast fashion, consumption, buying our way through life, all have woven the American fabric of our modern quilt. We are weaved with excessive consumerism.

Look at the data. Really look and connect the dots. This goes beyond temperature. It’s all connected.

We are approaching the sixth phase of “Mass Extinction“. The last one was in the dinosaur era. Our planet is changing. Whether you believe climate change is a hoax (for all those conspiracy theorists) or you believe climate change is real. Doesn’t matter whether it’s true or false, inside your squiggly brain you still have to look at the data, charts, lists and videos. They are all pointing out significant and drastic changes. Many animals are dying off at alarming rates. And our air and water is not like it used to be. It’s contaminated more than ever. Just look at China’s air quality index rate. HAZARDOUS.

Which means, we have a lot of work to do. Life is earth’s immune system. Let’s work together to make her healthy and full of life. Here are some easy and fun ways to help minimize your consumptions, use less and lower your carbon emissions.

Shut off those dang lights

Day and night, be mindful on how much artificial light you use. In the day, try not to use any artificial light unless you have to, especially on sunny days. Sure there are exceptions but just don’t be wasteful, especially with artificial light. If there are windows, use the natural light instead. And at night, don’t over-illuminate. If major office buildings and city infrastructure would just turn off half of their day and night artificial lighting, we could save hundreds of thousands kilowatts of electricity.  According to a Boston University study, if all the students at the University turned off one light, for one hour a day, for one year, they could save 733,475 kWh per year, the equivalent of removing 97 cars (or 1,161,000 pounds of CO2) from the road for an entire year.

There’s so much over-illumination at night it should be illegal. Being energy responsible by regulating light design and use is vital for national infrastructure, energy conservation and dark sky conservation.

Reusable bags 

If you’re not using reusable bags for your groceries, you need to start now. It takes years to get the beat of the drum in remembering your bags, which is the hardest part, but once you get into the swing of it, you’ll feel really good about yourself. And as you grow with your reusable bags you’ll be more included to ditch the plastic or paper bag in general when shopping around other stores.

Compost

Do not throw away your organic material! Unless you trust your waste management service to do well with them. Otherwise, work on a system to separate the biodegradable trash into either a composting bin or just bury them outside. With your fruits and veggies scraps, you can even plant them in your garden and watch them grow.

Grow your own food

We need food, we can’t live without it. Our ancestors grew most of their own food. The first grocery store has been said to have opened in the very early 1900’s. That’s evidence enough that we can source our own food. Today, the majority of the population doesn’t even know what to do when they see an orange growing from their tree. As a society we have been programmed for decades to buy from the grocery store or restaurant. Growing your own food takes a long time to get the hang of but as you practice each year, you will be blessed with more experience and bounty. If you have the space and the land, try to reach a goal to be more dependent on growing your own. With advanced permaculture, there’s ways to grow fruit baring plants that coincide well with native plant life.

Watch your consumption

Americans are consumers, in fact, human are heterotrophs, which means we consume just in our most raw and natural state. But today, we are dependent on the supply of most of our goods and services from corporations rather than the actual land. And what these many of these corporations are doing is not all that ethical. Our culture has changed since the Golden Age (1950s) when handcrafted and homemade items were made with craftsmanship. Now, if we need something, we just go to a store and buy it. Watch what you buy. There’s a lot to choose from in the market so be sure to really look into the things you need versus the things you want.

Use your products until the end

The media advertises to us in every medium they can find. The temptations are endless, heck we even buy junk out of pity for the sales person. But in our modern times, products are not always built to last. They are built to satisfy a short lived moment. I can’t tell you how many times I have bought something on impulse and it only lasted for a very short period of time. Purchase items that are built to last and then keep and use them until they can’t be used anymore. It’s ok, sport that iPhone 4, until it can’t sport anymore. Vintage can be cool. This will encourage manufacturers to produce products that last versus pump out designs to satisfy the new wave culture.

Board the renewable train 

We can’t keep doing the same thing for another century. We need change. We need forward thinking. Renewables is the next best thing. We are in a very special and critical time that will shape the future. Research and support renewables, they are paramount in our efforts to live a fulfilled and sustained life. Be open to new ways of doing things and start giving them a whirl. Spend a little extra money on the biodegradable products. Start requesting fuel flex engines from your favorite car manufacturer. Whatever you do, just make the effort to choose the best products and practices that benefit people, animals and the planet.

Final thought

Many people are fortunate to transition to a simple life easier than others. But all it takes is awareness, be in the know and make whatever changes you can. Stay in tune with the world around you and the science behind it. It’s our duty as responsible adults to lead to a better way for our younger generations, the land, the water and all the animals we share it with.

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