Going green is a big trend nowadays. The truth is that everything single thing we do every day has an impact on the planet — good or bad. The good news is that as an individual you have the power to control most of your choices.
Eat real food
Eat seasonal, local, organic foods. This way we can enjoy fresher, tastier foods and improve our personal health. Organic milk has 68% more beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk. Making green food choices also has global consequences. Buying local reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and reduce packaging and energy used for processing.
Better transportation, better global climate
Anytime you choose to walk, ride a bike, or try public transportation, you reduce the carbon dioxide and particulate emissions created by your own vehicle. You help combat global warming. Choosing greener options such as a train over air travel for long-distance trips can also greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
Utilize the recycle bin near your neighbourhood. Reducing the amount of stuff we consume is important; finding a practical use for waste materials is the second. Remember, nothing is ever really thrown “away” – it all has to go somewhere. By recycling and reusing, we reduce the amount of waste that occupies in landfills (where trash takes years of time to degrade.). Recycling materials also reduce the use of new materials for making new products.
Smart clothing choice
Making clothing needs a large amount of materials, energy, and labour. By choosing eco-friendly clothing (let’s say the organic one), you also choose a better product that gives less burden to our land. Also use cold water in the washing machine and eco-friendly detergents can all reduce the environmental impact. Secondhand clothes can also save the energy and your pocket.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now starting to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from airplane engines, one more anti-pollution action after ground transportation and power plants. The EPA wants to derive authority from the Clean Air Act to control “air pollution that causes climate change and endangers public health and welfare,” but it is not a new rule alone. It is seeking help from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is quite disturbing because this organization is more or less run by the airline industry.
The transportation industry always complains at the beginning when there are new rules, claiming that they are cost too high. But after a while, we see more innovations than was present before. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids probably wouldn’t be developing at this rate if fuel economy standards weren’t on a fairly steep ramp over the coming years, and if emission regulations weren’t being tightened.
Right now, planes represent about 11% of emissions from the U.S. transportation sectors, but the industry is expected to continue growing. And while there’s a clear path for ground transportation to decarbonize, things are more difficult for planes, so it’s best to get regulated right now. One possible destination for the industry would be much more efficient planes that are powered by truly carbon-neutral advanced biofuels.
Summer is coming soon. Many of us are ready for a little fire cooking. You may consider what fuel to grill: gas or charcoal? The question is not simply which produces a tastier burger, but which is better for the planet? If you want to do it in the greenest way, the step 1 is to choose the greenest fuel.
The straight part of the issue is that the briquettes emit more carbon dioxide when they’re burned. So if you’re only concerned with the carbon dioxide that comes out from your grill, then gas is the easy choice.
But let’s step back. Consider the whole production cycle. There are certain types of charcoal deserve to be the greener cooking fuel. The trick behind is to select the charcoal that’s been produced with sustainability. Gas emits less carbon dioxide, but is made from non-renewable fossil fuels. While charcoal sounds dirtier at the first glance, but can come from renewable resources such as trees, so it is actually carbon neutral in the end. Gas, on the other hand, can’t be replenished – or at least not for the millions of years.
On top of that, briquettes are made primarily from plant waste, which would otherwise be thrown away. So, it’s not as if we’re cutting down trees just to make briquettes – they are, instead, smart and green products!
OK. It’s time to prepare the barbecue. I will grill the best not only for my stomach, but also for the Earth. How about you?