5 Ways to Tackle Climate Change with Wooden Patio Furniture & More
Year after year parts of the planet are shifting and the climate is changing. Sea levels are getting higher, oceans are becoming warmer, there are more severe droughts threatening crops, wildlife and freshwater supplies. From penguins and polar bears in the arctic to marine turtles in Africa, all life on our planet is at risk.
What is the Danger?
The Nature Conservancy reports that "with rapid global warming and climate change, one-fourth of the earth's species could be headed for extinction by 2050." Climate change is already beginning to transform the earth. Think about how much the climate has changed where you live? Is it colder than it used to be or warmer? Is there more or less rain?
The planet supplies all living things with air, water, food, and safe places to live. So what do we do? First, you must acknowledge that changes need to be made. The danger may not affect you today, but it will affect your children and grandchildren.
Higher temperatures and changes in rain patterns are:
- Capturing emissions and warming the oceans
- Causing trees and vegetation to move up slopes and mountain sides
- Affecting wildlife and their habitats like the polar bear, penguin, and several bird species
- Increasing drought, fire and floods
- Increasing storm damage
- Causing more heat related illness and disease
- Altering shoreline habitats and affecting world-wide economy like the fishing industry and agricultural crops
With climate change come less fresh water, less agriculture, food and income. Extremes of drought and flooding have a profound effect on the way we are able to utilize our water supply, and sinc we all need water to survive this can have a devastating effect on all living creatures.
Forests keep soil intact, provide food, medicine and wood products, plus, they're home to many wildlife species. The World Wildlife Federation estimates that "1.6 billion people worldwide depend of forests for their livelihoods, including 60 million indigenous people who depend on forests for their subsistence."
Moreover, forests protect against climate change by absorbing CO2. Clearing land for agriculture and livestock is a significant part of deforestation. Scientists estimate that up to 20% of global carbon emissions come from deforestation.
Food availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability are also affected by climate change. All over the globe there's a risk of crop failure and loss of livestock. Warmer temperatures and water conditions are affecting the health and well-being of the people.
Did you know that 70% of the population lives off of farming, and 40% of all exports are agriculture products? People throughout the world rely on agriculture to sustain them. Climate change and precipitation patterns are resulting in poor agricultural results. This affects the welfare of farmers and consumers alike.
Scientists agree: humans cause climate change. We've been warned. It was about 30 years ago that scientists became aware of global warming. Today, the problem is increasing and we are actually feeling the effects. So what do we do to make things better? Below are a few help tips, they are simple and easy to follow.
1. Fossil Fuels
According to the World Wildlife Federation, burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas to generate energy has the greatest impact on the atmosphere than any other single human activity. Globally power generation is responsible for about 23 billion tons of CO2 emissions per year- in excessive of 700 tons a second. Coal is especially damaging to the atmosphere, releasing 70% more carbon dioxide than natural gas for every unit of energy produced.
2. Use Renewable Resources at Home
Natural cork flooring, bamboo, and wooden patio furniture are all great ways to help. Developers like Uwharrie Chair and Holly & Martin are companies utilizing natural wood for their outdoor products. Uwharrie Chair uses plantation grown pine and Holly & Martin uses teak, which is harvested in managed forests. Both resources are renewable and environmentally clean.
Swap your light bulbs. Going fluorescent helps fight climate change because they reduce the amount fossil burned to supply the energy needed. For each incandescent bulb you change, you can save 100 lbs. of carbon over the life of the bulb.
Products made from recycled paper, glass, metal and plastic help reduce carbon emissions because they use less energy to manufacture than new products. According to The Nature Conservancy, if you recycle 20 glass bottles you can save up to 2 lbs. in carbon. You probably know that recycling paper saves trees and allows them to continue to reduce climate change and remove carbon from the air.
Do you buy bottled water? Switch to water dispenser and use a BPA free refillable bottle instead. The amount of fuel used to ship bottled water around the world contributes to the problem and the best way to control it is to purify water at home. If you must buy bottled water, be sure to recycle what your use.
4. Plant Native Trees
Support forest restoration and plant a billion trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and use it as their energy source, which produces oxygen for us to breathe. Environmental studies show that a tree in a temperate zone found between the tropics and the polar circles can remove and store 700-7,000 lbs. of carbon over its lifetime. A tree that shades a house can reduce the energy required to run the air conditioner and save an additional 200-2,000 lbs. of carbon over its lifetime.
5. Utilize Renewable Resources
Generating electricity produces 40% of carbon emissions from the United States. A growing number of utilities generate electricity from renewable sources like solar panels, windmills, and other technologies. If your utility company offers renewable energy buy it. If they don't, then look into obtaining it. It's a great way to help reduce the carbon footprint.
Everyone wants to do their part, making a few simple lifestyle changes can assist the planet and protect humans and wildlife from the effects of an ever changing climate.