We all know the main ways an individual can help combat climate change; reduce power usage, divest in fossil fuel investments and switch to green energy when possible. Let’s look at a few scientifically sound ways that you can help climate change that are a little outside the box.
According to a new study out of Yale, our friendly soil dwellers could help slow global warming.
Worms eat the tiny microbes that themselves eat decomposing organic matter. While munching away on organic matter these microbes release tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So: More worms, fewer microbes, less carbon dioxide emissions.
Elevated temperatures stimulate growth and enzyme production, which aids the decomposition process. That in turn leads to a feedback cycle in which human-caused warming exacerbates microbial-caused warming.
Thomas Crowther, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale F&ES and lead author of the study states “Effectively the microbes that live in the soil are responsible for producing 10 times more carbon emissions than even humans have produced,” Crowther said. “That’s the biggest flux of carbon into the atmosphere that there is on Earth.”
There are ways to eco proof your generic cat or dog pet but we are thinking outside the box here. You want to go the extra mile? Buy a pig or a alpaca as a pet.
Alpacas set a perfect example of how to tread lightly on the Earth. They have a very low environmental impact due to their padded feet that don’t hurt the meager soil of the High Andean mountains, and they graze gently in a way that doesn’t kill the plants they consume.
As for pigs, they are the ultimate upcyclers. Pigs will nourish themselves with what people consider waste––if not for pigs, that stuff would be headed for the landfill. Plus they are extremely intelligent and make excellent pets.
Change your political views
I am probably preaching to the converted here but a recent study published by Science magazine has found that conservatives pretend they are happy but liberals actually are.
The report states: “Relative to conservatives, liberals more frequently used positive emotional language in their speech and smiled more intensely and genuinely in photographs. Our results were consistent across large samples of online survey takers, U.S. politicians, Twitter users, and LinkedIn users. Our findings illustrate the nuanced relationship between political ideology, self-enhancement, and happiness and illuminate the contradictory ways that happiness differences can manifest across behavior and self-reports.”
Use that fact at your next dinner party!
After you do all you can during your lifetime you can give one last give back to the planet after you are gone. The Spíritree is a biodegradable urn and tree planter made by San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Spíritree Forest Company. The Spíritree is designed to be a “remembrance of the past, [but also] a renewal of life that restores the environment for everyone’s future,” according to creator José Fernando Vázquez Pérez.
The urns design is deceptively simple. The bottom shell is made out of biodegradable materials that aids in neutralizing the alkalinity of the cremated ashes, while the top cover is a hollow, ceramic shell with small holes that allow rainwater to be collected inside, and released slowly. This moisture helps the bottom shell decompose naturally, and as the shell breaks down, the cremated remains are gently recomposed with the soil underneath, ultimately transforming into nutrients for a growing sapling, which will someday shatter the ceramic top in the process. The result is a beautiful, living tree.