Co-authors: Holly Abeels, Alicia Betancourt, and Dr. Ashley Smyth
April 22, 2020 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The theme for this year’s Earth Day is “climate action”. Climate change is the biggest challenge the world faces today. But it’s a challenge and issue we can solve together. Here are some resources and actions you can do to help combat climate change.
What You Can Do
Often the simplest things you can do are related to behaviors in your day to day life. Actions like reducing your water or energy use, reducing food waste, and cutting down on vehicle emissions all have an impact. This week we’ll take a look at actions you can start doing today. We’ll start with looking at how you can save water.
Part One: Saving Water
Here are some simple actions you can do to reduce the amount of water you are using in your home.
- First fix any leaks. Small household leaks can add up to gallons of water being lost every day.
- Turn off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth. Turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save 200 gallons of water per month.
- Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators.
- Take shorter showers.
- Install a WaterSense labeled toilet, which uses 60% less water than older toilets.
- Use a dishwasher to clean dishes and make sure the dishwasher is fully loaded.
- Scrape your plate instead of rinsing it before loading it into the dishwasher.
- Only wash full loads of laundry. When purchasing a new washing machine look for the ENERGY STAR label.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than running water until it gets cold.
- Sweep patios, driveways, and sidewalks rather than hosing them off.
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash. Or wash your car on the grass at home and not in the driveway.
- Use a rain barrel to store rain-water for irrigation.
- Irrigate your landscape responsibly. Be aware of weather conditions and water accordingly. Water at the right time of day. Set watering systems to run during the early morning or early evening hours (before 10am or after 4pm). Know when water restrictions are for your area.
Websites to Follow
These are just some of the actions you can take to help personally adapt to climate change. Download and read the Climate Change Handbook: A Citizen’s Guide to Thoughtful Action for more personal actions you can take. Follow these websites for the latest information about climate change in the U.S. and in Florida.
National Climate Assessment – 4th Edition
NASA Global Climate Change – Vital Signs of the Planet
Florida Sea Grant Climate Change Resources
FDEP Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection