Eco-Tips @ Home Office - Climate Change
At the very least, if the world is to get on track to limit global temperature rise to 1.5oC, emissions must drop from 56 gigatons of carbon to 25 gigatons carbon by 2030 (UN emissions gap report). Of course, each of us can have a small impact. But as part of a giant puzzle, collectively, we each play a role. Here are some things we can each work on at home:
Reduce Climate Change - Recycle Paper and Buy Recycled Paper
From Project Drawdown
"Over thirty years, recycled paper can deliver 1.10-1.95 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions reductions."
"Paper use globally is on the rise, particularly for packaging materials. Roughly half of paper is used once and then sent to the proverbial scrap heap. But the other half is recovered and repurposed. In some places, that recovery rate reaches 75 percent. Bringing the world up to that level can reduce emissions of the paper industry, estimated to be as high as 7 percent annually."
"Recycling makes paper’s journey circular, rather than a straight line from logging to landfill. Instead of relying on fresh timber to feed the pulping process—and releasing carbon with each tree cut—recycled paper draws on existing material, either discarded before reaching a consumer’s hands or, ideally, after serving its intended purpose. Instead of releasing methane as it decomposes in a landfill, wastepaper finds new life."
"A particular piece of paper can be reprocessed roughly five to seven times, before fibers are no longer viable. In addition to curbing emissions, recycled paper spares forests and reduces water use."
Reduce Climate Change - Insulate
From Project Drawdown
"Retrofitting buildings with insulation is a cost-effective solution for reducing energy required for heating and cooling. If annually, 1.6-2 percent of existing residential and commercial buildings in temperate and tropical countries install insulation increasingly with low carbon materials, 17-19 gigatons of emissions can be avoided"
"By better insulating a building envelope, heat exchange can be reduced, energy saved, and emissions avoided. What makes insulation effective is its capacity for thermal resistance, measured as R-value—the higher the better. Ideally, a building’s thermal layer should cover all sides—bottom floor, exterior walls, and roof—and be continuous. Sealing gaps and cracks is also critical to a more effective building envelope. "
"Insulation is one of the most practical and cost-effective ways to make buildings more energy efficient—both in new construction and through retrofitting older buildings that often are not well encased. At relatively low cost, insulation results in lower utility bills, while keeping out moisture and improving air quality."
Reduce Climate Change - LED Lighting
From Project Drawdawn
"As LEDs replace less-efficient lighting, 10.2-10.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions could be avoided in residences."
"LEDs ... use 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs for the same amount of light, and half as much as compact fluorescents, without toxic mercury. By transferring most of their energy use into creating light—rather than heat, like older technologies—LEDs reduce electricity consumption and air-conditioning loads."
"The price (per watt equivalent) for LEDs is two to three times higher than incandescents or fluorescents, but falling rapidly. And an LED bulb will last much longer than either other type."
Reduce Climate Change - Plant-Rich Diets
Excerpted from Project Drawdawn
" If 50-75 percent of the world’s population restricts their diet to a healthy average 2,250 calories per day and reduces meat consumption overall, we estimate at least 43-68 gigatons of emissions could be avoided from dietary change alone."
"Shifting to a diet rich in plants is a demand-side solution to global warming that runs counter to the meat-centric Western diet on the rise globally. That diet comes with a steep climate price tag: one-fifth of global emissions. If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases."
"Plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease."
"As Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has said, making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change."