Climate change : What we can do.

Ice melting in the Polar. Photo: Google images.
Ice melting in the Polar. Photo: Google images.

We have all heard this terms climate change, global warming and green house gases. Each and every single day we watch on the news and read on papers about climate change and its adverse effects. Just the other day most Kenyans in Nairobi slept on the roads, not because they wanted, but because of flooded roads.

A few weeks later the weather man warns of a looming El Nino season. The weather patterns have changed and It is the poorer nations that are suffering the most. All this is largely due to climate change. Some causes of climate change are natural, but it’s mainly the destructive human behaviours such as creating green house gases and cutting down of trees that greatly result to climate change. The question is what we can do to reduce climate change? Well it all starts with you and me changing our everyday habits because small progressive changes make all the difference! Here is what you and I can do to reduce climate change.

Practice green driving

Avoid driving during peak hours. Take a look at our roads during peak hours when there is congestion of motor vehicles. Carbon emission is at its peak during these hours because of the constant stopping and starting. Try going to work early before traffic builds or later after traffic. In the evenings stay late in the office or meet that long unseen friend for coffee!

Always ensure that your tyres are properly inflated. Did you know that low tyre pressure increases the rolling resistance of your vehicle leading to increased fuel consumption which ultimately leads to increased fuel consumption which translates to high carbon emissions released into the environment? Always ensure your vehicle’s tyre is properly inflated as per the recommended pressure.

These are just but a few of the tips that can help conserve energy while on the road. There are however many more ways to conserve energy like using an alternative form of transport.

Plant a Tree

The words planting trees and the name Wangari Maathai are synonymous. 25th September of every year is Wangari Maathai day, a day to celebrate the late professor, Nobel Laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement who devoted her life to planting trees and said, “ When we plant trees we plant the seeds of peace and hope.” She knew that the best technology to fighting climate change and one already known to mankind is trees. It doesn’t matter where you plant trees, around your home or property, in urban areas or natural forests they still help in the fight against global warming.

School children matching on 25th September 2015,Wangari Maathai's day. Photo: Green Belt Movement.
School children matching on 25th September 2015,Wangari Maathai’s day. Photo: Green Belt Movement.

Carbon dioxide is the number one green house gas found in our environment. To reduce global warming we can either reduce carbon dioxide emissions or absorb excess carbon dioxide from the air. The latter is easier by help of planting and caring of trees. Trees absorb the carbon dioxide in a process called photosynthesis and emit pure oxygen. Let’s make planting trees be our small little thing. Don’t wait for someone else to do it and as the  Chinese proverb says, ” The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is today.”

Clear that plate.

Did you clear your plate today? It’s very ironically that as much as famine still remains a serious issue in the world today, food wastage is also another problem in both the developed and developing countries. In Kenya for example, it is common especially in restaurants to see leftovers returned back to the kitchen and some plates even still intact. The customer leftovers alone could feed a staggering 200 million people a year. The institution of Mechanical Engineers recently published a report that estimated 30%-50% of annual global food production is wasted.

So how does this affect the environment? Water is the main and most important natural resource used in food production. The large amounts of food wasted imply wastage of other natural resources used. It is estimated that a whooping 500 billion m3 of water is wasted globally to grow crops that never get consumed. Food waste thrown in landfills contributes immensely to green house gases during their fermentation process. That small behaviour change can make all the difference. To avoid food wastage:

  • Don’t pile up perishable food at home.
  • When dinning out order what you can finish.
  • For the farmers, manufactures, wholesalers and retailers, you also bear the responsibility to minimize food wastage. It is humane to donate to the less fortunate than to let it go bad, non?

Next time you go dining out, clear that plate, the future depends on it!

The time to act is now!Let’s step up our fight against climate change and make the world a better place for the coming generations.What other ways do you think can help reduce green house gas emissions? Please share on the comments below.

Hi! I am Brenda Rombo, a mechanical engineer, a writer and a dreamer but you can call me Bee. In 2014 I started a platform to discuss the various issues and emerging technologies in Engineering. During my years both as a student and an engineer I have always been fascinated with new and emerging technologies and diversity and inclusion.

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