Earth Day is Coming Up — How Are We Investing In Our Planet?
April 22nd is Earth Day, the annual global day of action to protect our planet from the effects of climate destruction. Conservationists, ecologists, climate scientists, sustainability leaders, businesses, and concerned citizens come together to learn, educate, collaborate, and take action towards building real change. But why? And what does NoiseNet have to do with any of that? If you’re still asking “what’s the deal with all this climate change stuff” here’s everything you need to know and what we’re doing to work towards a greener future.
The Effects of Climate Change
Fossil fuels — that is, the ancient remains of plants and animals that we dig up and burn to power our lives — were the only method of energy production widely available for a long time in human history. Burning these fuels produces what are known as “greenhouse gases”: mass amounts of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere that accentuates weather patterns, making hot places hotter, cold places colder, and extreme weather events more frequent and powerful. These greenhouse gases have built up over centuries, and experts are predicting that if they’re not addressed soon we will face mass extinction events, rising sea levels, and many population centres becoming unliveable.
In addition to fossil fuels, there are several other environmental issues impacting the Earth that are leading to devastating results for plants, animals, and humans alike. Single-use plastics are clogging waterways, choking animals, and degrading into microplastics that find their way into our bodies and cause health problems. High-density farming strips soils of nutrients, pulls irreplaceable water from natural reservoirs, and requires mass deforestation, reducing the natural ways to capture greenhouse gases. The mass amounts of noise generated by mines, factories, cars, and urban areas strongly affects local animal behaviour and reduces breeding opportunities, and also psychologically affects humans after continuous exposure.
How We Can Help the Climate
For approximately the past two centuries, these issues have compounded and caused untold damage to the Earth. This has led many climate authorities to issue an ultimatum: limit the effects of greenhouse gases to +2 degrees Celsius globally by 2030, or we’ll see the broad consequences of climate change have acute, damaging effects on our lives.
But with modern innovations in renewable power sources like wind, water, and solar, as well as carbon capturing technologies, we have the potential to reverse — or at least address — many of these problems. And Earth Day is dedicated to bringing public and governmental attention and funding to these solutions. Earth Day also involves a number of events open to the public, from educational seminars to marches to The Great Global Cleanup.
If you’re looking for ways that you can help mitigate the effects of climate change, these events are a great way to get started and learn from many of the experts in the field. We here at NoiseNet particularly love seeing tree planting initiatives — not only do they help with greenhouse gas emissions and provide homes for a broad range of helpful animals and insects, but they also drastically reduce noise pollution. Vegetation, in general, offers a natural barrier helping reduce the impact of sounds - and nuisance noise.
Beyond Earth Day, there are a number of small ways in which you can do your part to help the environment. Composting, thoughtful recycling, and prioritising public transport are easy ways to start; installing solar panels on your home or upgrading to an electric vehicle are bigger commitments, but can have proportionately greater benefits. If you’re feeling extra passionate, talk to your local council members and let them know you want greater investment in environmental initiatives.
Undoing the damage wrought by climate change isn’t easy, but if all of us get involved we have the power to preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods. Businesses, governments, citizens — we all have our role to play in creating an Earth that’s clean, safe, and liveable. We’re devoted to using smart, sustainable technologies to reduce noise pollution in urban areas. How are you investing in our planet’s future?