By Kimberly Miller, Palm Beach Post
The report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in August was clear: A hotter world is inevitable, as are all the disasters it brings with it — drought, wildfires, monster hurricanes and torrential rains.
The IPCC issued a “code red for humanity” and said humans have unequivocally caused climate change.
Governments need to make the big policy changes that will dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions but there are a few things you can do every day to make a tiny contribution.
How to help
1) Put down that single-use plastic bottle of water and buy a reusable one. Follow @friendsofpb on Instagram for a million reasons why you should.
2) Look at what you are buying and where it’s coming from. Is the company setting goals for reducing carbon emissions? Or, almost as good, buy second-hand.
3) If you have to buy a new appliance, check its efficiency ratings with the Energy Star program.
4) Harvest rainwater: The City of West Palm Beach offers free rain barrels for city water users who register and attend a free virtual workshop on water conservation.
5) Control your temperature: Cool your home to 78 degrees or warmer when you’re home and raise it to 82 degrees when you’re away. Not only does this help the environment, you could save money too. Also, insulate.
6) Equip every tap with a high-efficiency faucet aerator: Everyone likes rushing showers, but wouldn’t a thriving ecosystem be better?
7) Ditch high-maintenance landscape: Native plants use less water and are more resistant to local plant diseases. Do we really all have to have heavily fertilized and manicured lawns? What if it’s just green with a few weeds? Mow it, it will look fine
8) Carpool, take public transit, just stop driving so much: Yes, maybe public transit doesn’t fit perfectly into your schedule, but can you adjust your schedule? Can you work from home a couple days a week, move closer to the office, walk, ride your bike, use an electric scooter? Yes it’s hot, and rainy in South Florida. It’s an inconvenience, but so is a dead planet.
9) Avoid the drive-thru lane: When you sit in the Starbucks drive-thru, your car is idling and burning unnecessary fuel. Go inside, the lines might be shorter.
SOURCE: Some tips provided by Palm Beach County’s Office of Resilience
Kimberly Miller is a veteran journalist for The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA Today Network of Florida. She covers weather, climate and the environmental and has a certificate in Weather Forecasting from Penn State. Contact Kim at email@example.com.
“The Invading Sea” is the opinion arm of the Florida Climate Reporting Network, a collaborative of news organizations across the state focusing on the threats posed by the warming climate.