As adults, we are well aware of the concept of global warming – the subject is frequently headline news. Although the concept of global warming is a hotly debated topic, many people agree that we need to look after our world and minimize the impact we have on our environment.
One of the ways we can make a difference is to educate our kids about environmental issues like global warming. Below we've provided a simple explanation of the issue at hand, and some tips on how to reduce global warming as family, by developing greener habits at home.
What is Global Warming?
Across the world, climates are changing, and this has started to have a negative effect on nature as well as many people's ways of life. An increase in 'greenhouse gasses', chemicals and pollutants that are trapped in the atmosphere, means the surface temperature of earth is heating up. As a result:
- The polar ice caps are melting. The lives of animals that live in the polar regions – like seals and polar bears – are now at risk due to the decreasing size of their natural habitat.
- The ocean levels are rising. Coastal communities around the world are threatened with serious and more frequent flooding. Low-level areas in the UK, like East Anglia, are increasingly affected.
- Weather patterns around the world are shifting. In the UK, winters are becoming wetter and summers are hotter. This changes how crops grow and therefore can affect the stability of food production.
For more information on greenhouse gases, check out our article on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle, as well as our Sustainable Living Plan. Teaching your kids about these important facts is the first step in getting them involved in stopping global warming, next, it’s time for some action to prevent global warming…
How Can We Help to Stop Global Warming
The best time to try to stop global warming is now! Any action that reduces water and energy consumption and the build-up of harmful gases in our atmosphere, helps to minimize the effects of global warming. Simple ideas that you can easily put into practice are:
- Walk or Cycle as much as possible. Not only are these great ways to get some exercise, they are the least polluting means of transport available. For short distances walking and cycling should really be your first choice. In the UK many cities have dedicated cycle lanes and even cycle schemes that mean you don't even have to own a bike to use one to get around. Get striding or cycling today!
- Use public transport or car pool. If you need to travel longer distances communal transport is greenest. Taking the bus or tube is better than getting in your car and driving. You could also try out any of the large number of car pooling schemes that have popped up over the last couple of years. These are designed to save you money and fills up cars that would normally be driven empty on the roads.
- Unplug appliances that are not in use. With all the electronic gadgets we use around the house these days, it's hard not to fall into the habit of leaving something permanently on charge or standby. Not only is this bad for the devices themselves, you end up wasting energy needlessly. The more energy that's used, the more Wherever possible, keep charging time to the minimum and turn appliances off at the wall and unplug them when you can. Unleash the joy of traditional games and toys. Before tablets, smartphones, and computer consoles, there were games that used inexpensive and recycled or recyclable materials. And these consumed no energy at all – at least not in terms of electricity! At Persil, we love these types of kids’ activities: you can find plenty of ideas for traditional games and toys here.
- Treat water as precious. Even though we experience a great deal of rainfall in the winter in the UK, many areas also experience droughts in the summer. At home, simple actions like making sure your children learn to turn off the tap while brushing their teeth and teaching them to only run the washing machine or dishwasher when it's full will make a difference to both the environment and your water bill!
To find out more about Persil's green commitments, check out our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan here. If you have any other eco-friendly tips for parents, we'd love it if you let us know in the comments box below.