On the international Earth Day we are looking closer at the solutions to help the environment and protect Earth.
Scientists agree that the planet is warming up faster than ever as a result of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). In Europe, the ten warmest years have all occurred since 2000, with the seven warmest years being 2014-2020. Thus, to adapt to the changes, around the world, companies and governments are creating new plans and regulations. But is there anything you can do now?
Earth is our only home and despite some progress in exploration (for example ideas to build a city on Mars by 2050), still there is no proof for a planet B. Thereupon, people need to think about how to create a more sustainable and better living environment on our only livable planet for now.
Earth Day is a chance to think about solutions so we prepared a list and an infographic that can help you make a difference and protect our natural world.
1. Choose renewables
Renewable energy sources are one of the most important ways to shift away from fossil fuels and fight against climate change. Some improvements enable businesses and individuals to charge their own cars thanks to EV charging stations (even from home), provide electricity to the houses from solar panels, and connect everything in a smart grid. On top of that you can ensure that you contribute to a better environment.
Of course, depending on the country you live in, the progress towards a greener future varies. Some countries set up deadlines to achieve net-zero goals by 2035 whereas others by 2050. To find out which countries are ready for energy transition, have a look at our index.
Solar, wind and hydro powers
Solar and wind powers are the most popular renewable energy sources. Yet, last year in Europe only 22% came from these sources. To help increase the percentage you can install solar panels on your roof and generate your own electricity everyday without the air pollution. Read more about PV (photovoltaic) technology and its applications to start the transition today.
Another idea is harnessing energy from the wind. There are no greenhouse gases produced when electricity is generated from the wind. Wind energy has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by substituting electricity produced from other sources, such as fossil fuel power plants. However, there is more that wind can help the planet with. Besides the most common wind turbines, there are different ways of generating electricity from the wind. Here are some examples.
On the topic of water power, wave energy is the most potent but least developed renewable energy. With the potential to power the entire world twice over, it should become more accessible as a renewable energy source. The issue is that the ocean is not a well-known space and to fill the power gaps with wave energy brings some risk to the natural habitat. To protect the environment, it needs to be done in a sustainable way and in harmony with the marine ecosystem. Thus some companies already incorporate hydro-generated power and retrofitting dams with the adoption of smarter technologies. Read how it is possible here.
Discover top 10 innovative technologies in the sustainable sector for more solutions with the usage of wind, solar or even waste to create a cleaner future for the world..
Electric vehicles (EVs) with low-emission energy are now the most promising option for decarbonizing land transportation (if you are curious how the electric vehicles market grows, have a look at our EV index). If you are about to invest in a new car, consider purchasing an electric vehicle. For EV components, charging stations or any other information about EV revolution, check out our EV charging hub or shop EV charging products. Also, to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide, you can simply give-up going by car in favour of walking or biking.
From smart buildings to smart cities that are interconnected, a smart grid sounds like a futuristic idea – but it is not! The incorporation of ‘coexisting with nature’ infrastructures is becoming more popular. The idea that logistics, transportation, utilities, and specific buildings and products may all be monitored with IoT is starting to be realised. Whether it is a housing area or any other facility, the smart grid concept enables the connection of everything, from charging our cars to heating our homes, and generates less pollution.
2. Lower your water usage
There is only 3% of freshwater on Earth, and just 1.2% is drinkable; the remainder is trapped beneath the earth or in glaciers, ice caps, and permafrost. Much of the water we use for drinking comes from rivers and streams. While there is 97% of ocean water on the planet, unfortunately, this water is too salty for drinking.
So, saving water and cutting back on the quantity we waste each day can go a long way towards preserving the environment. Take simple measures, such as turning off the water when brushing your teeth. Perhaps you can install a low-flow showerhead to consume less water when you shower.
Also, there is a danger of rising sea levels caused by the water being warmer and the glaciers and giant ice sheets melting. Especially in Antarctica and Greenland which adds more water to the ocean. Read about the result of human activity at the bottom of the sea and find out the solutions to protect the water habitat.
3. Save energy
There are a number of ways to lower your electricity usage, starting from switching off the lights when you leave the room or turning off the TV when you stop watching. By making these efforts, you can save energy while also paying less in utility bills each month. It is a win-win situation. However, these are just simple examples. On top of that, you can:
- Use a smart meter to track how much electricity you use.
- Skip the dry cycle and hang-dry your clothes.
- Switch to LEDs instead of using CFLs or incandescent light bulbs as they can last more than 30,000 hours.
- Schedule the use of your heating and cooling systems to save usage when you are away from home.
- Incorporate previously mentioned renewable energy sources solutions, like solar panels to generate natural electricity from the sun.
- Upgrade your equipment to energy-saving, e.g. refrigerator or temperature controllers.
For more energy saving devices go to Distrelec webshop.
4. Limit your carbon emissions and waste
Improper waste management can clog water drains and pollute the ecosystem and the ocean. Flooding that leaves other standing water from waste favours diseases. In the EU, only 38% of waste is recycled and in certain EU countries, landfills still receive more than 60% of residential waste. These are not good numbers.
To help with that you can try composting. Compost keeps organic waste out of landfills where it would decompose and release methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the environment. Composting waste food and other organic materials considerably lowers methane emissions. The need of chemical fertilisers is decreased, and in some cases completely eliminated, using compost.
Other ways to limit your day-to-day carbon emissions can be simple, like bringing reusable bags with you when you go grocery shopping, purchasing items created from recycled materials and giving up plastic. Remember to recycle your own paper and dispose of batteries at specialised battery recyclers too. Everything matters.
5. Be more sustainable
The last tip to protect the earth is simply being more sustainable. It means, for example, eating sustainable food. The food industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. So how can we eat sustainably? By consuming less red meats and processed meals and more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. You can create your own fruit and veggie gardens so that way you know where the food comes from and that is a more green solution. Supporting local farmers and buying food from producers that try to leave as minimal of an impact on the land and the natural resources can also make a difference.
On top of what you eat, you can also act more sustainably, starting from simple, everyday care about nature to more advanced solutions like designing sustainable environments or modernising sectors with the newest technologies, for example in industrial automation. Create sustainable manufacturing today.
At Distrelec we pay attention to selecting sustainable products that contribute to a better living environment. Discover more articles on KnowHow that focus on renewable energy sources, greener alternatives and cleaner solutions, and change the world with us.