You don’t have to go back too far, to find a time when the majority of people scoffed at the idea of climate change. Even today, there are still some environmental-sceptics, but their numbers are growing fewer by the day. One reason for this is the work done by Al Gore, and other environmental campaigners, along with great education on green issues.
In large, however, people’s attitudes are changing because of what they see happening around them. Even those who were previously sceptical can see weather conditions becoming more extreme at home, and abroad, often with devastating consequences. This re-evaluation is changing the habits of our nation as a whole. Here are some signs that the green revolution has truly started.
The Rise of Alternative Energy
The use of fossil fuels isn’t only diminishing our natural resources, it’s also a major contributor to greenhouse gases. Consumers are waking up to this fact, and a growing number are turning to alternative energy sources. Heat pumps are being used to heat radiators and provide hot water on demand, whilst solar energy panels are becoming an increasingly common sight for both domestic and commercial properties. In 2013 alone, there was a 41% increase in the number of people having photovoltaic panels fitted.
Cycling as a Primary Form of Transport
Cycling was once seen as a sport or a hobby, but for many it’s now an essential part of everyday life. Commuters have realied that cycling is not only a great way to get fit, it can also help the environment at the same time. People are leaving their cars at home, and cycling to work. The British government has introduced a Cycle2Work scheme, where workers get a new bicycle paid for by an automatic, and subsidized, deduction from their salary. Workers are making significant savings from Cycle2Work, and it’s likely that similar schemes will take effect in the USA as well.
Carbon Footprint Conscious
Not long ago, most people didn’t know what a carbon footprint was, but now it’s becoming increasingly important to consumers and businesses alike. The public is becoming aware that little things can make a big difference. For example, using a dishwasher at 65ºC creates around 84Kg of CO2 per year, whilst using a dishwasher at 55ºC generates around 51Kg per year. Energy saving lamps are becoming more common, and water saving showers and toilets are rising in popularity.
Recycling was once seen as a chore, but attitudes towards recycling have changed enormously in recent decades. Recycling centers are springing up at an unprecedented rate. Latest figures show that the US solid waste recycling industry has a revenue of around $55 billion. This is projected to have grown to $139 billion by 2020. Recycling is now something that the whole family can join in with, and children especially are becoming fastidious about separating and recycling. Coastal communities have also seen an opportunity to earn extra cash while cleaning up the beaches. There are now companies that are producing coastal and marine recycled plastic textiles.
With attitudes towards the environment changing rapidly, there may be time yet to save our planet from the effects of man made climate change.