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WHAT'S HAPPENING TO THE EARTH AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT By Juliana Borruso

The climate change clock is ticking, and many fear that the Earth won't bounce back after too long.

According to NASA:

The planet's average surface temperature has risen approximately 0.9º Celsius (1.62º Fahrenheit) since the 19th century.

The oceans have warmed over 0.4º Fahrenheit since 1969.

Greenland and Antarctica's ice sheets have decreased in mass.

"Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal."

- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

So, what does this all mean?

Basically, it means that the climate is getting worse. According to the Doomsday Clock in Manhattan's Union Square, humans only have a little over seven years before Earth runs out of carbon, based on the current emission rates.

You should be concerned by now. In fact, you may be asking yourself, "if we only have seven years to fix this, what can we do?"

Great Question.

1. Conserve energy in your everyday life

There are a lot of small changes you can make to do this.

  • Unplug TV's, computers and other electronics when you're not using them.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water and hang-dry your clothes when you can.
  • Change to energy efficient lightbulbs.

2. Make your commute more environmentally-friendly

Although it's really convenient having your own car, these options are a lot better for the earth in the long run.

  • Ride a bike or advocate for bike lanes in your community.
  • Carpool with a friend or co-worker.

3. Become politically active

Even though many of us can't vote yet, it never hurts to contact a representative and encourage them to take action against climate change.

Nevada's current representatives are Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Mark Amodei, Rep. Susie Lee and Rep. Steven Horsford.

4. Cut food waste

While it seems inconsequential, globally, around 20-30% of food produced for human consumption isn't consumed by humans. So, here are some tips to reduce food waste.

  • Cook it! Slightly overripe fruit can turn into banana bread, peach and berry cobbler or applesauce if you're quick about it.
  • Dry it. Food dehydrators can help you keep food preserved for a lot longer.
  • Don't cook a new dinner every day. Instead, have a clean-your-fridge dinner and eat those leftovers.

4. Support environmentally-friendly brands

Fast fashion is one of the biggest issues today. In fact, one t-shirt takes 2,700 liters of water to make.

While they can be more expensive than their fast fashion counterparts, some examples of environmentally-friendly clothing brands are Reformation, EcoVibe and Amour Vert.

You can also go to your local thrift, second-hand or consignment store to get good items without buying something completely new.

5. Eat less meat

Eating meat is really tempting, but even if you don't give up meat entirely, adopting a more plant-based diet can cut your carbon footprint.

The global livestock industry represents 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and demand for meat products only increases.

This is as much as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined.

Obviously, no one is going to switch to a completely meatless diet tomorrow, but just reducing the level of meat in our diets can positively impact the environment.

Although it can seem like a lot of work to save the environment, if everyone chips in an inch, it'll be a mile in the long run. Combatting climate change can be as little as turning the lights off when you leave a room, and there's no reason not to adjust your lifestyle a little to accommodate the Earth. Ignoring it for your convenience is no longer an option.

Created By
Juliana Borruso [STUDENT]
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Credits:

Created with images by Thomas Richter - "untitled image" • Zbynek Burival - "Solar power plant" • Qingbao Meng - "Body Grassland in Yili,Xinjiang,China" • Dan Stark - "untitled image" • Ivan Bandura - "Winter's breath" • Science in HD - "NREL researcher discuss panel orientation and spacing. Working with teams from UMass Clean Energy Extension and Hyperion on a photovoltaic dual-use research project at the UMass Crop Animal Research and Education Center in South Deerfield, MA. They are researching simultaneously growing crops under PV Arrays while producing electricity from the panels. The project is part of the DOE InSPIRE project seeking to improve the environmental compatibility and mutual benefits of solar development with agriculture and native landscapes." • Patrick Hendry - "Took a walk on lunch break to create a collection of industry and “gas punk” type photos. " • Sungrow EMEA - "Photovoltaic PV plant ground mounted with string inverters" • Osman Rana - "Urban Public Transportation" • Markus Spiske - "THERE IS NO PLANET B. Global climate change strike protest demonstration – No Planet B – 09-20-2019" • Anna Pelzer - "Vegan salad bowl" • Becca McHaffie - "Back in time" • Jiroe - "I am a fan of bagels. I used to eat a lot of bagels back in the East Coast; but it seems like L.A is more of a taco / burrito city, and salads of course :). So glad to have found a bagel with vegan cream cheese in West Hollywood." • Markus Spiske - "THE CLIMATE IS CHANGING - SO SHOULD WE! #ACTNOW. Global climate change strike - No Planet B - 09-20-2019"