Global warming is one of humanity’s most pressing issues. As such, it’s not something a single person can solve alone. However, by making small changes, everyone can play their part to give the earth the brightest possible future.
The great news is that it’s easier than you might think to live a more sustainable lifestyle. From using efficient HVAC equipment to buying from sustainable brands, here are five ways you can help fight global warming.
1. Switch to a More Efficient HVAC System
Traditional HVAC systems aren’t very environmentally friendly. They use copious amounts of energy to moderate the temperature in your entire house — even the rooms you rarely use. If you’re serious about helping the planet, you may wish to start by switching to a more efficient HVAC setup. According to HVACDirect.com, a mini split system can reduce energy waste by helping you heat and cool only the rooms you’re currently using.
Unlike traditional AC units, multi-zone mini splits are ductless. That fact automatically makes them more efficient, as EnergyStar found that the typical home loses approximately 20% of its conditioned air through ductwork leaks and gaps (more info here). These systems offer many benefits to the climate-conscious homeowner. They’re easy to install, require minimal maintenance, and result in lower energy bills each month. Plus, they make it easy to heat or cool individual zones of your home to the temperature you want.
2. Reduce Food Waste
Do you toss leftovers or buy more groceries than you and your family can eat before they go bad? If so, you’re not doing yourself or the environment any favors. Luckily, it’s easy to make small changes to reduce food waste in your home. To begin with, never go to the grocery store without a list. That way you’ll be more likely to purchase only the things your family needs for the coming week.
Using your freezer is another great way to reduce food waste. Meat products, leftovers, and certain fruits or veggies freeze very well. If you can’t consume any of these food items before they spoil, put them in the freezer. Make note of the date you placed them there with a sticker or marker. When you’re ready to eat them, put them in the refrigerator to thaw for a few hours first.
3. Power Your Home With Renewable Energy
These days, it’s surprisingly easy to find renewable energy options for your home. Renewable energy is generated from naturally replenished sources. Examples include wind, sun, water, and biomass. Choosing renewable energy can make your home more sustainable and reduce your carbon footprint. It can also make your monthly energy costs much more manageable.
Solar power is one of the more popular renewable energy options for homes across the nation, but it’s not the only one. Small wind turbines designed for residential use can also generate electricity in a clean, renewable way. If you have flowing water on your property, a micro hydropower system could be a viable option. Depending on where you live and the climate in your area, one source of renewable energy might be a better fit than another. But even if you can’t generate your own, many utility companies allow customers to purchase renewable energy from them.
4. Drive Less
The average American drives over 13,000 miles per year, which translates to more than 1,000 miles every month, according to the FHWA. That’s a lot of driving! Unfortunately, carbon pollution from gas-powered vehicles is a huge factor when it comes to global warming. Car exhaust is not only harmful to the environment, but it is also harmful for humans to breathe. Driving less is a great way to join the fight against global warming.
Walking or riding a bike around town helps you stay fit while contributing less to environmental pollution. You may also consider carpooling to work or school with others to reduce your carbon footprint. Finally, many cities offer public transportation to help you get where you need to go without driving your own vehicle. Public transportation is a smart, affordable, and effective solution to reduce carbon pollution.
5. Buy From Sustainable Brands
Buying sustainable products is important if you’re serious about curbing earth’s greenhouse gas problem. Fortunately, business owners are quickly learning that customers are less likely to purchase from environmentally irresponsible brands. To remain competitive, many of these businesses are taking action to reduce their carbon footprints and adopt more sustainable practices.
Not all commercially available products are developed with the environment in mind. That’s why it’s important to look for brands that are committed to developing sustainable products. Be careful of “greenwashing,” which is the marketing practice of using vague language and misleading statistics to claim sustainability. Instead of falling for these clever marketing traps, look for packaging that clearly indicates a product’s biodegradability and/or recyclability. Sustainable brands are often accredited by official standards bodies such as the Forest Stewardship Council, Green Seal, or ECOCERT.
Humanity only gets one earth. To ensure it’s still here for future generations, change must happen on a global and individual level. While fighting global warming may seem like an overwhelming concept, the battle is won by taking small steps forward. If you want to make a difference, begin by making the five changes outlined above. Once you have, encourage those around you to do the same.
Last Updated: June 20, 2023