category : Responsible waste management, recycling and environmentally friendly behaviour
Imagine a glass greenhouse used to grow plants such as flowers and vegetables. The greenhouse keeps the plants warm even when it is cold outside, because it captures the heat from the sun. The Earth’s atmosphere acts as a greenhouse: when sunlight passes through the atmosphere, some of it is absorbed by the earth’s surface to warm it, but some of the heat is also captured in our atmosphere by certain gases. These heat-trapping gases are called greenhouse gases and act as a blanket, keeping the ground warm. This greenhouse effect is a natural process that makes the planet comfortable to live in.
But human activity is increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. One type of greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, has reached a level in our atmosphere that the Earth has not seen for more than 400,000 years! Plants, soils and the ocean can absorb carbon dioxide, but they can’t handle all the extra greenhouse gases that humans produce. And some greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for long periods of time, from hundreds to even thousands of years. All of these gases make the weather hotter than natural, so we need to stop producing them to avoid climate change.
The greenhouse effect is warming the earth’s surface and the air above it. It is mostly related to the combustion of mineral fuels. Scientists believe that human activity increases the greenhouse effect. When people drive a car or run a factory, they burn coal, oil and other fossil fuels. This adds extra greenhouse gases to the air, and they capture more heat. Scientists believe that this has led to global warming or a constant increase in the average temperature of the earth’s surface.
Energy resources and natural resources in general are not renewable in a short period of time, and sometimes not at all. The prudent and responsible use of these resources is a personal task for each of us, every day.
How can I personally help reduce the greenhouse effect?
To save energy during the day. For example: turn off the lights, close the doors immediately to keep out the heat, take short showers, walk if I can (instead of my parents driving me), turn off my computer when I’m not using it (not to I leave it on only to support Facebook or various games, for example);
I can convince people around me to save energy too. Usually people do not like to be told what to do, so persuasion needs to be done carefully. Parents can be the perfect example of this persuasion, but do it with love and humour. You can persuade them to make the following small but important changes: replace incandescent lamps with fluorescent lamps (this also saves money); ask him not to let the car run unnecessarily, for example when they are waiting to pick you up from school; recycle and sort waste with the family; let the dishwasher and other appliances in energy saving mode; keep the temperature at home not too high and turn off the heating at night and when everyone is outside.
Start a club with friends for nature conservation and green thinking; include classmates, teachers, and parents. Suggest ways to reduce energy consumption. Explain to everyone that global warming is a problem for everyone and ignorance of this problem leads to its expansion.
Keep learning. This will make you a responsible and useful citizen of the planet Earth. You can continue to learn throughout your life and make good decisions. Maybe one day you will help find important scientific, technological, political or economic solutions, depending on your profession.
It takes a lot of energy and water to produce everything we use and buy.