Top Ways the World Will Manage Climate Change (Beyond Reusable Water Bottles)

We all know we need to do our part to manage climate change…well, almost everyone knows this scientific fact. We know we need to drive less, recycle, stop using plastic, eat organically and opt for less packaging and reusable bags. And, if you’re like me, you’re trying to do all of these things. But, what if we – as citizens, business owners, policy makers, or government leaders – knew the most important ways to manage climate change? Then, we could be sure we’re each doing as many of them as possible to make the greatest difference.

The group Project Drawdown ranked the most effective climate change solutions, dividing the many activities under categories such as the best ways to manage climate change based on food, movement of people and goods, homes and cities, land use, electricity use, waste management and empowering women.

Here are some of the top-ranked selections under each of the categories:

Under Project Drawdown’s food category, the organization ranked eating a plant-based diet, throwing away less food, composting waste and cooking over cleaner stoves among the top solutions. Check out my blog, “New Study Found Plant-based Diet Reduces Heart Failure Risk by 41%” to not only help climate change but to help improve your health, too.

Project Drawdown also looked at the way we move people and goods around the planet and found that we could all help climate change by flying less and flying on more fuel efficient planes when we need to fly. It also recommended that we invest in high-speed trains, ship goods more efficiently and drive electric cars. It seems to me that there is an obvious trend toward decreasing our use (and waste) of fossil fuels and decreasing emissions of these greenhouse gases.

The homes we inhabit and the cities we live in also contribute to climate change and it astounds me that so many town, city, state and national governments continue to institute laws, regulations and policies that restrict people and communities that want to “go green.” From outdated building codes to front yard vegetable gardens, government officials need to get informed before they get their heels in to support the status quo. Some of the top-ranked ways to fight climate change under the “Our Homes and Cities” category include green roofs, smart thermostats and LED lighting, as well as designing (or redesigning) cities to be more walkable.

The United States has lost millions of acres of prime agricultural land to development in the last few decades. That doesn’t include wilderness lands that have been developed or opened up for development by governments that don’t understand climate change science. Project Drawdown ranks the protection, preservation and restoration of important ecosystems like coastal wetlands and tropical forests, as well as the return of lands to indigenous peoples as top ways we can combat climate change. The organization also ranked the planting of bamboo because of the plant’s rapid growth and capacity to absorb greenhouse gases at a much higher rate than most plant and tree species.

Our rapid pace of development also leads to challenges with materials and waste management. Top-ranked solutions in these areas include building with greener cement compounds. Cement is ubiquitous in our lives and most of us don’t give it a second thought. But the cement industry is the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide on the planet next to two countries (China and the U.S.), not two other industries. Cement making requires huge volumes of water (another climate change alarm bell) that could be used for drinking and growing crops, and it creates large amounts of dust that increase respiratory problems. Its negative impacts on the natural environment are innumerable. While we must address this massive threat, Project Drawdown also suggests we demand government and industry clean up chemicals in our air conditioning and refrigeration. On a more personal level, we can do a better job of recycling or repurposing more of our household goods and cutting back on rampant consumption.

It is almost impossible for most people today to imagine life without electricity even though its widespread use in society is less than a century old. Electricity generation and use is often sold as “clean energy” but its impact on climate change is real. Among the top-ranked solutions regarding electricity use, Project Drawdown included wind, wave and solar power as better ways to generate electricity. As an added bonus, none of these energy generating options have been proven to cause cancer despite the “windmill” claims of a high-ranking government official. Project Drawdown also included nuclear power in the rankings but the images from Chernobyl remain a horrific reminder of the dangers of this form of energy generation.

Last but not least, kudos to Project Drawdown for recognizing that empowering women will have a positive impact in our fight against climate change. Increased access to education, increased access to family planning and closing the gender gap in small-scale farming are some of the solutions the organization ranked high.

Check out all the rankings and let us know what things you are doing to combat climate change and help the planet.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, founder of Scent-sational Wellness, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking. Follow her work.

 

86 comments

Leo C
Leo Cyesterday

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Hui S
Hui S5 days ago

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Leo C
Leo C5 days ago

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Leo C
Leo C6 days ago

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Carla G
Carla G7 days ago

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Angela K7 days ago

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Leo C8 days ago

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Leo Custer
Leo C9 days ago

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danii p9 days ago

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danii p9 days ago

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