8 Ways to Prove Thanos Wrong
On October 7th, 2018, IPCC (UN-governed panel on climate change) came out with a report stating – “Staying at or below 1.5°C global warming requires slashing global greenhouse gas emissions to 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050.” (Pretty much what Thanos said in Infinity Wars).
In the Paris Accords of 1991, world leaders agreed upon solving the causes of global warming to a set margin by 2050. “Global warming of 1.5° C” was the title for the report by IPCC. By compiling 6000 publications, and working with 139 authors the findings of the study were further reviewed by 1000 scientists and experts. It is now proven that in order to achieve goals set in Paris, a complete reinvention of how we perceive energy is necessary.
With the IPCC report, global warming hit the news in full swing. Although small, but a growing number of people have started to show concern. The youngest of who is Greta Thunberg. Being the world’s youngest environmental activist, Greta stopped attending school. The protest began when she began occupying the steps of the Swedish Parliament to ensure government attention to climate change. Elders from all walk of life suggested Greta pursue a career in climatology and conservation -for which she needs to return to school. Greta poignantly stated, “What is the point of me becoming a scientist if people don’t listen to what they have to say?” A teenager had stated the most blatant reality of our world today. Bangladesh has seen a similar uprising by students for safer roads, in the future our children may have to follow Greta’s path.
As awareness increases, it’s only a matter of time people become more willing than ever before -to make changes in lifestyle. Everyone has to take responsibility like Greta in one form or another. Since the industrial revolution, an economy fueled by cheap oil is all we have known. The abundance of fossil fuels and water has fooled us enough to take these precious resources for granted. A lifestyle of constant consumption and regardless of disposal is the epitome of individual success in the 21st century. Changing your day to day habit and habits of the people around you is more effective than just sitting around for the corporations to make the changes by sheer good will. The effort these changes require can make living a more eco-friendly life seem near-on impossible.
You might have spent time thinking of adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Either not knowing where to begin or, thinking eco-friendly products will cost a fortune is usually where you might lose the train of thought. Let me just tell you that it’s actually not that hard if you can shift your mindset.
In reality, eco-friendly living is actually simpler. In the long run, you will actually save money, which can easily offset the few products which may cost more, and will often leave you with a smaller expense to bear. To live an eco-friendly life you first need to figure out your own choices that pose a threat to the environment. Acknowledgment is half the solution.
In the following sections we will, in no defined order -discuss problematic lifestyle choices, the impact they have on global warming. Also, the changes that can undo the damage or prevent it from happening altogether. You, the reader must choose suitable solutions according to your lifestyle and level of commitment.
1) Save on Plastic: Plastic is arguably the NO. 1 mode of harming the environment. You and your parent’s generation in just a lifetime have consumed through 9.2 billion tons of it. It’s evident that someone (everyone) did a tremendously poor job of disposing of it. Plastic dominates in every surface available, from marshes to icebergs to sandy beaches. It’s been found in places humans don’t even bother to look (but some did anyway). And the stuff doesn’t just vanish after you throw it away.
Each disposable bottle, cup, plate, toothbrush, razor, shopping bag you throw away will outlive you and probably your children too. If you want to live eco-friendly, cutting down on plastic is an effective means to start. How?
– Carry a bottle. Stop shaming people who do. Humans are cucumbers and need constant hydration. Keep a bottle of water. Save on money spent on bottled mineral water and the plastic you’d throw away right after use.
– Wooden toothbrush with detachable head and metal razors with reusable blades. Cheap brushes will only stay for a few months, while one time razors are only good for said number of time. A wooden toothbrush will stay with you for a decade. Metal razors stay for life.
– Degradable sanitary hygiene products. If you’re using a product made of Polythene and Superabsorbent polymers, it probably ends up in the nearest landfill and remains in the environment for nearly a millennia. Research your product. There are sanitary cups, wooden tampon dispensers. Whichever suits you can be a means for your eco-friendly life.
