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04 Dec 2018 09:18:46
Climate change or Global Warming as it’s otherwise known, refers to the changes in temperature around the Earth’s surface that is causing long term shifts in weather patterns. We depend on fossil fuels to heat our homes, fuel our cars, and power industry and manufacturing, but burning them releases greenhouse gases and contributes to our individual carbon footprints. These gases are absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere and cause what is known as the greenhouse effect because it causes the earth below to become warmer.
This change in temperature impacts the Earth in different ways, including the melting of polar ice sheets and glaciers which is making sea levels rise, extreme weather events such as typhoons and hurricanes are becoming more common in some areas, while other areas are suffering from heat waves and droughts.
As the global temperature continues to increase, so will the severity of these changes so it is important to make significant changes now to stop this from happening. Here’s how you can start taking ownership of your personal contribution to climate change at home, and reduce your carbon footprint.
When you live in a place that has cold winters and warm summers, it is important to insulate your home correctly in order to regulate the inside temperature efficiently. This ensures you are not wasting energy. Use thermal curtains on your windows, fill gaps around windows and doors with a sealer, insulate the loft or attic, wrap your hot water tank in a jacket and perhaps even consider double glazing.
When buying a new appliance ensure you make the energy efficiency one of the top considerations. All products bear an energy star rating sticker so it is easy to see which ones have superior efficiency. You should be aiming for a star rating of at least 3.5 but, of course, the higher the better in saving the environment AND money off your energy bills.
Make sure you’re switching lights off when you leave a room. You can even consider replacing the bulbs to more energy efficient ones, such as fluorescent or LED lights, which not only use just 20% of the power that halogen globes do, but also last eight times longer and can save you up to 80% on lighting bills.
Only put your washing machine on for a full load and, when you do, use the coolest and shortest setting where possible. When buying a new washer you should look for machines that have an eco and/or cold water cycle. Front loading washing machines also use half the energy that top-loaders do.
It’s simple, the less hot water you use the less energy is needed to heat the water.
You hopefully already sort your general waste into different recycling bins but, did you know, you can also recycle items like old electronics? Companies such as TechCollect offer free recycling services for computers, accessories and TV’s.
You should also donate your old furniture to charity shops like Vinnies and The Smith Family instead of putting them on the council clean up where the majority of items end up in a landfill.
To find out how we at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast are doing our bit for the future of the planet, check out the Conservation page.