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Easy changes you can make to save the planet


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Why not make a few changes and help protect the ozone layer this Sunday?

As I’m sure many of you know, the ozone layer is the thin gas shield that protects life on Earth from the intensity of the sun’s rays. Although we should always be keeping an eye on our carbon footprint, Sunday, 16th September will be the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer - a day specifically for us to focus on how we’re treating our planet, and the thin little shell that protects it. 

Now, a lot of responsibility for the damage to our ozone layer is in the hands of larger corporations, who pump toxic chemicals into the atmosphere on a regular basis. This isn’t to say there’s nothing we can do as individuals; even making the smallest changes to our lifestyle can minimise the damage we’re causing.

If you drive, especially, you might want to reduce unnecessary travel by carpooling, combining trips, or taking public transportation. Consider eliminating any excessive engine idling, avoiding rush hour when the roads are packed with slow, stilted traffic, or simply avoid the drive-thru line in favour of parking and going inside.

In your own home, reduction activities could include limiting the use of lawn mowers and heavy-duty gardening equipment in favour of manual tools. We’re often guilty of overusing aerosol cans, but limiting your use of these (and disposing of them properly after use) can be extremely beneficial.

The heat we’ve been experiencing lately has probably led to many people turning air-conditioners up, when a fan would consume far less energy. Unplugging electrical devices such as computers, and leaving blinds closed (and lights off!) are all good ways to keep the temperature of your room down without having to expend further energy.  

Something as simple as checking the recyclability of a product before you invest in it is an incredible habit to get into, and although it’s not always possible, it reduces some of the demand for black plastics that would otherwise be single-use, throwaway pollutants.

If you want a more direct way to take action, get in contact with companies and brands that are continuing to pump their waste into our atmosphere. Use social media, email, and highlight your concerns with their practice. New laws are being introduced constantly to moderate the pollutants being expelled, but without a degree of public involvement or uproar, it’s easy for corporations to stay invisible and continue without consequence.

Something you may not have considered is the relationship between what you eat and the impact that has on the atmosphere. Cows, as you must know, fart. A lot. There are over a billion beef cows at this moment, who are grazing, farting, and pumping methane into the atmosphere. If the demand for meat wasn’t quite so extreme, there wouldn’t be such a need to maintain this volume of cows at any one time! Consider swapping your beef-burger for something else. This may sound ridiculous, but in 2006, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation reported that cows were responsible for 18% more (equivalent) emissions than transport!

By keeping all this in mind on 16th September (and hopefully, then onwards), you can contribute to creating a better, healthier world. Good luck!

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