If you’re familiar with Hart Dairy, you know that reducing our carbon footprint has always been a cause that’s near and dear to our harts (pun intended, but now let’s get serious).
We were quite alarmed, albeit sadly not surprised, by the findings of a recent climate report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—a United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
WHAT DOES THE REPORT CLAIM?
- The Earth is warmer than it’s been in 125,000 years
- Humans have pushed carbon dioxide levels to their highest point in two million years
- Sea levels are projected to rise by 2-3 meters if we are able to limit our warming to 1.5 °C in the next two decades (more on that in a moment). Otherwise, sea level rising of up to 6 meters could alter coastlines across the globe
- Oceans are swiftly turning acidic
- Greenhouse gases are unequivocally driving extreme weather. Record droughts, wildfires, bushfires, and floods continue to devastate communities worldwide due to ongoing global warming
- Temperatures are increasing rapidly and oceans are heating up at a rate not seen in 11,000 years
- Serious impacts of climate warming, such as ice-sheet collapse, massive forest loss, or an abrupt change in ocean circulation, cannot be completely ruled out
Not a single corner of the planet’s land, air, and sea has been spared and it could get far worse.
So what is the cause of all this?
The report says the climate crisis has ‘unequivocally’ been caused by human activities. WE are responsible for the ‘irreversible’ change to climate across the globe, but WE also have the power to slow it down.
The report has been produced by hundreds of the world’s top scientists and signed off by all the world’s governments. It warns that temperatures on our planet are likely to rise by more than 1.5°C, bringing widespread extreme weather.
And the situation could get far worse if humans fail to immediately grasp the slim chance we have at saving our planet from heating up above 1.5°C.
Besides ringing the warning bell loud and clear, what scientists are also trying to convey is that we still have a chance. Keeping to that 1.5°C is not an impossible task. It will be very difficult, no doubt, but if we don’t face the music now, our planet is headed towards apocalypse territory.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
The choices we make today will decide the future of our planet in centuries to come. So how do we, as individuals, take action?
Here are some simple everyday tips you can follow to help cut carbon and energy costs:
- Line dry your laundry instead of tumble drying
- Adjust your thermostat by a 1-3 degrees (warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter)
- Know where your food comes from and buy from regenerative, responsible farmers
- Eliminate single use plastics
- Spend less time in the shower
- Turn off electrical equipment when not in use
- Travel responsibly — fly less, use carpool, walk or cycle, work from home, buy a low emission vehicle, take the bus or train rather than your car
- Plan your meals. Don’t cook more food that you can eat
- Buy from sustainable businesses and shop local if possible
- And, lastly REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!
Easy enough, right? This is just a start but we encourage you to start analyzing all aspects of your life to make sure you are as green as possible.
HOW IS HART DAIRY DOING ITS PART?
First, let’s take a moment to address the elephant (or cow?) in the room.
All too often, cows get a bad rap. But the COWS aren’t the problem.
The problem is HOW they’re raised in industrial systems. These factory farms are not only dreadful for the animals (that’s a blog post for another day), they are also unnatural, inefficient, and they contribute to global warming and water pollution.
On the flip side, cows that are a part of a well-managed grazing system can actually HELP mitigate climate change and support biological activity through carbon sequestration.
The grass in the grazing fields draws down carbon from the atmosphere, converts it into sugars, and then pumps some of the sugars through its roots to feed microorganisms. In exchange for the sugars, the microorganisms send water and nutrients back to the plant.
How does it work?
Through photosynthesis, our grasses, plants, and trees draw carbon out of the air to form carbon compounds. What the plants don’t need for growth is released through their roots to feed soil organisms, whereby the carbon is rendered stable. Carbon is the main component of soil organic matter and helps give soil its water-retention capacity, its structure, and its fertility.
At Hart Dairy, we sequester TONS of carbon (literally) with our massive green fields every year.
And beyond that, our regenerative farming practices help the soil recover its original balance of nutrients and bio-diversity.
In the past year, we joined a new pilot program, “Certified Regenerative” by A Greener World, to take measurable steps to restore the earth by developing and implementing a whole-farm plan that focuses on soil health, water, air quality, animal welfare, restoring biodiversity, and ensuring the wellbeing of our wider community.
It’s all about working WITH nature, not AGAINST it.
ARE YOU IN?
So at the end of the day, the million dollar question is: are you ready to play your part in the climate change challenge?
Are you open to accepting some strict changes in your life to reduce your carbon footprint?
Because the truth is, at this point, we have no choice.
In the words of António Guterres, the UN secretary general: “If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as the IPCC report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses.”
For more information visit: www.ipcc.ch