Earth hour blog
Switch off your lights for an hour and let your voice on climate change be heard!
As a young person in today's world, it’s hard to read any article that doesn’t state something negative about the climate and what we, as a human species, have forced upon our home planet. Our modern, fast paced, energy hungry lifestyles have come at a cost to our planet! The clock is now ticking for all of us! It’s time for us all to invest in our planet as a collective and by doing so invest in our future.
Climate change and the impact it’s having on our daily lives seems to be constantly talked about - with great reason. The time for talking however has passed - if we hope to give our planet a chance to reducing the rapid warming that is happening in front of us, as well as having a chance to reduce the climatic events that are beginning to affect us all (some more seriously than others), we need to make a change now!
The climate crisis affects us all - both here in Wales as well as in communities all over the world. The extreme weather events of 2022, such as the recent storms including Dudley, Eunice and Franklin - an exceptionally unusual event in the UK according to climatologists, had a devastating effect on many of our border communities and sadly if we do not act we will experience storms like this ever more frequently. This means we will all suffer much more devastating consequences more regularly. Globally we are an interconnected web of societies dependent on our planet for nearly everything. We have to act as a united community to tackle this problem.
To show our solidarity here in Wales and pledge to fight for our planet alongside the global community, I invite you take part in #Earthday.org and as a global community let our voices be heard in support of our climate and to turn off your lights at 8:30pm on 26th of March 2022 and keep them off for 1 hour – Earth Hour!
The lungs of Earth
Trees can be imagined as the Earth's lungs. They play a practical role in keeping our planet healthy - they do this by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing the oxygen that we depend on for our survival.
The absorption of this CO2 also helps to stabilise the Earth's climate.
Worldwide they absorb up to 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon each year, with the Amazon absorbing a quarter of that total.
On Earth, there’s close to 3.04 Trillion trees - which sounds like a lot!
But when we really break that number down it means there’s around 422 trees per person, which is only decreasing due to deforestation.
However, like all of us - we only have one set of lungs. We can help - we can get involved in planting trees or promoting companies that we buy from, to invest in schemes to offset their carbon through tree planting. Wales has proposed a National Forest connecting the country with an Ecological corridor to improve biodiversity across our nation and take action on climate change.
The main threats to our rainforests can come from things we do daily! These can be things like consumption, institutions, economy, conflicts, technology and epidemics - these can be further followed up by pressures such as agriculture, fishery, energy and tourism.
We face a massive crisis in our global future if we do not address the issues affecting the quality of water and what we are putting into our rivers, seas and oceans. Declining water quality has become a global issue of concern as human populations grow and industrial and agricultural activities expand.
Plastic contamination is still one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, although plastics pollution is most visible in developing nations when you see the floating debris choking rivers and shoreline, there is a more sinister contaminant that we can’t see, which has now made its way into the marine ecosystem and consequently ours – Microplastics!
Although we are very good at recycling in Wales, up among the best in the world with 60.7% of our household waste recycled! Of the plastics that we consume, some 40% is still single-use plastics and many of them have literally hours of life, yet may take decades to degrade with significant impact on our environment. There are alternatives to single-use plastics and we have to be willing as consumers to demand a shift to more sustainable packaging.
Wales intends to ban single-use plastics and legislate, in cooperation with UK government, to promote the recycling of plastic packaging through deposit and return schemes for drinks containers. They will also extend producer responsibilities for packaging, with higher fees being levied if they are harder to reuse or recycle.
We have much to celebrate in making environmental awareness part of mainstream politics and conversation but, we must all strive to continue to…
“Invest in our planet”.
So let our voices be heard in support of our climate and to turn off your lights at 8:30pm on 26th of March 2022 and keep them off for 1 hour – Earth Hour!