One of the most important pieces of information to remember when you are stuck at home during quarantine is that you cannot control everything. Keeping in mind that you can only control what you do, and what you think about any given situation, even one as big as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once the panic subsides, you are left with a new sense of purpose, a bittersweet relief really. One where you do what you can to help the world, and do your part; no matter how small.
One way I have been keeping myself occupied and feeling as helpful as I can, is by brushing up on my planet-saving skills. There are still many people who believe Climate Change is a hoax. There are others who believe that even if Climate Change is real, it isn’t caused by humans.
On a completely unrelated note, have you read what Unctad said in their article from a few days ago? “…Air quality levels in the world’s major cities improved dramatically in March and April.” I, personally, thought this article was very interesting and informative. With all of the world’s flights being grounded, combined with the quarantine operations worldwide, “…these emissions reductions have led to a temporary dip in CO2 emissions from their pre-crisis levels.” Despite these facts, there is a lesson to be learned for the climate-change warriors as well. Even though air pollution has seen a stark drop since the start of the quarantine, it still leaves many issues unsolved, and should give even more of a reason to keep fighting – even while stuck inside. And a note to those who are still feeling powerless in all of this mess: You are not alone. This is a group effort, and every little act that you carry out will help, at least a little bit. This powerlessness is a curable disease.
In honor of Earth Day, these are some of the small, but powerful ways I try and heal the planet at home.
1.) Reduce your water use!
Turn your faucet off when brushing your teeth. Take two minute showers, instead of ten minute ones. Use water sparingly when washing the dishes. If there is a dishwasher involved, pack it as full as you can! Less loads, less water wasted.
There is a fixed amount of water that is available for human use, and that amount is extremely small. We may be surrounded by water, but much of it is too salty for humans. So we are left with the less than two percent of freshwater that is available to us for drinking, bathing, farming and the like: so we need to take care of this extremely rare and valuable resource! Using less water, means using less energy, and less fossil fuels. Which leads very nicely into the next way you can heal the planet at home.
2.) Use less electricity!
Unplug your television when it isn’t being used. Unplug anything that uses electricity, when it isn’t being used! Turn off the lights in rooms that nobody is currently in. This next one may take a little more effort, but replace your light bulbs with ones that are more energy efficient. Use power saver modes built into your television, computer monitors, and phones.
The major corporations that provide us with electricity do so using power plants. These power plants release copious amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases, in turn, become trapped inside our atmosphere, causing our planet’s temperature to rise. This would eventually cause the planet to get so hot that the ice caps would melt, causing flooding, and a temperature that our bodies just aren’t ready for. Which leads very nicely into the next way to help the planet.
3.) Turn off those thermostats!
There are usually multiple thermostats within a home used to regulate the temperature inside. Thermostats use a large amount of energy to run properly, having to constantly monitor the temperature within a house to decide when to release heat. Some thermostats even double as air conditioners when it gets too hot, which uses even more electricity. Keeping thermostats tuned to a constant temperature year-round not only supports greenhouse gas emissions by major energy corporations, but may also use natural gases that can pollute directly from your home. Natural gases are used to heat homes, cook, and more. Burning these fuels releases carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and carbon dioxide as byproducts. On another note, being in a sustained temperature consistently is harmful to our body’s adaptive abilities. If the Earth’s temperature continues to increase, and outdoor temperatures continue to go to the extremes, our body’s are not going to be able to adapt to such stark changes in the Earth’s temperatures.
In honor of Earth day, I would like to thank anyone who took the time to read these simple and effective ways we can all work together to help heal our planet, and keep it healthy for humans. For this generation, and the many generations left to come.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”Mahatma Gandhi