SIMPLE ACTIONS CAN MAKE WAVES OF DIFFERENCE
Dau ni Vonus collect debris from a beach. Plastic is notorious for blocking turtles' guts, as they mistake it for squid.
Earth Hour 2016 took place in an unprecedented 178 countries and territories, which makes it the biggest celebration for our planet ever; and it is individual people taking part that made it possible. This year’s Cambodia Earth Hour 2016 poster focused on the “power to change is in your hands” and we want to carry that idea forwards.
Earth Hour is not just making a difference for one hour, it is about channelling that passion and taking it forward into everyday life. Below are some ideas about how you can continue to help in the fight against climate change and make a difference every day.
Carbon emissions are a big cause of climate change worldwide, so cutting down your carbon output can help put a stop to climate change. WWF-Cambodia, along with help from Cambodian membership organization, Nexus, has put together a list of simple, but effective actions that you can take every day to help conserve energy.
1. Unplug electronics when not in use
Even when turned off, electronic devices still draw a current. One American estimate found the average home contained 40 products that constantly draw power, accounting for up to 10% of household energy use (http://standby.lbl.gov/standby.html
). Even just unplugging a couple of your devices could save on energy. We should all therefore try to unplug our devices when not in use, rather than switching them to standby.
2. Sourcing local food
Do you check where your food is from? Chances are that if you have bought it from the supermarket it has travelled from destinations all over the world to reach your plate!! For example you could be eating bacon from Denmark, jam from France and sugar from Brazil, when all of those items could be sourced from right here in Cambodia!! Shipping food long distances, in some cases from regions where energy intensive practices are used, means more emissions. This calculator gives an idea of how carbon intensive different foods are: http://www.foodemissions.com/foodemissions/Calculator.aspx
Certain foods are also very water internsive and require a lot of water to grow/ manufacture them. This water requirement is also linked to climate change, with more intense droughts affecting production of many of our favourite items. Instead of buying foods in the supermarket that have travelled hundreds of miles, try shopping at your local farmers market, or supplier where the food has been grown nearby.
3. Reducing waste (including food)
Waste is a big problem globally. From food waste to plastic and material waste, it takes energy to manufacture everything in our lives and when we throw things away, we are also throwing out the energy that was used to make it. Food waste is a major problem globally, with an estimated 1/3 of all food lost or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoCVrkcaH6Q
). With people not receiving enough food in certain regions, and others discarding so much of their food, we need to shop wisely and try to only buy food that will be consumed. Plastics make up the majority of other waste that litters our world. The vast majority of marine litter is plastic, which never truly breaks down. Experts suggest plastic left in the environment will be with us in some microscopic form many thousands of years. In Cambodia we need to remember to throw any items of waste in the bin so they will not litter the streets or the countryside and end up in the water systems or affecting the wildlife on the land.
4. Keep the air conditioning at a more sustainable level
Air conditioning is a must in countries like Cambodia where the temperatures are so hot, but we need to remember that using air conditioning is not very good for the environment. It uses far more energy than opening the windows or using a fan, and so we must try to be conservative with the level at which we set the air conditioning, or the amount of time we have it running. One hour of air conditioning could power a light bulb for more than a whole day – so a lot of energy could be saved if you turn the air conditioning off, or at least to a more sustainable level. This will save on energy, reduce your electricity bills and protect the plant too.
5. Avoid the use of plastic bags and plastic bottles
As mentioned in number three, we need to cut down on our waste and plastic is a big part of this. But we especially need to cut down on our use of disposable plastic bags and plastic bottles. These items only have a very short functional life and then take thousands of years to actually break down. Instead, try to use a bag for life, or a backpack when shopping, instead of a plastic bag as this will reduce waste. Also, use a glass or a durable water bottle instead of a disposable one.
Nexus exists to open doors for development. We collaborate with project developers and social entrepreneurs to maximize environmental and community benefits. We also work with partners around the world, creating innovative financial tools and connecting businesses with projects that are making a difference. Nexus’ services include providing loans and grants that fill key funding gaps, technical consultancy on clean energy technologies and project feasibility, selling carbon credits from award-winning projects, and performing carbon foot-printing services. More information available at: http://www.nexusfordevelopment.org/
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® “WWF” is a WWF Registered Trademark. WWF, Avenue du Mont-Bland, 1196 Gland, Switzerland – Tel. +41 22 364 9111 Fax +41 22 364 0332. For contact details and further information, please visit our international website at www.panda.org
For more information, contact:
Mr. UN Chakrey, Communications Manager of WWF-Cambodia
Tel: +855 (0)17 234 555