We do not see it, cannot smell it, and cannot touch it. However, it is all around us and even inside us in our blood. This ghostly substance is tiny and is called by chemists carbon dioxide, or CO2. It behaves as a gas, like air itself, and it is invisible. Carbon dioxide keeps our atmosphere warm, but too much of it and air temperatures can become unbearably hot. Since the first machines that burned coal and oil were invented, our air has become loaded with CO2, and worldwide this has produced a much warmer air because CO2 traps the sun’s heat.
The year 2016 was the hottest since 1880, being 1.8 F higher than the average air temperature from all the 1900s.
The main question is what can we, as individuals and a community, do about this life-touching problem? The main feeling everyone experiences is that the problem is too big for any of us to solve it alone. However, do not forget that more and more people like you are already changing their daily lives and are having an impact on how corporations and the government sell to and service us. We consumers make the difference industry follows. Here are three key things you can start with that empower you to lower the planet’s air temperature, enabling industries to change their CO2 producing habits:
1. Choose fresh food.
A good chunk of the processed and packaged food that is being sold in supermarkets contains petroleum-based ingredients (petrochemicals), which health scientists are concern about and which also create CO2 emissions for their production. As more of us choose organic fresh food instead, food industries will invest in natural foods, eliminating petrochemicals and, consequently, easing Earth’s warmth.
2. Turn down red meat, at least for now. Unfortunately, much of the red meats sold at supermarkets come from feeding centers where cows are fattened with corn and where they are injected with antibiotics and hormones, and all of this is run and produced by oil. As more of us turn down red meat, meat industries will change to feeding cattle grass and this will dramatically reduce CO2 emissions.
3. Say “no thanks” to plastic bags.
Plastic bags choke and clog life and do not decay for hundreds of years; they are a product of oil. Use cloth bags or baskets when shopping at the supermarket or mall and keep your bags handy after every use. Almost always, cashiers automatically pack whatever you buy in plastic bags. Tell them “no thanks” and you will be saving the Earth from more heating.
There are many more life-changing decisions that you can take to reduce our planet’s warming trend. We, the people, are the ones that make the long-lasting changes. Together we can bring climate change to a halt. For more information on what you can do, check the EPA’s website www.epa.gov/climatechange and for more environmental education check http://lopezlawrence.wixsite.com/cere
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