Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused massive damages to anything that was in theirs path this past month, including loss of human life, animals, homes, communities and so much more. We all feel a bit helpless if we are not in those areas to personally assist. It is heart wrenching to watch the animals of those affected by the storm being left behind and waiting to be rescued from the areas underwater. A nursing home in Florida had eight seniors lose their lives due to the air conditioning not working after Hurricane Irma struck, which is hard to fathom. Now, those areas are recovering from the physical and emotional damage the storms have caused and need assistance. Most recently, Hurricane Maria struck some of the regions in the Caribbean, like Puerto Rico, that were already devastated from Hurricane Irma. The people there are still out of power and have limited access to clean drinking water and food.
But don’t fret! We have come up with a quick list of 5 items for you to immediately start helping all the victims of those devastating and unprecedented natural disasters. (And they are FREE!)
Here we go:
- Turn Off Lights
Take a few minutes before leaving your household to make sure all of the lights are off. The national average electricity cost is about $0.10 per kilowatt-hour, so you would save $0.60 for every hour a 60-watt bulb is turned off. While that may not seem like a lot, this will snowball into larger financial savings and reduced energy waste. In fact, if you turn off the lights whenever you leave a room, you can reduce carbon emissions by 0.15 pounds per hour. Yearly, that equates to meeting the total energy use for an average house for 16.77 days or driving an average car for 23.20 hours non-stop.
You’ve probably heard it before. Try to do at least one of these three actions every day, whether that’s reducing food waste, using a reusable water bottle, or recycling your trash. The less the world has to produce to meet its needs, the better off our planet will be with regards to climate change.
- Reduce or Eliminate Meat in Your Diet
By reducing or eliminating meat in your diet, you save an enormous amount of energy consumption. Adopting vegetarian diets would cut food-related emissions by 63%, and adopting vegan diets will cut food-related emissions by 70%. Not only will this help your wallet since meat is pricey, it will also benefit your heart health. By reducing your carbon footprint, you slow down climate change and stop creating breeding grounds for category 5 storms.
- Change Your Methods of Transportation
Instead of driving alone to work everyday, try to carpool with a coworker or a friend working nearby. If you live within a reasonable distance of your work, bike or walk to and from. Not only will you avoid waiting in traffic, but you’ll also exercise your body and reduce emissions. Transportation makes up the second highest portion of the United States’ carbon footprint at about 26%, so reducing this statistic would make a strong impact on global warming.
- Donate Your Time
This one may be easier for some than others. Donate your time to local grassroots environmental organizations and become involved in your community’s effort to end climate change. In addition you can also contribute your time to national organizations such as Climate Counts and, of course, the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce! If you don’t have much time to spare, you can raise awareness of the increasingly detrimental effects of climate change on the United States and Caribbean Islands by posting on social media and initiating the conversation because we only have one planet and one chance to take care of it.
So…As you may know, we as humans, are actually the reason these two hurricanes were even more destructive than others in past years. Yes, it’s about climate change. More specifically, we as humans made them more harmful because of the warmer water in the ocean, sea level rise, and more water vapor in the atmosphere to drop more rainfall. In fact, scientists predict the strength of these hurricanes will continue into future hurricane seasons if we don’t make any changes to our lifestyles. If we can slow down climate change by adopting eco-friendly practices in our daily lives, we can make a difference in the health of our planet.
If you are truly serious about helping all of the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, you can start helping by reducing your carbon footprint on the planet with these five free steps to prevent storms from becoming more forceful in the future.