If there’s anything the Australian bushfires have taught us, it’s the fact that climate change is real and can no longer be denied. Our planet is getting hotter and we must act quickly to prevent further climate catastrophes.
The bushfires are changing the way Australians live, as it should for people all around the globe. Thankfully, many individuals, families and organisations have recognised the impact of a warmer climate and are preparing to make changes now.
With so many great minds now focussing on the crisis, we’re seeing innovative ideas that can slow down climate change and ideally reverse it. Ideas are fantastic however it’s action that can change the world. Some of the ideas in this article may seem small and insignificant and others may seem outside your realm of influence. That’s okay! If we all work towards what we can control and make some adjustments in our lives, collectively we can produce a far better outcome.
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- Online connectivity
Why drive to work every day when online technologies allows most of us to work from home. You’ll help save the planet by not driving and producing carbon emissions and studies show you’ll probably be more productive. Some entire companies are moving to a work from home model that also means no large office needs to be powered, heated, cooled and maintained which will also save energy.
- Automatic sensors
It’s easy for us all to forget to do the simple things like turning lights off when we leave a room. Installing automatic sensors in the home or office space is a great way to minimise the waste of energy. These simple devices can do things like turning off the lights when no one is in the room, adjust the indoor temperature when rooms are no longer in use, and control the water flow from faucets to prevent waste. Automatic sensors typically generate power usage reports, which is a fun way to monitor the improvements your gadgets are making.
- Solar photovoltaic panels
The invention of solar photovoltaic panels has reduced our dependency on fossil fuels for energy. Solar PVs are a practical and cost-effective tool for converting energy from the sun into energy we can use daily. Technological developments over the years have improved solar PVs’ capacity for absorbing the energy from the sun and also lowered the costs. Though roof-mounted panels are still the more popular form of solar PVs, ground-mounted panels have become popular for solar farms. There are also practical ways to design your home to make use of passive solar.
- Wind turbines
Just like solar PVs, wind turbines have contributed significantly to reducing our need to burn fossil fuels for energy. Wind turbines harness the wind’s kinetic energy and convert it into power we can use every day. They work best in open places where the wind is known to be strong. While we are seeing wind turbines power industry, in years to come maybe options will be developed to power our homes.
- Renewable energy storage
One of the modern advantages of using renewable energy is the ability to store that energy for future use. That’s why many solar PVs now come with rechargeable batteries. Where the costs for batteries were once prohibitive, you can now purchase a battery solution at a fraction of the cost.
- Distributed energy resources
It’s now possible for communities to take more control over their power consumption through distributed energy resources (DERs). DERs, also called microgrids, can produce cleaner energy and can lower power costs for consumers. While its challenging to gain community agreement on this type of project, if the global climate crisis continues to escalate its likely more people will want to get off the national grid, have more direct control over power usage, and save money by setting up a DER in their neighbourhood.
Our planet is getting hotter, and the increasing heat is wreaking havoc on our weather patterns. If we act quickly and rethink the ways we produce and use energy, we can slow down global warming and climate change.