By Sahar Moussa

Our planet is suffering – global warming, climate change, depletion of the ozone layer, increase in air pollution, droughts, hurricanes, wildfires, extinction of endangered species, melting of polar icecaps, storms and disappearance of coral reefs are a few of the problems affecting our environment. And let us not forget the Industrial Revolution, which hastened climate change like never before.

The hottest topic nowadays is global warming, as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is taking place in Glasgow. During the conference, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s Representative, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, affirmed Kuwait’s keenness to adopt a national low carbon strategy until 2050. He said the national strategy is based on a circular carbon economy to promote the reduction, disposal, reuse and recycling of greenhouse gases.

Without any doubt, every living being on earth is affected by global warming as we speak, and the planet that we call home could one day turn against us. So let us think for a second -are we doing our bit in saving our planet from the brink of overheating? We as humans want to make a difference, but it is frustrating because it’s either we do not know how, or we think that one individual cannot make a difference. So we just ignore the entire problem.

The truth is our species is in danger, and if we do not act towards this situation fast, we will go extinct and become a very interesting subject taught to ‘survival children’ in history books, exactly like the dinosaurs. So what is global warming? It is the increase of Earth’s average surface temperature and its oceans due to greenhouse gases released as people burn fossil fuels. These gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, absorb heat that would otherwise bounce off the Earth’s surface.

Scientists have listed a lot of solutions to help alleviate this crisis. The idea that one person can’t make any difference is a myth, because each and every person matters and can effect big change by making small, simple, sustained and long-term changes starting from our homes, in addition to our neighborhoods and schools. Nobody is saying it is simple, but maybe if we commit to doing this for the sake of our planet and children, maybe we can make it. According to scientists, we can all start with the few tips listed below:

Conserve water
Try to turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and only turn it on when you finish. Try to reduce the amount of water when you are doing the dishes. In addition, taking a quick shower will greatly conserve energy. Showers use lesser water than baths by 25 percent, and over the course of a year, that is hundreds of gallons saved.

Turn off the lights
If you are not using a room, there is no need for the light to be on.

Replace regular incandescent light bulbs
Replace regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) or LED bulbs. They consume 70 percent less energy than ordinary bulbs and last longer.

Bring your own shopping bags
Plastic bags are destructive to the environment. Switch to reusable bags and use them consistently. Avoid using straws as much as you can, and print fewer papers to save trees.

Go solar
One way to reduce carbon dioxide is to use clean renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy. These sources produce much less pollution as well.

Reduce, reuse, recycle
You can reduce buying stuff, and try to buy eco friendly products. Reusing stuff and recycling reduces landfills.

Start composting
Transforming food scraps and lawn clippings into fresh, nutrient-rich soil gives home gardens a boost.

Don’t drink bottled water
It takes 1.5 million barrels of oil to manufacture water bottles every year, and these bottles take more than 1,000 years to biodegrade. Have one reusable water bottle to make a big difference.

Eat less meat
Meat consumption is responsible for releasing greenhouse gases such as methane, CO2, and nitrous oxide. Therefore, you should reduce your daily meat intake to three times a week.

Spread awareness
Always try your best to educate people about global warming and its causes and aftereffects.
Hoping that the COP26 conference this year will reach solutions to get real results to save our planet from all the disasters we are facing, so we will not meet the same fate as the dinosaurs!

sahar@kuwaittimes.net