8 Climate Actions for a #ZeroHunger world

Getting perspective on #ClimateChange

09 Nov 2017

Perhaps from outer space, it is easy to get the perspective that we only have one earth and that it is succumbing to climate change. Seeing the earth from space though is a feat that, unfortunately, most of us will never accomplish. We have to rely on Astronaut Thomas Pesquet and the other brave women and men astronauts to provide us these views on the world. Yet, even down here on earth, we can see the effects of climate change. 

The world is currently facing two of its greatest challenges: how to feed a growing population and how to do it with declining resources. Agriculture is at the intersection of these two challenges. By 2050, the world will need to produce 49 percent more food than in 2012. While agriculture is part of the climate change problem, it can also be part of the solution. No other sector holds the potential to, in our lifetime, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the same way. However, climate change is not one sector’s problem and it is not for someone else to come up with a solution. We can all make changes in our daily lives to help the health of our planet. 

Here are 8 climate actions that you can do to help better our world:

  1. Waste less food- Each year, about 1/3 of the food we produce globally is lost or wasted. Buying only what you need can help to reduce waste. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Choose ugly fruits and vegetables that might otherwise be thrown out; they taste the same, if not better! Know the difference between “best before” and “use by” dates. Food is often still safe to eat after the “best before” date, whereas the “use by” date tells you when it is no longer safe to eat. Put older products in the front of the fridge and new ones in the back. Freeze leftovers or make them into something else for the next day’s meal. Remember: when you waste food, you also waste all the resources, like water and energy, that go into making and transporting it. Get more tips on reducing food waste

  2. Use less water – Take a 5-10 minute shower rather than a bath. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Cleaning your teeth with the tap off uses less than 1 litre of water instead of the 6 litres it takes with the tap on. If you notice any leaks, fix them! A toilet leak can waste over 700 litres of water a day, while a leaky tap can waste more than 11 000 litres of water in a year. If you use a dishwasher, don’t rinse your plates before loading them. Fill your washing machine with a full load. Water your garden using collected rainwater. 

  3. Increase your veggie and pulses intake– Once a week, try to eat an all-veggie meal. More natural resources, especially water, are used to provide meat than plants or pulses. As an added bonus, pulses are “climate smart.” They simultaneously adapt to climate change and contribute to mitigating its effects. Learn more about the benefits of pulses and try out some pulses recipes from all over the world!

  4. Diversify your fish taste – Eat types of fish that are more abundant, such as mackerel or herring, rather than those that are at risk of being overfished, like cod or tuna. You can also buy fish that has been caught or farmed sustainably, such as eco-labelled or certified fish.

  5. Save energy - Buy energy efficient household appliances like refrigerators and dish washers.  Reduce your carbon footprint by biking, walking or using public transport or give others a lift if you are going in the same direction. 

  6. Limit your plastic- Buy minimally packaged goods. Bring your own bag when you shop. Use refillable water bottles and coffee cups. Stop using straws. Plastic that is irresponsibly discarded severely damages marine habitats and kills large numbers of marine animals each year.

  7. Recycle and dispose of items wisely - This might seem obvious, but the majority of what we use is not recycled. Recycle paper, plastic, glass and aluminum to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills. Learn how to recycle or dispose of household items that should never be thrown in a regular rubbish bin - batteries, paints, mobile phones, medicine, chemicals, fertilizers, tires, ink cartridges, etc. These can be damaging to the environment, especially if they get into water systems. 

  8. Make cities greener - Build school or community gardens on vacant lots or create container gardens on rooftops and apartment balconies. 

Daily decisions and habits can help tackle climate change. No matter how you look at it: this is our only home. Every action counts.

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