Perhaps Greta Thunberg said it best: “Nor does hardly anyone ever mention that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, with about 200 species going extinct every single day.”
It’s no secret that our planet needs help, and needs it now. The ballooning CO2 levels, the warming temperatures, the rising ocean levels, the incidence of more natural disasters, and more symptoms of climate change threaten our very existence. The Climate and Clean Air Coalition, or CCA Coalition, tells us that “delayed efforts to mitigate either carbon dioxide or short-lived climate pollutant emissions will have negative, and potentially irreversible, consequences for global warming, rising sea levels, agricultural yields, and public health.”
But there is good news. Since climate pollutants have a relatively small lifespan in the atmosphere (a few days to a few decades), reduction efforts can actually be very efficient. With a large and immediate concerted effort, we could cut black carbon emissions by 75% and methane emissions by 25% - and eradicate hydrofluorocarbons – all in the span of the next 25 years. We have the technology. And right now we still have the time.
What Would This Do?
- Save 2.4 million people each year from premature deaths by outdoor air pollution by 2030.
- Slow the increase in near-term global warming by as much as 0.6°C by 2050.
- Reduce 52 million metric tons of crop losses a year.
Source: CCA Coalition
“A global effort to reduce both near- and long-term climate change, starting now, can rapidly bend the global warming curve and keep warming below 2°C,” the CCA Coalition tells us.
The UN concurs. “We can definitely address climate change, but we have to vastly increase our efforts. The world must transform its energy, industry, transport, food, agriculture, and forestry systems to ensure that we can limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees, maybe even 1.5. We also need to anticipate, adapt, and become resilient to the current and future impacts of climate change.”
By adopting the Paris Agreement in December 2015, much of the world joined to take action now to address climate change. Smaller governments and companies around the world are also stepping up and committing to reducing their emissions through the Climate Action Agenda, which brings governments, businesses, and the community together to address climate change.
There IS good news. Before you get overwhelmed by all of the scary news and feel paralyzed by the enormity of it all, take a deep breath. People are working to reverse climate change every day. And there IS something that you, your friends, and your family can do every day to make real differences.
The important thing is that you DO something.
Here are some achievable actions you can do right now:
- Turn off the lights you’re not using.
- Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 or 80 degrees in the summer, per EPA recommendations.
- Put all plugs into power strips and turn them off when not in use.
- Write to your representatives in support of planet friendly initiatives, including, but not limited to, the Paris Agreement.
- Air dry or make sure the dryer, washer, and dishwasher are full when you run them.
- Consider switching to more plant based foods.
- Watch your shower length – and turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth! This can save 200 gallons of water a month!
- Buy packaging with minimal waste and sustainable materials.
- Use refillable bottles for coffee and other beverages.
- Shop local.
- Donate what you’re not using.
- Use reusable bags, straws, cloth napkins, etc. The choices are endless!
- Share these ideas with others!
By taking action now, every step will help. See these posts for more ideas. You can start right now by ordering a sample of Double A Paper. Our paper is made with a fully sustainable production process and allows farmers in Thailand to supplement their income. Heal the planet and help these farmers by trying our paper today!