Combatting climate change in daily lives


Taylor Viloria, Business Manager

In the past few decades, more and more studies have come out showing the bleak future that awaits. Climate change, ignored for centuries, is finally coming out into the light and has the potential to have major effects on the weather, the global economy and refugee crises. While more of these reports come rolling off the press, it is important to remember that everyone can do something about climate change and that all we have to do is take initiative. In the recent United Nations report detailing the effects that climate change may have, there were plans as to what humanity has to do to keep the major consequences from spreading around the globe.

One of these ways is to transition to obtaining 85% of our energy from renewable sources such as water, wind and solar power. This goal is doable if we continue the steady progress of the renewable power industry. According to Greentech Media, in 2016 the number of solar panel installations doubled and has continued to increase. However, according to experts, this still is not good enough. The United States’ renewable energy rate is only at 17.4%, which means less than 20% of our energy comes from renewabe sources, and staggering amounts of fossil fuels are still being burned and their harmful biproducts released into the atmosphere. In comparison, it is estimated that the state of North Korea has a 75.7% renewable energy rate. We are slowly getting there but still need to work a little harder to get the world back on track.

What you can do is very simple: If you have not already, check if your house is in a good position for solar panels and research options for installation. The state of California has many companies that will install and give them to you for free or give you tax refunds for doing so.

Another way you can help the environment is to “green your commute.” This includes walking, biking, carpooling or using electric or hybrid vehicles— pretty much anything that does not include burning mass amounts of fossil fuels into the atmosphere. When you green your commute, you are not only making the Earth happier and healthier, but you also serve as an example to your peers and fellow citizens for how they can make their commutes more eco-friendly.

Additionally, a great way to save energy is to use a power cord instead of many different plugs. Believe it or not, a power cord saves energy because if it has an on or off button, it will turn off the electricity to the cords attached to it, which means you don’t have to go all around the house looking for and taking cords out of the walls. Also, when you are out buying home appliances, look for the Energy Star label. This label means the appliance is energy efficient and will not use as much energy as regular appliances.

Finally, and most importantly, you can use energy wisely. Many of us leave lights on in our rooms and house when we leave for school or go somewhere else during the day. This is very bad, mainly for the environment, but also for you because the light bulbs will burn out quicker and you’ll have to replace them more often. Another way to save energy is to only run your washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. when they are full. This lets you use less energy but also get the task done more efficiently because you are not splitting it up into different loads.  

In the end, the world may be on a downward slope, but there is more that everyone can do, little by little, to combat climate change. Climate change is one of the biggest things to happen to the Earth since the Ice Age and it could cause massive damage to the ecosystem, trigger more refugee crises throughout the world due to rising temperatures, melt even more of the polar ice caps and much more. We have to do something to ensure that the future of our home is safe and protected. If we don’t do anything while we can, future generations will suffer due to our ignorance and our lack of effort to stop climate change. In reality, global warming exists, and we need to do something about it now more than ever. In Washington D.C. right now, many politicians are trying to address climate change and work with the public to solve it. Our country is the second biggest carbon emittor in the world, just behind China. We make up 15% of the world’s carbon pollution, and it is up to us to do something — anything —  to stop climate change, and believe science, not Tweets.