Including more sustainable habits into daily life

Young people are our future, and the future of the planet, too. Nevertheless, they admit that they could be more responsible for their actions. According to Edita (name changed, actual name known to DELFI), certain sustainable and beneficial (to our planet) habits have entered her life naturally; although, there is still room for improvement.

„I can’t say that I ignore sustainability, ecology, and problems that arise on our planet completely. In recent years, I have kicked certain habits and replaced them with more planet-friendly solutions. For example, I use public transportation and travel on foot a lot, I try to buy as little non-staple commodities as possible, and avoid wasting food, electricity, and water. It all happened organically, but there are areas where I could do more,“ she said.

Climatologist gave a forecast about the future of Lithuania and the entire planet

Migle (name changed, actual name known to DELFI) agreed with her. She admitted that her contribution towards saving the planet was not very huge, but, according to her, she was trying to think about the situation on the planet more often and pay attention to her habits.

„My specific actions that help fight this problem are as follows: firstly, I try to use as little disposable plastic dishes as possible and substitute them with reusable dinnerware. Secondly, every day I only use public transportation or travel on foot. Thirdly, I sometimes buy second-hand clothes, and before buying something, I always thoroughly consider if I really need it. My shoes and clothes are usually more expensive, but also of higher quality, so they last longer,“ Migle said.

European and global leaders are taking action to encourage people to change habits that affect climate change negatively into more environmentally friendly ones. Migle is critical of some of the solutions, though.

„I think that some of the solutions to mitigate this issue are aimed not at the issue, but are used as a cash grab instead, under the guise of climate change. Especially in Lithuania, and that should not be the case. This is being done so blatantly that the opposite effect is created, and people may not want to put in the effort to decrease climate change since the government itself is making such illogical decisions,“ she added.

Climatologist gave a forecast about the future of Lithuania and the entire planet

Edita had different remarks.

„I think that global leaders are doing a lot in this regard. It is commendable and natural, actually, because Earth is plagued with obvious issues that simply cannot be ignored. Hardcore activists would probably say that the majority of decisions are being made rather sluggishly, that there is a lack of initiative from politicians and greater inclusion of people into changes, but I am naïve enough to believe that we can still make baby steps forwards and decrease the effect of various threats on ourselves and the planet, if just by a little bit,“ she shared.

Edita also admitted that although she was optimistic about making positive changes, she was getting more and more worried about the situation.

„I may not be the most exemplary of Earth’s inhabitants, but often what I see in my environment, the habits of other people, make me doubt just a little bit whether people truly understand the kind of problems we may encounter in the near future. This may sound a little bit selfish, but I am somewhat scared when thinking about my future plans to have a family and raise children in such an environment where the situation is getting worse by the hour,“ she said.

Migle, too, shared her thoughts about the future.

„In terms of climate change, it always seems as if major consequences will happen in the near future, but perhaps that is a naïve way of thinking because research shows otherwise. But I have faith in the people of the world and think that we have done a lot already, thus the situation should not be getting worse too drastically,“ she said.

Climatologist gave a forecast about the future of Lithuania and the entire planet

Climate is getting warmer because of our actions

Certain positive changes in society are visible. More and more people notice and realize the issues that are troubling Earth and start changing their destructive habits or at least are planning to do so in the future. And yet, one questions remains: is that enough? Are we on the right track? Climatologist Donatas Valiukas answered these questions.

„So far, we are definitely not on the right track. Quite the opposite – the last year was the warmest throughout the history of meteorological observations. A number of recent years have been very warm; actually, the last decade has been the warmest in several hundred years. This means that we are only moving towards higher temperatures worldwide, and the situation definitely has not yet started improving,“ he noted.

According to him, the emission of greenhouse gasses that are responsible for climate change increases due to almost all of our daily actions.

„The things we buy are worth considering – do we really need them. Manufacturing, transportation, and storage – all these processes result in CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. And we all contribute to this, including our everyday wasteful usage of water and electricity. Actually, even such seemingly tame things as sending an SMS also result in CO2 emissions, albeit very small. Therefore, global warming is caused by human actions, and those actions are not too specific, they are basically ordinary everyday things that we do,“ Valiukas explained.

Climatologist gave a forecast about the future of Lithuania and the entire planet

The climatologist also mentioned how the situation on Earth might change and develop in the future.

„If we do nothing, the planet will surely pretty quickly – by the middle or end of the century – become completely uninhabitable. The climate system is unpredictable and chaotic, and the consequences are also difficult to predict. What is happening now means that we will have more and more extreme weather events that will cause damages. I’m talking about heat weaves, heavy rains, and droughts,“ he continued.

These are global issues that affect all of us.

„Living in Lithuania, where it is relatively safe, perhaps we are not too concerned with the fact that somewhere in Asia or Africa land is drying out, and people are losing their harvest and suffering from famine. However, the world is interconnected, so if something goes wrong in South America, Asia, or other country, for example, due to drought, we feel this in Lithuania through prices. In principle, climate change means rising temperature and more frequent extreme events that can cause damage not only in a particular region but in the entire world,“ Valiukas said.

Climatologist gave a forecast about the future of Lithuania and the entire planet

The starting point of all decisions is society

As the climatologist puts it, in recent years the European Union (EU) has been making a lot of decisions leading to progress in combating climate change, bet there is definitely room for improvement.

„Probably, the EU has been spearheading sufficiently in this area, and the EU’s goals are ambitious enough. But, on the other hand, despite the ambitious goals, we still have a lot of goods coming from Asia, China, and Southeast Asia. And by buying those goods, we indirectly contribute to the emissions of the greenhouse gasses,“ he said.

Anyone can contribute towards the needed changes.

„Every person can contribute, even if just a little bit, but the more people do so, the better. For example, by using public transportation, buying responsibly, and not wasting food, which is a major problem in Europe. Life should be balanced and rational,“ Valiukas stressed.

According to him, changes should appear in society first, and then manifest through the decisions of politicians.

„Politics, first and foremost, begins with people. With their views, thoughts, and desires, and then all this is taken to a higher level. Therefore, through our everyday actions we not only show how to lead an environmentally-friendly life to decrease climate change, but also present the molded outlook to politicians, who will shape national policies, which, in turn, become global policies. In principle, everything begins with a person and their small actions,“ he concluded.

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