Friday, November 18, 2011

Climate Change and Christmas

There are some people who escape to Thailand or some other hot tropical country to escape the cold weather at Christmas, and there are others who are hoping for a white Christmas. I can’t remember the last time it really snowed at Christmas. With the present dire state of the world’s climate the possibility of a White Christmas is becoming more remote by the year.
It seems to me that the best way to try and rectify this problem is to invest a little time and effort into making your Christmas celebrations a little more environmentally friendly. Every little bit helps and besides it is the trying that counts as well.
At present the carbon dioxide count in the atmosphere stands at 390 parts per million (ppm). There is no room for maneuver. All new energy efficient factories and homes built and all new fossil fuel power plants constructed are liable to tip the count over 450 ppm in a few years time. 450 ppm is the point at which sea levels rise and temperatures rise with the result of mass flooding, mass extinctions and turn the Amazon rainforest into a desert. It is clear that world leaders are not going to solve this problem so consumers must do so instead.
So here are a few tips for making your Christmas season more green:
1)    Turn off the Christmas lights when you go to bed. Also unplug devices such as stereos, TVs, DVD players and especially microwaves that are on standby when not in use. These devices continue to waste electricity when you are not using them. A good green gift idea is a smart strip that automatically turns devices off when a master device such as a computer or TV is turned off.
2)    Don’t turn the thermostat up too high during the holiday period. It is plain stupid to wear shorts and a t-shirt in the home at winter because the heating is up so high. For every 8 hour period you can drop your thermostat set point by 1 degree you save 1% on your heating bill.
3)    Use recycled paper for wrapping up presents. The wrapping paper is torn off in a hurry and no kid will notice that the paper is recycled. Using recycled paper helps to slow down deforestation.
4)    Consider your carbon output when buying food, drink and presents for the Christmas period. Try to buy as much as possible at one time, also try to go to shops near your home. Internet shopping is another good idea as companies such as Amazon often move products in bulk.
5)    Buy organic vegetables, fruit and meat where possible. Not only does organic produce taste better but it means that its production has not been at the result of poisoning the ground with pesticides and fertilizers.
6)    Try not to waste water. An 8 minute shower uses the same amount of water as a bath. Either install a low flow shower head (another good green present idea for Christmas) or turn the water off while you are soaping yourself. When and if the world temperature rises fresh water supplies will become severely restricted.
It is hoped that you make the effort to try and be more earth friendly this Christmas. The greatest gift you can give to your children is a world that is not wrecked as a result of mindless consumerism now.

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