May 03 2021 – Jade Hunter
Climate Change - Two words we've been hearing for decades. But have we really been listening? Or have the alarm bells from experts in the field been muffled and diluted by individuals and businesses with their own agendas? The truth is, we are living through climate change now. We can see it and feel it and there is nowhere to hide. We must act and we need to act together.
What is Climate Change?
Climate change means that the Earth’s atmosphere is changing as a result of human activities. Our atmosphere is made up of greenhouse gases, which allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere and keep the heat in, to maintain a stable temperature inside and ensure homeostasis of the planet. However, with the increase in human activity, excessive amounts of manmade greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere and the solar radiation struggles to escape, which leads to a steady rise of overall temperature. Scientists agree that this gradual rise in temperature correlates to the rise in human emissions and can lead to extreme and unpredictable weather events that are already having an impact on our planet.
Large industries such as coal, oil and gas, agriculture and deforestation all have an impact on climate change and ultimately this filters down to households and the choices we make that continues to feed these cycles of emissions. Climate change has the potential for devastating impacts on Earth and it is important for everyone to come together to make efforts to reduce the carbon emissions entering the atmosphere. On our own, we are just one person, but together we can amplify our impact and lead to global climate action.
What can we do to take Climate Action?
It can seem overwhelming at times (climate anxiety is a real thing!) but there are small ways that you can help make a big difference in your everyday life to reduce your carbon footprint.
Reduce travel by car & air
Statistics show that most Australian households contribute about 14 tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year and the top 2 emissions from our lifestyle comes from traveling for shopping and recreation and travelling for work. So by choosing to carpool, walk or cycle to work where possible, you can reduce your household emissions by up to 34% per year! COVID has also proven that we can reduce unnecessary international and interstate travel by scheduling our meetings and even conferences online.
Reduce Food Waste
The third largest culprit for Aussie households is the emissions from food waste, which makes up 5% of our total emissions. Every year in Australia a staggering 298kg of food is wasted per person, and this food waste typically ends up in landfill, where it decomposes and expels methane, which is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. Ways you can reduce food waste is to plan your meals each week, use leftovers to create new meals and even start a compost, instead of sending your scraps to landfill. Another great way to reduce food waste is to use vegetable cut offs such as skin peelings or broccoli stems to make a nourishing vegetable broth or stock - see method below!
Eat less meat
Livestock and their byproducts account for around 51% of worldwide global emissions. That’s 32,564 million tons per year of CO2. This is a huge number. Not only does the industry contribute so extensively to the emissions, but is also a huge reason for deforestation as the land is cleared for livestock and livestock feed crops. In fact, research shows that although meat provides just 18% of our consumed calories, it takes up 83% of the world’s farmland. As consumers we can use our choices to break this cycle. By eating less meat and dairy or opting for a plant based diet, we are choosing the single biggest way to reduce our impact on planet Earth, not just in the reduction of greenhouse gases but also for improving water quality, soil nutrients, reducing deforestation and reducing water use and water waste and runoff.
Shop from businesses that use sustainable materials and ethical practices. Shop with those that are giving back and investing in climate change initiatives and projects. Try to buy as little plastic packages goods as possible! Shop with re-usable bags, ditch your shampoo bottle for a shampoo bar and use natural cleaners that can be refilled over and over again. Our essential oils make perfect household cleaners when diluted with water or try our essential oil sprays. Your surfaces and floors will be sparkling clean and smelling fresh.
Save your scraps and make a tasty and nourishing vegetable broth!
Save your weekly vegetable scraps, peeled skin and cut offs into a container to make this nourishing broth. Simply add your veggie waste to a pot of boiling water along with some herbs, additional garlic or ginger (anything you have lying around to enhance flavour and nutritional benefits) and then simmer on low for around 2-3 hours to let the nutrients seep into the water.
After several hours you can strain and save the broth to use for soup bases or as stock for cooking. (Sometimes you can get 2 lots of stock out of one load of vegetables). Once the strained vegetables have cooled down you can add to your compost or bury the scraps in your garden so they can compost underground and provide your garden with more nutrients and reduce overall waste.
Yummy food saving tip....
Did you know that potato peelings can be pan fried into crispy chips? Make sure your potatoes are scrubbed and washed before peeling then fry up the peelings in a little bit of olive oil until brown and crispy, add a sprinkle of salt and enjoy!)
All great suggestions but I think we also need more education and awareness about regenerative farming and reducing toxins in our environment. Have you watched The Biggest Little Farm? Kiss the Ground? Chemical Farming and the loss of Human Health?
Zach Bush MD has lots of good info. Also Aussie Peter Andrews book “Back from the Brink”