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You Are Needed to Save the Planet

You Are Needed to Save the Planet

Photo of various plastic and trash on a beach with people nearby, selling bags.

Steps to Stop the Climate Crisis  

By Ben Wexler 

The most effective solutions for solving the climate crisis must be executed on a global scale, but that is not to say that the choices that we make do not have an impact on the environment. 

Loss of clean air, water, and natural environments are all foreseeable, and at the current rate, we will need two Earths by 2030 to support the world’s lifestyle. One of the most effective solutions lies in putting a price on carbon emissions, incentivizing polluters to innovate solutions. This requires policies which in turn require politicians and voters. [2] 

Companies set lofty sustainability goals, but they fail to detail the short-term goals to reach their end goal. The Science Based Targets initiative is a global effort made to assess corporate plans to reduce emissions. Alberto Carrillo Pineda, a founder of the initiative, noted that those short-term goals set by companies fail to have “a lot of substance behind those commitments or the commitments are not comprehensive enough.” [3] 

When consumers value actions that contribute to a sustainable environment, corporations and policymakers will shift their values to please the masses. Truthfully, it is unlikely that individuals alone, through personal action, can drastically change the trajectory of our climate, but a collective focus on environmental sustainability will lead to changes on a much grander scale. [4] 

Photo of a landfill before a line of trees.
Plastic, trash, and scraps all add up in devastating ways. Photo by Leonid Danilov, (n.d.). pexels-leonid-danilov-2768961.jpg

What actions can we begin implementing now?  

Supporting qualified non-profits like Earthjustice, the largest environmental law organization that has spearheaded environmental wins like the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and The Natural Resource Defense Council—founded in the 1970s by attorneys and students with the goal of safeguarding natural resources essential for life—is among the most effective ways of reaching environmental preservation. [5] 

Eating less meat and dairy and instead, purchasing locally grown produce. These are simple actions that you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. The carbon footprint of one cheeseburger is equivalent to roughly nine falafel pita sandwiches or six fish and chip meals. [6] 

Transportation from cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions at 27%. [7] Cars, surprisingly, emit more CO2 than the average plane because they consume more energy to transport the same number of passengers. [8] Biking or walking to work or school are healthy alternatives with a zero-carbon footprint, and, if you travel long distances, a clean energy electric vehicle allows you save money on gas while utilizing sustainable transportation.  

See Also

Think twice about the cost of throwing away old products. Everything we purchase comes at a carbon cost. Instead of trashing your old tech or clothing, donate them to your local e-waste center or thrift store to give your items new life. [9] 

When leaving your home, make sure unnecessary lights and appliances are unplugged and turned off. These small actions result in reductions in energy usage and electrical bills. Why wouldn’t you want to save money while saving the planet? [10] 

As large companies fail to fulfill their climate change goals, they discourage individuals who now feel powerless in the fight against climate change and who abandon their once invigorated personal climate change actions. A collective effort from individuals, corporations, and the government is essential to solving the climate crisis. The solution is not found in lofty goals that can be broadcast and implemented in a company’s marketing strategy but in actionable and detailed plans for both corporations and individuals to live out. 

References 

  1. Are you hungry for information? The World Counts. (n.d.) https://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/Facts-About-Environmental-Issues  
  1. Mann, M. E., & War, T. N. C. (2019, September 12). Individual choices won’t be enough to save the planet. Time. https://time.com/5669071/lifestyle-changes-climate-change/  
  1. Eavis, P., & Krauss, C. (2021, February 22). What’s really behind corporate promises on climate change? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/22/business/energy-environment/corporations-climate-change.html  
  1. The Grantham Institute. (n.d.). 9 things you can do about climate change. Imperial College London. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/stories/climate-action/  
  1. Ibid
  1. Lessler, F. (2020, December 8). 35 environmental organizations and nonprofits for a sustainable future (list and ways you can get involved). Green Dreamer. https://greendreamer.com/journal/environmental-organizations-nonprofits-for-a-sustainable-future  
  1. Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. (n.d.). EPA. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions  
  1. Gonçalves, A. (2020, March 20). Planes or cars – which pollutes the most? Which is more sustainable? Youmatter. https://youmatter.world/en/plane-or-cars-which-means-of-transport-pollutes-the-most/#:~:text=For%20example%2C%20a%20study%20by,the%20same%20amount%20of%20passengers 
  1. The Grantham Institute. (n.d.). 9 things you can do about climate change. Imperial College London. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/stories/climate-action/  
  1. Ibid.
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