The summit saw the arrival and participation of youth around Africa to South African shores, to discuss the issues around climate change and establishing a green economy for future generations. The results of this summit are yet to be seen, but will certainly add value for future generations.
CEO of Brand South Africa, Miller Matola, says with the recent achievements in establishing green sustainability, the Generation Earth summit was an encouraging pledge from the youth because it shows that they want to ensure a better future for those of tomorrow.
In the last 100 years, Earth’s average surface temperature increased by about 0.8 °C with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain most of it is caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuel.
Deforestation and climate change are intimately connected: Globally, deforestation releases nearly 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, and is responsible for nearly 25 percent of man-made CO2 emissions. The destruction of the world’s forests not only harms the communities that depend on them, but increasingly affects us all.
We can all Play Our Part. While the root causes of deforestation vary from region to region, there are some common solutions for everybody around the world.
Communities need seeds, training, and technical support in order to adapt. Starting nurseries and planting trees is part of this process.
Simple ways that you can Play Your Part:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans.
Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning
Adding insulation to your walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home.
Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat.
Buy Energy-Efficient Products
When it’s time to buy a new car, choose one that offers good petrol consumption. Home appliances now come in a range of energy-efficient models, and compact florescent bulbs are designed to provide more natural-looking light while using less energy than standard light bulbs.
Use the “Off” Switch
Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as much light as you need. And remember to turn off your television, video player, stereo and computer when you’re not using them.
Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you can.
You will also cut down on waste production and energy use… another help against global warming.
Reuse your shopping bag
When shopping, it saves energy and waste to use a reusable bag instead of accepting a disposable one in each shop. Waste not only discharges CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, it can also pollute the air, groundwater and soil.
Global warming is urgent! We don’t need to wait for governments to find a solution to this problem: each individual can help by adopting a more responsible lifestyle: starting from little, everyday things.
- Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part is a social movement to get all South Africans to actively think about and begin doing something positive; and to recognise and celebrate those who are already doing something; big or small. It is aimed at all South Africans, including civil society, government, corporate and non-governmental organisations, etc. It has been created by the Brand South Africa to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship. All South Africans have access to resources that can contribute to a better future for all including time, money, skills or goods.
For more info, visit www.playyourpart.co.za