Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time. A large proportion of the increased emissions result from the way we extract, convert and use fossil fuel like oil. Most cars, trucks and airplanes are powered by petrol. Petrol is made from oil, and much of the plastic we use is also made from oil. Oil and petrol contain carbon dioxide that travels with the exhaust gases into the air. Plastic garbage is often burned, and this releases carbon dioxide into the air.
As long as the carbon dioxide remained trapped in the oil far beneath the Earth’s surface, it posed no danger. Now that we are emitting this carbon dioxide into the air, it is creating major problems on our planet. This causes global warming, which in turn upsets the delicate balance of the Earth’s climate. This can cause more frequent natural disasters, make it more difficult to farm, or make it hard to access clean water.
The challenge - Full speed ahead!
The best thing we can do is to not use petrol and plastics at all – and to do that, we must change our habits. It may seem difficult to change our habits, but together we will succeed!
As a family, agree to five things you can do to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Here are a few examples:
- Perhaps you live close to school or the place where you practice sports, but the grown-up who takes you there still takes the car. Challenge them to walk or bike there with you instead!
- Instead of flying far away on holiday, suggest travelling by train in Sweden or Europe.
- Buy things that are made of materials other than plastic. For example, there are water bottles and lunch boxes made of metal or glass.
- Shop second-hand. At flea markets, auctions and online, you can buy many great used things, instead of buying new ones. You will probably be the only person who has the cool thing you find!
- Sew your own clothes when your old ones fall apart, or transform clothes that have grown shabby or too small into something else. New textiles are often produced and transported in ways that emit carbon dioxide.