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Our planet is in dire straits. This has brought governments from around the globe together to agree on how the negative trends can be reversed before it is too late.

We provide a snapshot of the issues currently facing our planet and the advantages of going green from a holistic, combined perspective.

Then we address some of the measures that businesses and individuals can take to turn the tide.

The Current State Of Our Planet
The current state of our planet is a cause for concern.

Its temperature is set to rise by three degrees Celsius, whereas research indicated that we needed to keep this to one and a half degrees over its pre-industrial level.

If this is exceeded, negative outcomes will occur. The water in oceans would rise and become too hot for optimal life, killing much of the existing marine life.

Storms would become more violent and lead to a great loss of life and the destruction of property and infrastructure.

Climate warming will take place with high rainfall; this would affect crops and food security, as well as endangering lives and homes.

How International Leaders Have Responded
These dangers are considered so serious that 95 countries signed an agreement in 2015 to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Further commitments were made in 2021. The biggest culprits to the carbon footprint were identified as deforestation, fossil fuel subsidies, and methane emissions.

Parties agreed to reduce their impact in this area and take measures to reverse the damage.

The progress made by the countries that pledged change often fell short of their promises.

Furthermore, Russia’s decision to wage war with Ukraine exacerbated problems such as food scarcity.

Water scarcity is already being felt in Africa and the Middle East and leading to friction between nations.

The pandemic led to an additional 20 million people experiencing hunger at crisis levels, over and above the 98 million already facing food insecurity.

Around the world, 11 people die every minute from starvation.

The Necessity Of Going Green
Going green is aimed at preserving natural resources, while we still have them.

We need to conserve our rainforests because they help to purify the atmosphere.

Ecosystems provide biodiversity, which is essential to preventing species from becoming extinct and causing imbalances in nature that have a profound effect on all life forms, ourselves included.

Organic agriculture eliminates pesticides and chemicals that destroy nature and contaminate our food sources.

With 90% of the world’s population breathing in bad air, measures must be taken to reduce pollution.

Studies are revealing that pollution affects the mind as well as the body. We need to consume fewer resources and eradicate waste.

The Advantages Of Going Green
Scientists and researchers state that the benefits of going green can be best understood within three categories.

These are Economy, Environment, and Health. However, these are interactive. For example, addressing pollution reduces the economic costs of medical insurance and hospitalisation, is better for the environment, and decreases disease conditions caused by breathing impure air.

Using recycled products cuts down on the consumption of natural resources and makes us less dependent on fossil fuels. Going green creates new jobs. Renewable energy decreases carbon emissions.

How Can Businesses Go Green?
Governments interact at the global level to address climate change and global warming.

Businesses should also play their part. The first step for a company is to conduct an energy audit. This will provide direction for your business to reduce energy costs.

Remote work options can decrease the amount of time that employees are sitting in traffic, breathing in pollutants, and emitting these into the atmosphere. Encouraging car pools can also have a positive impact.

Use geothermal, hydropower, wind, and solar energy sources. Change to biodegradable packaging. Insist on eco-friendly suppliers.

Sustainability initiatives may earn you a tax rebate. Check for federal and local policies that incentivise businesses to go green.

Customers prefer a company that prioritises sustainability as this has become a value for many people.

Linking these projects to brand recognition can gain respect and loyalty from consumers.

Go digital and cut down on paper. Switch off or unplug smart electronics that continue to consume energy when not in use.

Place green plants in offices to reoxygenate the air and remove carbon. Promote recycling by providing labelled bins around the building where employees can put items for collection.

Replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent lamps can reduce energy consumption on lighting by up to 80%. These also do not need changing as often.

Make sure lights are switched off in unoccupied areas.

What Can You Do As An Individual Or Family?
You can follow some of the tips for businesses (above) such as changes to lighting and installing a solar panel for the shower.

Save files instead of printing them and email someone instead of writing a memo. Switch off computers that are not in use.

Reuse before you recycle. Scrap paper can be written on using both sides to make grocery lists.

Skype to cut down on road trips. A bicycle will not produce pollution and is cheaper than a car. Bring your lunch to work from home to reduce wrappings.

House Plants
Place plants around the house where their effects will be magnified.

Your lounge and dining room areas will benefit from Weeping Figs that clear out the formaldehyde that is present in furniture and carpets.

Boston Ferns and Peace Lilies eliminate mould. They should be used in areas with high humidity such as bathrooms and kitchens.

In bedrooms, Mother-in-law’s tongue will produce oxygen and remove carbon that you breathe out into the air.

Become An Eco-Driver
Practice good driving habits. Do not accelerate aggressively or brake sharply as this will increase your fuel consumption.

You can expect a 10% better use of fuel by taking your vehicle for regular maintenance sessions. Make sure tyres are inflated for fuel efficiency.

At low speeds, it is more cost-effective to open the windows for fresh air than to turn on an air conditioner.

Electric Vehicles
When it is time to upgrade your old vehicle, consider purchasing an electric car instead.

This will make a major contribution to reducing your carbon footprint. There are increasing locations for charging an electric car. Similarly, you can perform electric car charging at home.

ElectriX provides information on everything to do with electric cars, such as electric car charging and how long it takes to charge an EV.

Their site points users in the direction of where to get the best lease deals, obtain insurance, and find a smart charger for home.

Green Energy Suppliers
Four suppliers in the UK use renewable sources of energy. Sign up with a green energy supplier.

At the same time, keep track of your energy and water usage. Something as simple as changing your showerhead can make a difference.

Aerated shower heads pull air into the stream of water, thereby reducing water usage.

This could save a family of four as much as £70 annually to heat water with gas and an additional £115 for water.

We are all citizens of this planet and must play our part in preserving the earth.

It means making a commitment to reducing our carbon footprint at work and home and sticking with it.

And it also places a burden on us to demand a greener country from our government.

(Pic: pexels image, licence free)

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