– Ceramic cups, mugs, and plates. Try to avoid using one time plates and cups. Bring your own cup to the office. Make your events “bring your own plate kind”. Or just rent some fancy cutlery if you have to. Being careful with it is all that matters.
– Stop using plastic bags. If you can carry the item yourself or fit it in a purse, then do not accept a plastic bag. Take reusable bags with you to the grocery store/market.
2) Save on electricity: Electricity production consumes roughly 50 percent of fossil fuels energy. In some countries, generation is not even equal to the demand. Even in Bangladesh where oil resource is absent power generation strictly depends on fossil fuels. The substances that occur in combustion gases when these fuels are burned include Carbon dioxide (CO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen oxides (NOx), Particulate matter (PM), and Heavy metals such as Mercury (Hg). Causing in the same order, greenhouse warming, lung irritation, acid rain, ozone depletion, lung cancer, and organ failure. Saving on electricity not only saves money but reduces these emissions and creates a clear impact on eco-friendly living.
– Turn down your water heater. A standard hot water heater setting is approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Taking that down to 120 degrees could save significantly on water heating costs.
– Open curtains. Utilize natural light coming into your home during the daytime. There’s no need to turn on all the lights in a room if you can see one another!
– If you can’t keep the lights off completely, consider installing dimmer switches to avoid wasting energy. They’re eco-friendly and will help to lower your electricity bill too.
– When current bulbs burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs. These cost more up front, but they’ll save you money on bills. LED bulbs reduce energy use, and they last significantly longer than conventional light bulbs.
– Keep an eye on your air cooler. Try to set it a little bit higher in the summer and a few degrees cooler in the winter, especially during the hours of the day when you are not at home.
– Efficient appliances. Look for ones that are energy-efficient. Those with an Energy Star label will use substantially less energy and save you money.
3) Reducing Technology: Technology impacts the environment with uncounted tentacles. Enhanced technology and speed in automobiles, allows you to travel more and also sometimes unnecessarily. By this, we contribute to air pollution directly. World tours and long drives are some examples. It wasn’t a problem in the past but that’s not the case anymore. We are addicted to television, smartphones and other gadgets. So we always need electric energy to make them work non-stop.
– Unplug your PC. Leaving your PC on sleep is just normal now. Leaving it plugged in isn’t really a smart choice to make. Shut it down and unplug. Try to reduce the time spent on tormenting too. Same thing for your PlayStation and Xbox.
– Leave your smartphone far from your bed before sleep. Reducing scroll time saves energy. Giving you more time to think and relax.
– Borrow books. Buying new paperback books is just as harmful to the environment as screen time on pdf’s is for your eyes. Hit the library. Study there. Save the energy you’d spend on your cooling and light at home.
4) Plant trees: Deforestation is not just another paragraph you learn and then forget. It’s a real problem with undeniable consequences. Sad as it is, our actions don’t reflect how much we need forests. The Earth loses 18.7 million acres of forests per year. That’s 27 soccer fields worth of green habitat every minute according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). An estimate of 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come directly from deforestation. The government tries to counter this with tree plantation programs. We all know how much it truly makes up for.
– Reduce paper use. Try to buy the recycled paper as much as you can (Newspapers/ magazines). When you need to print, use wider margins and a smaller font so that you can get as much printed on a single sheet of paper as possible. Use scrap paper before taking out a new sheet to write on.
– Stop using wood in furnishing and interior. There are novel alternatives to wood for these purposes. Laminate sheets (exclude fiberglass), Plywood, Aluminum are all viable alternatives.
– Plant trees to celebrate. Bring the flowerpots back. Festivities are celebrated all year. Planting a tree to celebrate (Birthdays, Anniversaries, religious or national occasions) is the healthiest way of giving back to the planet. Don’t wait around for government action. You can counter deforestation through your moments of joy.
– Spend a special day at the park instead of a theatre or stadium. Parks and sanctuaries are just as important as forests. Using parks ensures the land will be preserved for natural beauty.
