Mention the extreme monsoon, summer or winter…everyone has one answer. Global warming! What can you do to prevent global warming?
All about R
Yes, it’s the “Three R’s”. So talked about that it is almost boring. But wait, it is important. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. How do you go about this? When you accompany your parents to the supermarket or the grocery store carry your own bag, so you can say ‘No’ to the plastic bag at the store. Choose products that can be reused and those that have minimal packaging. This will reduce waste.
Recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminium cans. Try and reuse everything…paper clips, envelopes (write on the front “This envelope is being reused”).
Have you heard of carbon footprint? What is it? It is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person or group. To get an idea of how the activities in your life cause the emission of carbon dioxide log on to http://www.cooltheworld.com/kidscarboncalculator.php. This is a site meant for kids in the UK, however, it can be used by anyone. You can get some idea on how to reduce your carbon footprint.
This may hurt. Cut down the number of hours you watch television. In the bargain you will be doing yourself a favour because you will be giving your eyes some rest. But cutting down on TV time, does not mean more time on the computer or video games. Shut everything down. Go out and play. Nothing can be more entertaining or fun than playing in the sun or rain with your friends.
This year the theme for World Environment Day is ‘Think, Eat, Save’. Encourage your parents to buy locally grown and produced food. This helps save fuel because you do away with transportation costs involved to bring these products close to you. Try to get them to buy fresh food as far as possible instead of frozen. Frozen foods take 10 times more energy to produce. And your part in this would be to eat your fresh fruit and vegetables.
Get more people involved in this project. Form a club either in school or in your neighbourhood. Learn more about conservation efforts and see what fits you best. As a group there is more that can be done and this also ensures that more people are involved and hence the message goes to many more homes.
If there is any possibility of planting a tree then don’t waste any time. Start digging. Plant a tree. Trees are good for us as during photosynthesis, (trees and other plants) absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
Since one tree can absorb this much, imagine how much more a forest could do. So, create awareness on the need to conserve forests.
Take a walk
If your school is not too far away, then get ready early and walk or cycle. If it is too far, go by car... er, not by yourself. Organise a carpool. Get more kids in your locality to join up and all of you pile into one car. This way, instead of five cars on the road you could cut it down to one.
Remind your parents to get the car serviced regularly so that it is fuel efficient.
Find out about the lighting at home. Ask your parents if it is possible to change the regular light bulbs to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. CFLs last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use two-thirds less energy and use approximately 60 per cent less energy than a regular bulb.
When you leave a room remember to switch off the lights and fans. That’s simple you think, but then what happens to your television, your video player, your stereo. Don’t leave it on standby thinking you are getting back to it. Most often you get interested in something else and wander off leaving all these devices on.
Go to your kitchen and check out if the waste is being segregated organic or inorganic. You can begin by recycling organic waste. Make a compost pit. But make sure that you compost it properly, or else it will cause methane emissions and smell foul.
To make a compost pit
Select a cool, shaded corner of the garden/school compound.
Dig a pit - ideally three feet deep.
Preferably line the pit with granite or brick to prevent nitrite pollution of the subsoil water, which is toxic.
Every time you add organic matter to the pit cover with a layer of dried leaves or a thin layer of soil allowing air to enter the pit preventing bad odour.
At the end of 45 days, the rich pure organic matter is ready to be used.