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Stay with Greta Thunberg – A Climate Change Warrior

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Image – www.businessinsider.com

The Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, born in 2003 has become a huge force in the fight against climate change in a short period of time. She first drew the attention of the world in 2018 when she initiated the School Strike for climate movement demanding for the Swedish government to reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, an international pact to slow down climate change. When Greta spent days outside the Riksdag, where Sweden’s government meets, attention to her plight escalated. Greta went viral for an impactful TEDx Talk in in 2018, propelling her to international applause. With the support of other environmental activists her protest grew rapidly from just in Sweden to participating in protests all over Europe.

Ever Since, Greta has been seen as the voice of her generation against climate change, the one who stands to be negatively impacted most. In her speeches, Greta showed the anger of her generation at politicians and governments that actively block measures to slow down the problem and work against activists. Greta’s speeches often go viral, with a flurry of impactful quotes showing how serious the situation is.  Greta got the highest attention to among many other prominent activists, especially at a UN Climate Action Summit in New York City in 2019, that she accused openly: “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”

As a young activist, her enormous efforts, sacrifices and commitment to protecting the environment are an example to the world. While many of the responsible citizens, we all in the world, keeping quiet, the young Greta shows the way to act. The question is, can all others be part of her fight to protect the environment and minimize the impact of climate change?  Or, isn’t it all, others responsibility to protect the environment and hand it over to the next generations?  What all others; rich and poor, young and old, male and female, can do to mitigate climate change impacts in the world or to be supported to Greta? It needs just simple changes of the behaviors as individuals.

Check out some of the things you can do to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate by reducing energy use and other practices.

1. Use of reusable bags

Plastic grocery-type bags that get thrown out end up in landfills or in other parts of the environment. These can suffocate animals that get stuck in them or can mistake them for food. Moreover, the bags are slow to decompose.  Whether you are shopping for food, clothes or books, use a reusable bag. This cuts down on litter and prevents animals from getting a hold of them. Also, this will help your budget and economy.

2. Print less

It doesn’t need to print much of the material that you use now depends on the technology and other equipment. It can easily read and work electronically, and other documents on-line. If you have to print something you can do without wasting paper. One way is printed on both sides.

3. Recycling

Recycling is so simple to do, but there are so many people who don’t do that. Many waste disposal companies offer recycling services, so check with your company to see if it can help you get started! It is as simple as getting a bin and putting it out with your trash cans for free! Another way to recycle is to find recycling containers near waste bins. Instead of dumping recyclable materials into the garbage with your recyclable materials, make an extra effort to find recycling containers in your locations for the sake of the better environment.

4. Use reusable beverage containers.

Instead of buying individually packaged beverages, think about buying a bulk container of the beverage you want and buying a refillable bottle of water.  Not only will this help the environment, but it will save money since you are buying a bulk container. For example, many campuses have water fountains designed to drink and fill refillable water bottles. Make use of these fountains throughout the day when you finish off the initial beverage. Along these lines, many restaurants offer reusable containers for drinks. If you go to a certain place a lot, consider buying one of these containers to help minimize waste. Many cafes even offer a discount to customers who use a reusable container for their drinks. Starbucks, as an example, offers a small discount for customers who do this.

5. Save electricity

Use energy-efficient light bulbs instead of regular bulbs. They last longer, which will save you a bit of money. Make you turn off lights, the TV, and other appliances when you are not using them. Lower your air conditioning or heat when it’s not necessary. This is especially true for between seasons. Open your windows in the early fall or layering your clothes in the early fall.

6. Save water

Water is wasted more often than we able to see. Turn off the faucet as you are brushing your teeth. Don’t turn your shower on until you’re ready to get in and wash your hair. Limit your water usage as you wash dishes. Changing old habits will be good for both the environment and your wallet!  See here, take a few minutes and calculate how much water your household uses and think about how to minimize water wasting by using the following link. You might be surprised to see how much it is.

7. Avoid taking cars or do carpooling whenever you can

Cars are an environmental hazard. Taking public transportation, walking, or riding a bike to class are better options that help the environment and your budget, as well as getting some exercise in!  Carpooling is cheaper than everyone driving individually, and you’ll be closer with friends!

8. Reduce meat and animal product consumption

Try to get rid of the amount of meat, fish or milk you eat every day. This will help to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy consumption. According to a scientific study, it could reduce “carbon footprint from food by up to 73 percent” just by incorporating a vegan diet!

Use the following link to check the carbon footprint.

https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/

9. Reduce food waste.

If people around the world saved just one quarter of the food, they now waste, we could end global hunger. The wasted food usually ends up in landfills, where it eventually turns into a destructive greenhouse gas called methane. Wasting food also consumes resources such as water and energy used in the production of those foods.  For example, In the United States 30 per cent of all food, worth US$48.3 billion is wasted every year. It is estimated that about half of the water used to produce this food also goes to waste since agriculture is the largest human use of water.  So, think about your household and minimize the food waste.

It is always worth bearing in mind that the environment and its resources are given to you to use and appreciate, not to harm or waste. You must give it to the next generation as it is. So young environmental activists get to see their dreams!

Dewondara Arachchi
Dewondara Arachchi
Social and Political Analyser, Writer

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