Let’s Reduce our Footprint
Billions of tiny actions that can make a major change…
Earth Day is THE day in the year, when one should take time to reflect on one’s capacity at reversing adverse effects of one’s liability on our planet’s health. It may seem presumptuous to many, to imagine that an individual act will count in a broader picture. But more and more each day, we are getting to better understand how simple human habits like eating, travelling or buying, to say the least, add up to a global bill that weakens the Earth in its capacity at harbouring more than 6 billion human beings.
Whether we like it or not, the truth is that our actions and other anthropic activities are taking the whole planet down in a spiral called Global Warming. To date, we are almost all aware that sustained warming of the planet, due to alarmingly increasing CO2 emissions, will result into the ever-worsening impacts of recurrent climatic calamities, along with the remediless sea level rising and ice cap melting. We just cannot live up to such legacy.
Reducing our carbon footprint or our ecological footprint, is a way to initiate the reversal of what has been allowed since the first Industrial Revolution, some 200 years ago. What is certain, is that, if it were for only one of us to do the thing, it would come down to some ridiculous endeavour. But think about the common capacity of millions of us, in thousands of locations worldwide, regularly doing the same acts almost simultaneously!
This can only be achieved when information and experience are shared, propagated and made publicly available. The People’s Channel is, by far, the ultimate way to build awareness and bring massive mindshifts.
If we were all to make small changes to our day-to-day lifestyle, these small steps would add up to produce one significant overall change to the way humanity impacts the Earth’s health. Ecological tips and case studies provide essential pathways as to how we can act on reducing CO2 emissions, and by thus, slowing down the dangerous Global Warming process, without implying economic or ‘quality-of-life’ trade-offs.
In our day-to-day living, the bottomline should read legacy. We should indeed live, thinking of how to bequeath our planet for future generations and this entails much responsibility from our part. In additions to our small acts, we need to spread the word, educate and reach out to the most…
And I’ll start here :
My tips on reducing our Ecological Footprint in Mauritius
Rethink your diet
- Eating is a basic human need. This is one of these fields where trade-offs cannot be sought. But different food products require different amounts of resources to be produced.
Getting to eat less processed food can help reducing anthropic activities linked to industrial farming, processes and refrigeration, that imply transformation of metal for tins, of wood for packages, of chemicals for plastic containers and of fossil fuel for ever-more power.
On the other side, eating more fresh products that are locally produced may help many others to live more decent lives and lower our economic dependence on imports.
A car is not always the best solution…
- In Mauritius, we do not have huge distances to cover, from one point to another. We are never mores than 2 hours away from any of our local destinations. We should, as often as possible, choose public transport, walk or ride a bike when we can or when the weather allows. Besides being an ecological move, this lifestyle is healthier and helps at connecting more people within the community.
Per person, bus travel generates only 9% of the greenhouse pollution produced by one person travelling by car and for every litre of petrol saved, you reduce 2.9 kg of greenhouse gas emissions.
Reduce your water consumption
- Taking 30 minutes under the shower won’t make you cleaner or healthier than if you took only 10 minutes. Take shorter but effective showers, and run washing machines only when close to allowed load. Install a rain tank for watering the garden and washing the car.
Reduce energy consumption – Get off the Grid as often as you can
- Switch off unnecessary lights and turn off appliances that use standby mode. Ensure the seals on your fridge work properly.
- Check for energy efficiency rating when you are purchasing appliances. Prefer LED, or other energy efficient light bulbs in your home and office.
- Think about installing an individual solar powered station that can be used for small appliances and lighting. Prefer power generated from renewable energy sources.
Reduce impact from Shopping…
- Avoid buying plastic bags when shopping. Take your own bags and choose products with minimal and/or recycled/recyclable packaging. Prefer fresh local fruit, vegetables and locally produced meat that do not imply industrial farming. Such moves help to reduce the transport toll of the food you consume.
- Try to grow your own fruit and vegetables. Try to inform yourself on how to garden even in restrained areas. Some techniques like terrace gardening exist and it’s always rewarding to reap whatever you sowed.
- Have your say. Join NGOs that work at helping, individuals, businesses and government to reduce our common ecological footprint.
Learn from others, act up and spread the word
- Learn and Go… Tell the world that you are part of those who want to turn the heat down on Climate Change. Use the Internet, join social networks and forums where Ecology is discussed. Learn from specialized websites and start spreading the word by reaching out for children first. You might also want to organise citizens from your community into action groups that would reflect and setup actions in common.