Living sustainably

Green driving tips

After coal-burning power plants, cars are the second largest source of carbon dioxide. One of the best strategies to reduce climate change is to reduce the use of cars.

Public transport should be encouraged, along with car-pooling. This has been very successful in the USA, with car poolers being able to use ‘fast lanes’ during peak hours. Single motorists are fined for using these lanes. This strategy has not had as much success in Scotland as there is a reluctance for people to car share.

Electric and hybrid cars are becoming more popular in the UK. However, motoring groups believe more Government subsidies are required to encourage people to switch to an eco-friendly car and charging points are not universally available in all locations.

New cars have ‘stop start’ technology, which means that engines stop whenever cars stop, for example at traffic lights. This is successful as it reduces fuel consumption and pollution.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The culture of consumerism today encourages people to buy and throw away.

For each item purchased and used, energy and resources are used in its manufacture, packaging, transportation, retail, and ultimately its disposal. Pollution is created in each step of the process and substantial greenhouse gases are released.

Reducing, reusing and recycling helps to conserve resources and energy, and reduce pollution. This decreases the amount of rubbish going to landfill, reducing the amount of methane released into the atmosphere.

Organic farming

Organic farming does not use the chemical fertilisers used by conventional farming. These fertilisers release nitrous oxide and methane into the environment.

As the demand for organically grown produce increases, organic farming becomes more economically viable and more popular. This helps reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Green shopping tips

Another way to reduce climate change is to buy local products instead of those produced overseas. Transporting exotic fruits and vegetables from one destination to another requires a lot of energy, usually from the burning of fossil fuels, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

In attempts to keep the fruit and vegetables fresh, chemical pesticides and preservatives are used, which again contribute to toxins and greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. Buying local produce helps to reduce emissions produced from transporting food but it is a matter of personal choice and consumers are often happy to buy from supermarkets instead of local farm shops.

Flood defences

Governments prepare for extreme weather events such as flooding, by funding defences to hold back flood water e.g. The Thames Flood Barrier in London. This is effective in developed countries where resources and finance is available but not effective in developing countries like Bangladesh where resources are limited.

Education

Schools and institutions also have an important part to play in the process of educating people on the importance of protecting the Earth. This will encourage them to be more environmentally friendly in the future.