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Climate change is real; it is happening, and everyone can do something about it.

I began to resist a growing consumer culture and decided to make conscious and intentional eco-friendly choices for myself and my family many years ago when I first began to hear about ozone layer damage and global warming – and how the damage to our planet was going beyond natural greenhouse effects.

Many people wanted to make a difference as more information was being shared in the 1990’s, however the importance has seemed to be lost over the years in misunderstandings, government and political denial and inconvenience.

Today, I wanted to share why making these types of choices is important to your health and your family’s health too – and what you can do now.

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When I was growing up, our household bins were half the size of one wheelie bin now, we never bought fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic, we mended clothes or handed them down, rather than throw them out and buy new ones.

When I was growing up, Mum and Dad didn’t get takeaway coffee on the way to work every morning, and takeaway or fast food of any sort was a luxury.

When I was growing up, we visited more parks with trees and grass, and less parks with artificial ground covers and rides.

When I was growing up, tropical heat rarely affected Brisbane, and storms, floods and bushfires were not a frequent annual occurrences.

So much has changed since I was growing up.

Because of the changes I have seen and experienced over the last few decades, because I feel that I am responsible for the world my three children grow up in, and because I want my grandchildren to experience clean air, trees, good health, fresh food choices and a beautiful planet, I have decided to take action towards reducing my footprint as much as I can.

CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology predicted in 2015, that temperatures in Australia could rise by 5 degrees by 2090 – well over the rate of global warming experienced by the rest of the world. There will be more sweltering summers, more droughts, more extreme rainfall and less snow.

The time is now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to head off the worst of climate change for Australia.

Everyone can turn the tide – so to speak! We must mitigate and adapt. Mitigation encourages you to reduce your consumption of energy.  Adaption is crucial, as some climate change outcomes are already happening and here to stay, so we must look after the health of ourselves and our animal population in the wake of these environmental impacts.

Climate change is a global issue, and that’s big! Yet, I believe that all individual and community efforts add up and solutions do exist.

So, here are some simple things you might want to start doing today to help our planet and leave a better world for our children’s children.

  • Stop using plastic bags and switch to cloth shopping bags. Australians use between four and six billion plastic bags annually.
  • Ban the plastic bag | sign petition
  • Use energy-saving light bulbs. Typically these use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs, saving you money and they last 3-25 times longer.
  • Reduce purchasing products with unnecessary packaging. Packaging takes a lot of energy, water and other natural resources to produce.
  • Don’t buy bottled water – refill your water bottles. Plastic water bottles take up to 1000 years to break down!
  • Ever considered meat-free Monday? Mass meat production is one of the main contributors to carbon dioxide emissions which, in turn, are the main cause of the climate change.
  • Talk to people about it. Tell them what you are doing and why. Inspire your children and community to make climate and environmental friendly choices.

I know we can collectively make a difference.

What will you do differently? Share with us in the comments.

 

  • I try to do as much as I can to help the environment, if only more people would too…. I’m hoping every little bit helps!

    Reply

  • I buy bottled water if I am out longer than anticipated and drunk all I took with me. Some bottles aren’t good quality and split after only a few uses.
    As a child we had school uniforms. It reduced the amount of different clothes we needed. We often had hand-me-down clothes if any were available, and passed them to somebody else afterwards. Some of our clothes were home made – cheaper and better quality that what they were able to buy. One average we had one or two new outfits a year, often as part of a birthday or Christmas present. Prior to the introduction of fabric shopping bags I made some from leftover material from making clothes. When it was plastic bags we re-used them until eventually they split. Then they became rubbish bags which reduced the amount of rubbish blown around when the bin was emptied when it was eventually full.

    Reply

  • It saddens me that a lot of the older generation seem to think this is not happening! We need to remember we are creating our children’s future world. We do a lot of this but we can do better as a family. I’m going to make it more of a priority in our household.

    Reply

  • Trying to grow some herbs and vegetables helps too. I’d love to have a big garden to plant some fruit trees. :-)


    • Some fruit tree types do well in large pots – have seen some magnificent potted ones.

    Reply

  • We do everything we can in our household – we need to get big business, employers & governments on board to make a global difference.

    Reply

  • I practice most of these points.
    I use cloth shopping bags and use the plastic bags that do incidentally come into our house for our kitchen bin (I deliberately bought a smaller size because of this).
    We use lots of hand me downs and second hand clothing and I mend clothing that needs repaired.
    I try to use natural cleaning products and use soap nuts to do the laundry. Soap nuts also can be used for hair and body and are great for those with sensitive skin and eczema.
    I drive my kids to school, but they walk back, reducing the use of the car and healthy for them to be outside.

    Reply

  • I do most of these things already, but I know my family can do better. My hubby and son frustrate me and it is my mission to have them become more climate-friendly.

    Reply

  • Absolutely. I already do most of those things. I always use my own shopping bags at the supermarket, I don’t buy bottled water, I don’t drive, we eat meat no more than 3 days a week, I compost, recycle as much as possible, installed solar panels.. Everybody can do something to help our environment.

    Reply

  • We do most of these things already.

    Reply

  • If you’re buying bananas they don’t need to go in a plastic bag! You don’t eat the skin. They have their own packaging.

    Reply

  • I do most of the tips listed in the article, but I feel that it is really up to large corporations and industry to make the more significant changes. Dumping industrial waste into rivers, for example, is something that causes so much damage to the environment.

    Reply

  • I do alot of the things listed to help,thanks for the article.

    Reply

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