This article is part of our “Youth Head Delegate Blog Series” — written by our YHDs!
By Valerie T.
Our everyday actions affect our community, but the main causes of Climate Change are from humans burning gas, coal, and oils, deforestation, and greenhouse gases produced by us. The burning of the gases, coals and oils build up all the carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide in our atmosphere, hence creating a mass amounts of extremely small particles and acid rain. Acid rain also plays a role in harming our forests due to it breaking down the nutrients in the soil therefore the trees are not able to absorb enough water for it to stay healthy. They become weaker and easier to die which leads to the forests dying and us not having enough trees. Forests are torn down by humans so we can fulfill the list of agriculture ideas, for us to build buildings on, and to achieve our activities which require lots of room. When the trees die, are cut down, or burned, the carbon kept inside is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and once again contribute to the climate change and greenhouse effect. Again, greenhouse gases being a big reason climate change is occurring. Not just carbon dioxide being in the atmosphere but fluorinated gases, nitrous oxide, methane, and more are playing a part in such changes in our environment. The fluorinated gases come from the industrial and manufacturing process, and also found in refrigerants and solvents. Wetlands and grazing animals’ digestive systems are a huge factor in where methane is being produced.
In order to reduce emissions, as humans who can do something to change the outcome. To cut down on deforestation we could possibly move towards more forest-friendly business ideas to help maintain the forests we have left and keep them green. If we decide to cut down trees, then we must plant as many or more than the amount we cut down. Trees are essential for life and the air that we breathe around us, in the absence of trees we wouldn’t have healthy oxygen and the atmosphere would not be as it is. There are so many possible solutions to help with climate change, families can try to power their homes with renewable energy sources by having solar panels on rooftops. In Hawaii, as I witnessed, many houses have solar panels on their rooftops so it is a very doable action many of us can fulfill. Also, instead of buying so much food in our houses only buy what you need, some cultures may only be able to eat meat but for those who do have a choice, cutting down on the amount of meat being eaten. The amount of food being thrown and wasted is a great deal. Livestock products take lots of time and efforts to produce so to waste it because you cannot finish it, or you bought too much will contribute to the decay. The different solutions we can do to reduce emissions is endless, instead of driving your gas reliant vehicle, walking and biking are other options to reduce emissions into the air.
Being environmentally responsible and aware of our community is the basis of taking care of our world. I have learned that every small action matters, if we work together. People who care about their environment right now and whom want to keep it this way will take part any way possible to reduce the emissions and live a sustainable lifestyle so that the growth of climate change will slowly flatten. Educating others about the realities of climate change has become important to me as people must understand the urgency of this crisis. Our actions, or lack thereof, determine the life future generations will live.