Energy and Climate Change- The connection
By Karen Thuranira
Seasons In Kenya
Growing up in a county far away in the heart of Eastern Kenya, weather patterns were very predictable. For instance, We knew there were 2 rainy seasons in a year. The long rains which started at around mid-March to June, and the short rains which came in October to December.
Farmers like my mother looked forward to these seasons, which usually ended with bountiful harvests. The weather was generally beautiful. A couple of years later, things have changed so much.
The World is Warming
As Kenya and the rest of the world warms, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense. Prolonged droughts, floods, extreme heat, and very cold weather are not new anymore.
In 2017, for instance, it became so hot in Arizona, things were literally melting. See this; https://www.littlethings.com/so-hot-in-arizona-melting
You certainly feel a twinge just trying to imagine what can be done at a personal level to resolve a problem so severe.
Well, the good news is you are not alone. Schools, Institutions, businesses, groups, and communities are taking action as well.
Ways to help fight climate change
1. Adopt Renewable Energy
Globally, people are rushing for cleaner healthier energy like solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal energy among others.
In Kenya, the renewable energy sector is among the most active in Africa. President Kenyatta recently announced plans to move the country to 100% green energy by 2020. He aims to help mitigate climate change by reducing Kenya’s carbon footprint. Currently, 70% of the nation’s installed electricity capacity comes from renewable energy sources, which is more than three times the global average.
So as a country, we are already doing something to combat climate change. However, the individual effort can help get the desired results much faster. We can!
2. Green your commute
These are the various ways to reduce your transportation emissions and will also make you healthier, happier and save you a few shillings, especially during these hard economic times. Whenever and wherever you can:
- Use public transport.
- Take a bike.
- Switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle 🙂 (This is exciting)
- Fly less.
3. Adopt Energy Management – It saves you money too 🙂
By becoming more energy efficient, you’ll pollute less and save money. Below are some of the small changes you can make yet they go a long way in saving our dear planet.
- Change to energy efficient light bulbs.
- Unplug electronics when you’re not using them.
- Be smart with your washing machine:
- Wash clothes in cold or warm (not hot) water.
- Dryers are energy hogs, so use the sun to dry up your clothes
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Look for the Energy Star label when buying new appliances.
- Get a home or workplace energy audit to identify where you can make the most energy-saving gains. Check with Eenovators Ltd for awesome deals.
4. Eat for the climate
Here are four simple changes you can make to your diet to reduce its climate impact.
- Eat meat only if the meal is free 🙂
- Buy organic and local food whenever possible.
- Don’t waste food.
- Grow your own.
Ps. Does eating insects help in reducing climate impact? Leave you comment in the comments section below this article.
5. Consume less, waste less, and enjoy life more
When you focus on life’s simple pleasures like spending time in nature, then you get to understand better what works well and what destroys her. When you spend time with loved ones, the desire to create a safe haven for them is unbeatable, hence a better environment for them and for everyone.
Eventually, these things not only make a difference to others but also give you a sense of purpose, belonging and happiness, much more than what you get from buying and consuming.
Sharing, making, fixing, recycling, reusing and reducing are all good places to start.
6. Fossil fuels? Run…
Let the industry know you care about climate change by making sure any investments you and your house or workplace make do not include fossil fuels. Join campaigns against fossil fuels. Invest in a healthier future.
7. Invest in renewables
For most Kenyans in rural areas, life is much better since they started using solar solutions. A good number have already invested in solar panels and solar water heaters, others have bought solar lanterns, solar water pumps e.t.c. With this kind of positivity and desire, green and clean energy economy is not out of reach.
You can also become a part of this!
8. Guilty about pollution?
Carbon pricing helps makes polluting activities more expensive and green solutions relatively more affordable, allowing energy-efficient business and/or household to save money.
Is pricing carbon an efficient and business-friendly way to reduce emissions? Comment with your suggestions in the comments section below this article.
The government can have a big effect on Kenya’s ability to lower emissions, prepare and adapt to climate change therefore shifting to a clean-energy economy.
Ensure you are a registered voter, get informed on all Kenyan elections. Research about the various parties, ask questions about climate change and let your candidates know you are voting them in for climate.
If you are too young to vote, encourage the people in your circles to vote. Change begins with you and me.
10. Tell your story and listen to others
The issue of climate change is bigger than all of us. It’s about families, communities, energy systems and humanity’s future. It’s important to join hands toward climate solutions.
People are more often influenced by friends than by experts, so make sure to talk about climate change with friends and family. Tell them stories about changes you’ve seen and how climate change has affected you, and the actions you are taking to lessen your impact. Encourage friends and family to explore the things they can do about climate change.
Finally, Join us on Facebook(@Eenovators), Twitter(@Eenovators) and LinkedIn(Eenovators Ltd) to share ideas and articles, write comments and help get the word out. Or, write a blog for our Energyzed World about climate action. You could also join us for the World Energy Day 2019.