What Businesses Need to Know About Climate Change
Guest Blog: SowSustainability.com
By: Larry Waters
Scientists have been issuing warnings about climate change for decades. However, the topic largely dropped off the radar after the '80s scare over the hole in the ozone layer. However, concerns about climate change have reemerged in recent years as scientists warn time is running out to course correct. That’s why this information guide from Dental Lace is more important than ever – especially for business owners.
What Is the Most Significant Cause of Climate Change?
The primary driver of global warming since the mid-20th century has been a phenomenon referred to as the greenhouse effect. It refers to global warming that occurs because Earth's atmosphere traps heat from the planet that would otherwise escape into space.
This effect has increased largely due to the use of long-lived gasses that do not respond chemically or physically to temperature changes. The gasses that contribute to this effect are nitrous oxide, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane.
Human activity, such as land-use changes, deforestation, and burning fossil fuels, has increased the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 48% since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, making it the most important driver of climate change. Methane concentrations have also increased due to hydrocarbon gas produced by human activities, such as the decomposition of waste in landfills, agriculture, and livestock production.
Fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning, nitric acid production and the use of fertilizers in agriculture have increased nitrous oxide. Synthetic compounds called chlorofluorocarbons have been a major contributor to the destruction of the ozone layer. However, international regulations have successfully reduced the impact of CFCs.
What Can Climate Change Activists Do to Positively Impact Communities?
One of the most impactful things that climate change activists can do to help their local communities is to run for a state or local office. Activism can only accomplish so much without buy-in from local, state, and federal governments. More activists in public offices can push for changes to laws and regulations to combat climate change. Additionally, they can advance local efforts, such as switching government buildings to solar power, moving local transit systems to electric vehicles, and providing incentives for local businesses and homeowners to adopt green practices.
How Can Business Owners Promote Climate Activism?
As leaders in their communities, businesses can lead the fight against climate change by adopting and promoting green practices and pressuring local governments to enact new laws and regulations. As a small business owner, you may be concerned that going green is too expensive; however, you can start making changes, such as encouraging recycling and using recycled materials, without spending a lot of money. Additionally, green practices pay benefits by improving your reputation, increasing customer loyalty, and raising employee morale. What you gain in increased business and employee productivity can outweigh the cost of your green upgrades.
How Can Community Members Have a Positive Impact?
Agriculture, forestry, and other land use contribute to 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to statistics. Transportation contributes another 14%. You can do a double dose of good by purchasing locally produced food and not wasting it. Americans throw out about 40% of the food they buy. Shopping for only what you need, composting scraps, eating leftovers, and donating your excess food to food banks can reduce your food waste. Purchasing locally produced food reduces the environmental impact of transporting food across the country for sale in grocery stores.
The climate change picture may seem bleak. However, a concerted effort by governments, activists, business owners, and community members can avert the crisis.
Dental Lace is a sustainable refillable dental floss company on a mission to rid our planet of plastic floss. Have questions, requests or concerns? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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