5) Eco-friendly design: There are experts and professionals who dedicate their career to eco-friendly infrastructures and systems. It is only a matter of you searching out the solutions you need to make your work/living place environment conscious. The design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product
– Install power off keys. Attach a key switch that starts up your home. When you leave you just take keys with you. No need to go and turn off each appliance. One key to rule them all.
– Edible six-pack rings. If the fish eat it they won’t get stuck in them. Reduces tons of pollution with just a minor change.
– Degradable lunch boxes. Boxes made of wheat straw fiber go back to nature when you are done using it. They can be ordered online under the name Edo-box. Carry lunch with you and save the money spent on greasy fast food.
– Environmentally healthy accessories. Alternative leather from pineapples and wood fiber runners are the new way of dressing eco-friendly.
– Trash sorting helps to recycle. Get two bins for recyclable and organic waste.
6) Reduce consumption: The industrial revolution gave birth to a lifestyle obsessed with upgrades and ease of access. The other thing it created was an endless need for consumption. You and I both work on a reward system in our heads. We buy expensive commodities that marginally better our standards of living. But usually, the upgrade is just not worth the bargain. We waste absolutely everything. Food, devices, energy – if you can name it we waste it.
– Repairs. Don’t throw away everything that breaks down. Most things today can still be repaired or refurbished for extended use.
– Hand it down. If you think you’re tired of using something or just want an upgrade don’t throw it away. Anything functional can be repurposed or reused as second hand for quite some time.
– Don’t buy if you don’t need. This can be tricky sometimes. Try to distinguish your wants from needs. Be aware of the impact of your wants. Try to be modest in your expenditure. Don’t just upgrade things to look cool.
– Give functionality utmost priority. Don’t just buy stuff out of impulse. Try to put every penny you earn to good use – that not only helps your wallet but the environment as well.
– Stop hoarding goods. You don’t need to keep your old phone, oven, TV, pc or anything if you bought a new one. Save on living space. Share the extended service life of your appliances with others.
7) Save Water: You might think keeping the tap off and drinking less water is going to help the earth’s fresh water crisis. Trust me it’s not enough. We just don’t see the real amount of water we use. The world average is 3400 liters per person per day. Most of it is taken up into manufacturing products we consume. Your choice of dietary, clothing and aesthetic commodities has a huge impact on your water consumption. A pound of Coffee, Beef, Leather, and Cotton need around, 2500, 1850, 2100 and 1900 gallons of water to get to your home.
– Check the water used in your products. Try using products that use water responsibly.
– Eat less meat. Try to serve a few meatless meals. A healthier diet for both you and the planet.
– Drink Tea. Don’t obsess over coffee. Tea is a healthier option anyway.
– Avoid leather and cotton. These two are the most water-hungry industries out there.
– Stop polluting fresh water. Probably the most uncool thing to do.
– Fix that leak. Don’t wait for the landlord or municipal workers.
– Wash the clothes in bulk. Use eco-friendly detergents.
– Get an efficient dishwasher. Buy utensils that reduce water use while cleaning.
8) Save fuel: Fossil fuels are depleting at such a pace that you probably will see some regions in a severe crisis in your lifetime. While hoping it’s not your own hometown –try saving it as much as you can.
– Walk. Stay fit. Ease the carbon footprint of your daily commute to your cubicle. If possible get a cycle.
– Share a ride. Ride-sharing not only saves your money but also reduces pollution from transport.
– Avoid flying. Planes release a ton of CO2 on an average trip.
– Buy local. Reduces the transport cost and fuel on your daily necessities.
– Reduce car use. Switch to hybrids or other alternatives if possible. Try to use buses and metros more.
Eco-friendly living isn’t just a lifestyle choice. It’s a mindset. If each person can bring change on an individual level –our communal behaviors will follow suit inevitably. Perhaps then we can blame it completely on industries. You can only point a finger at them when your own choices reflect awareness. Don’t be mindless cogs in a system of perpetual growth. Your actions can prevent the future Thanos foresaw of humankind. Change so the earth doesn’t need superheroes. IT’s just the only home we have ever known at stake.