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Lifestyle
Help your planet: let's ditch emissions.
April is a special month. This is not only because, after the lethargy of winter, nature wakes up, with birds chirping, flowering trees and beneficial rains (although, let's face it, since we have had to stay locked indoors, it appears as if even the rain has been quarantined).

April is a special month because on the 22nd, for exactly 50 years, we have been celebrating Earth Day. Half a century of campaigning to promote the health of everything that surrounds us and initiatives that have gradually become an essential part of our daily life (one of them is recycling, the main theme of Earth Days in the 1990s).

Since the early 2000s, energy has been focused on the fight against global warming, which is constantly on the increase because of our uncontrollable carbon dioxide emissions.
Do you know how much CO2 we release into the air? In 1950 it was 5 billion tons.
In 2000, 25 billion tons.
In 2019 we reached a record high: 43 billion tons.
Emissions are growing at an increasingly overwhelming speed. If this trend were to continue, the planet would soon be so hot that most of the ice would melt; sea levels would rise, Venice would disappear (imagine that) but, most importantly, many animal species would become extinct.

Earth Day 2020 encourages us to act before it's too late, aiming for a future with zero carbon emissions.

There is still a long way to go, but every action, no matter how small, is important to reduce our environmental footprint (which you can calculate here). Even the small drops of water carried by hummingbirds help put out the forest fire, recounts an African fairy tale. Here then are some small drops you can contribute to reduce your CO2 emissions and slow global warming:

1)     Switch off the lights when you leave a room, a small gesture that saves kilograms of carbon dioxide every year.

2)     Turn off all electronic devices at home. Unplugging electronic devices not only prevents the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (turning off the TV is equivalent to about 80 kg of CO2 per year), it also saves money on your electricity bill (disconnecting a dozen transformers saves up to €40 per year).

3)     Turn the heat down. If you go from 21° to 20° you save 720 kg of CO2 per year.
4)     If you have a choice, take a shower instead of a bath. In fact, a shower requires about a quarter of the amount of water (and energy to heat it) compared to a bath.


5)     Do your laundry while at the same time respecting the environment. These simple measures are sufficient: use the washing machine only when fully loaded and you will save up to 45 kg of CO2; lower the temperature; opt for an ECO programme; use the correct dose of washing powder/liquid and, occasionally, skip the pre-wash.


6)     Limit the use of plastic: make way for reusable bottles.

The American Association Plastic Ocean has calculated that each American citizen uses, on average, 315 plastic bottles a year. To make one bottle, you need 6 times as much water as that contained in the bottle itself.

So, to reduce both waste and your environmental footprint, go for a reusable bottle — maybe made of steel — to drink a reinvigorating hot herbal tea or an iced tea, even mid-morning.


7)     Always carry a reusable shopping bag with you.

Whether you are food shopping or want to treat yourself to an afternoon shopping for other items, with this little trick you avoid emitting 8 kg of CO2 for each plastic bag you avoid using.


8)     Choose a laptop. As well as being more practical than a desktop model, it consumes less energy.

One more thing: don't leave your laptop on standby and, if you have to, use a black screensaver.
9)     On the subject of computers, did you know that emails contribute to pollution? One message emits about 19 grams of CO2; the emissions of sending 8 emails is equivalent to a kilometre by car.
 

Also, take time to eliminate spam. Each email sent is copied to various servers, to ensure better reception by the recipient, and this storage requires a lot of energy which releases CO2. Just think of this, the McAfee company claims that global spam emits as much carbon dioxide as 3 million cars in a year.
 

10)     For your daily commute, switch to an e-scooter.

On average, a car emits 120.6 g of CO2 per kilometre.  Do you know how much carbon dioxide an Askoll e-scooter releases into the air? Only 7.2 g/km, when energy is regenerated from non-renewable sources. If, on the other hand, energy is produced from renewable sources, there are zero emissions. Yes, that's right: 0g/km.

April is a special month, help us make it even more special. For our own sake and that of our home.