8 Ways to Calm Down About Impending Climate Change

second year kyra posey

photo by kelsey dabrowski

photo by kelsey dabrowski

RIGHT NOW, the global temperature is 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels. By continuing at present levels of human activity, we will raise the global temperature by 1.5 degrees in our lifetime. If we surpass that by even half of a degree, a significant rise of droughts, floods, and extreme heat will affect nations worldwide. To keep the temperature from rising this rapidly, world governments have to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. TL;DR: we’re screwed!

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the numbers, and we can’t rely on our government to change by such a drastic amount. The Chapel Bell is here to help: we know that you’re busy, so here’s a comprehensive list of things you can do to reduce our carbon footprint.

8. Join a co-op / buy local

By buying from Athens Daily Food co-op and the Athens Farmers Market (when they’re in season), you don’t support the miles travelled to sell inter-state and international produce at major grocery stores. Not only does shopping locally help out the environment, it also helps support the local economy, which is a double win.

7. Buy in bulk

Using large quantities of an item in one container aid in reducing plastic waste, and bulk sections of grocery stores have hella options. Buying for more than just one week will reduce trips to the grocery store, ultimately reducing your weekly carbon footprint and saving gas expenses!

6. Bike or walk to class, or between daily activities

If you come to campus in the morning and park at Tate, then later have a class in ECV, consider walking or riding a bike! If possible, even bike to campus.

5. Ditch the meat, or at least the beef

This is the most important thing on this list that you can do for climate change. 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, forestry, and land use: all things that are used to raise livestock! The best move, of course, would be to become vegan; however, a more realistic approach for most students is to become vegetarian (no to meat but yes to dairy). Or take baby steps with a Mediterranean diet (chicken and fish twice a week, beef once a month). This will also reduce the strain on your wallet!

4. Vote

Change starts locally, and local elections are often where your vote has the most weight. By electing environmentally-minded officials, you can decide how our state and country will combat climate change. Your vote is your voice!

3. Recycle

Keeping a recycling bin at your home is an easy step that you can take, and it is minimal effort: all you need to do is grab any large container and throw your plastic and paper away! If your garbage collecting companies don’t provide an option to recycle, check to see if there’s a recycling plant nearby!

2. Be energy-minded

This starts with turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Unplug cords when you aren’t using them. Consider air-drying certain fabrics too, since dryers are energy sinks. The little things often add up to a bigger picture, and this will also save you money!

1. Do your own research

If you desire to make a difference and want to begin taking steps toward a greener lifestyle, look them up: there are no better resources than those online. You and I have everything we need at our fingertips, and reducing environmental and monetary costs starts with us.