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6 Ways to Seriously Combat Climate Change and Why It’s Important

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Maine chapter.

With the election results in, it’s time to focus our energy on something other than Facebook posts and Twitter rants. Regardless of which political party you abide by, something needs to be clear: climate change is REAL and it’s happening NOW.

Actually, it’s happening drastically faster and with more force than experts originally anticipated. And with our new bid for president standing by the idea thatChina “made up” climate change, we must rally together as a country to preserve what we have left of this planet until Trump, Senate, and Congress take us seriously.

Don’t know anything about climate change? I highly suggest watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s newest documentary “Before the Flood” to get a handle on the issue. Plus it’s Leo so… it’s a must watch. After you watch it and basically throw up out of disgust and fear for the future, take these six steps to combat climate change in your own home:

1. Buy less red meat

WHY? Long story short- the world was not meant for the ridiculous amount of cows we mass farm. Cows emit methane, which is even more powerfully destructive than carbon in the atmosphere. Less red meat bought = less red meat produced = less cows = less methane. Following me so far?

2. Shut your lights off

Why? Okay, we’ve been hearing about this forever. But it’s time to take it seriously. More lights on = more electricity used = more fossil fuels burned =more damage to the atmosphere = climate change. Here we go. We’re all on the same page now I hope.

3. Buy less dairy products

Why? I’ve walked you through this. Dairy products are made from cows, which emit methane into the atmosphere. If less people buy dairy products, less dairy products will be produced, therefore less cows will be mass farmed. I’m not saying never buy milk and cheese again. But switching to an alternative milk like almond or soy, and/or buying one instead of 40 different kinds of cheese could help.

4. Recycle cardboard, paper and plastic 

Why? Paper, plastic and cardboard that is mixed with trash instead of recycled for reuse either gets stuffed into landfills or burned. Both are hazardous to the environment.

5. Avoid products with palm oil

Why? Palm oil is used in thousands of consumer products in stores all around us. Products like Kraft mac n cheese, Doritos and Nutella (sorry guys) are all made with it. Burning down trees in rainforests in Indonesia produces palm oil. Rainforest trees naturally suck in and hold carbon from theatmosphere (heck yeah) but when burned, they release tons more carbon into the atmosphere than they would naturally emit. More carbon = more damage to the environment = climate change. Got me? Sorry to all Nutella fanatics, but palm oil is a serious component in the climate change problem, and consumer refusal to buy a product that hurts the environment in such a monumental ways, would be a HUGE way to stick it to the man.

6. Push for solar energy

Why? Changing over to solar energy would use the natural energy from the sun instead of using fossil fuels, oil, or gas to create energy. Sweden is the first political state in the world to execute the complete switch to solar energy and they’re basically bad ass pioneer’s for climate change reduction and reversal.

With US citizens’ push and support, the US could follow in Sweden’s footsteps. Educate yourselves on the issue and speak up. Living in Maine, we do not see the direct effects of climate change, but it would be ignorant to assume people in other areas of the world are not suffering the repercussions. The changes we make today in our own homes, cities, states, and countries could be the difference between life or death of this planet faster than we ever imagined. Yikes.


Image source: http://www.valuewalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Climate-Change.jpg 

Chloe is a fourth-year Mass Communication major at the University of Maine. She is the Editor-in-Chief/Campus Correspondent of Her Campus UMaine. She is also contributing editor for Odyssey UMaine. Check out her blog at https://cdyer.bangordailynews.com/. She is passionate about writing, and in her free time enjoys reading, traveling and blogging.