The recent floods across the country have shown just how deadly climate change has become. Although Pakistan has proven its commitment against climate change, and recently met its target a decade before the UN’s deadline, there is still plenty of room for improvement, especially on the civilian end.
Here are just 5 very easy ways you can play a role in fighting climate change.
This is actually really easy as well as convenient. While going grocery shopping or buying clothes or really buying anything, instead of getting a plastic bag from each of them, you can just carry one or two reusable bags that you already got from your last shopping spree. Then, when you go home, empty them and reuse them again.
Every plastic bag you use may end up being thrown into the ocean and suffocating an unfortunate sea creature to death. Therefore, with every plastic bag you avoid using, you may just be saving the life of an animal. Alongside that, of course, you also significantly decrease your carbon footprint the more you do this.
When buying, say as the above example shows, Milo, you can either buy the tin or you can buy single use plastic packets. Similarly, when buying a cold drink, you can either buy multiple small containers or just one big container. There are, of course, circumstances when buying small containers or packets is necessary – no one’s asking you to be perfect – but trying to buy in bulk will have a marked difference against climate change.
Small packets add up very rapidly and before you realize, you’ve filled an entire dustbin with nothing but plastic. On the other hand, one large container – although naturally still not ideal – is significantly better and helps you reduce your carbon footprint considerably.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Electrical generation leads to massive emissions and these can be minimized only by the conservation of electricity. But there are more ways about it than believed.
Yes, of course, avoid using lights unnecessarily and use the least amount required. But, equally importantly, unplugging devices that are not being charged and turning off switches that aren’t being used are incredibly simple things everyone can do to save electricity – plus, this will lower your electricity bill as well.
Consumption of meat, especially beef, is one of the leading causes of climate change. This is because of large-scale deforestation that occurs in order to make sufficient space for farm animals. Moreover, cows, in particular, produce very large amounts of methane, an incredibly dangerous greenhouse gas, while digesting their foods.
No one’s asking anyone to stop eating meat. It is a staple in many people’s diet, especially in Pakistan, and that’s okay. But, cutting down on consumption and opting for plant-based alternative sources of protein – such as nuts and beans – can go a long way in reducing climate change.
Perhaps the most important thing a civilian can do is raise their voice. The lion’s share of climate change comes not from consumers, but from large corporations and businesses. The only way language these industries understand is that of money. If enough civilians raise their voice against climate change, and make it clear that they will not support and purchase from businesses that are not operating in environmentally-friendly ways, then they will have no choice but to listen in order to protect their own interests.
Fortunately, there are an increasing number of platforms on which people can voice their opinions against environmentally-poor business choices. Protests around climate change are increasing in visibility and social media platforms provide a brilliant way to communicate to large businesses if a movement gets enough traction.