You Can Make Every Day Earth Day
Despite worldwide efforts to combat climate change, the crisis is still far from being solved.
Our planet needs saving – and as a global citizen, there are many steps both big and small that we can take to make that change today.
Lately, words like “eco-conscious”, “sustainability” and their synonyms are often buzzwords in the media as governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), activists and citizens around the globe rush towards solving the climate crisis at hand.
But is this ‘rush’ – in fact – enough?
According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), we are still far from achieving the goal set by the Paris Agreement to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius by 2030 and to limit the increase even further to 1.5 degrees.
As much as governments are working to implement their climate action plans, our actions are just as important in solving the climate crisis through better management of waste and environmental resources as well as energy efficiency.
Everyone accounted for, everyone accountable – ‘Invest in Our Planet’ is the theme for Earth Day 2023 which drives home the need to invest in our planet and improve our environment for a better and safer future.
Here are some easy tips you can follow in your own home, business and in your own community!
Tip #1: Engage in Energy Efficiency
Did you know that generating electricity through gas or coal results in high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions? According to the International Energy Agency, global CO2 emissions from energy combustion and industrial processes grew 0.9% or 321 metric tonnes (Mt) in 2022 to a new all-time high of 36.8 gross tonnage (Gt).
Therefore, engaging in energy-saving initiatives is crucial. It can be as simple as replacing traditional lighting with LED lights, maintaining air conditioning temperature at 24⁰C and replacing old electrical appliances with new energy-efficient ones. You can also install motion sensors at home, office or business establishments to automatically switch off electrical appliances if the spaces are unoccupied.
In pursuit of greener, more sustainable cities, Sunway has implemented the above initiatives and managed to save a whopping 44,964 MWh as well as avoided 5,230 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2021 – testament that these initiatives can make a change for the betterment of our planet.
Tip #2: Go Local
The food we eat has a part to play in the climate crisis. Around 26% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to food systems, which encompass land use change, on-farm activities, processing, transportation, packaging, and retailing.
This is especially seen with imported foods — from its overseas production to being transported to fit the aisles of our nearest grocery stores, imported food makes up over 60% of Malaysia’s food system. So, what can you do to help?
You can reduce food imports by choosing to eat a greater variety of local and seasonal produce as well as growing your own vegetables at home or at a local community.
Sunway XFarms offers a subscription service of sustainably grown vegetables for your daily supply of greens cultivated through state-of-the-art technology that optimises water and space consumption. The vegetables are also pesticide-free, which further reduces GHG emissions as pesticides too account for annual emissions of 19.9 million metric tons carbon equivalent (MtCe) – equivalent to the yearly output of 18.4 coal-fired power stations.
If you are not familiar with basic agricultural know-hows – fret not! Sunway XFarms caters readily available workshops to help you build your own garden or community farm!
Tip #3: Cool naturally
In a tropical country such as ours, air conditioning is a blessing. Research has found that air conditioning is responsible for 1,950 million tons of carbon dioxide released annually, equivalent to 3.94% of global GHG emissions.
Opt for natural cooling strategies such as minimising heat by choosing light coloured or reflective roof materials for our home or office, using framed high pitch roofs to encourage cool air flow underneath it, as well as employ sufficient shading using trees, blinds and traditional sun breakers.
At Sunway, we have incorporated a district cooling system – providing chilled water centrally for distribution to nearby facilities via a network of insulated pipes. This presents a sustainable, energy-efficient alternative to having separate chiller buildings and helps save some 20% energy used for air conditioners which effectively mitigates carbon emissions.
These tips aside, there are various other ways you can show love to our planet this Earth Day by visiting Earthday.org – alternatively, learn more about Sunway’s climate efforts and be inspired. As much as we may feel small in the face of a crisis as big as the global climate change, do know that our every effort count. So, let’s start today.