Everyday choices made by ordinary people hold the answer to reducing our emissions to zero. How we move, what we buy and what we eat are examples of individual decisions which determine our footprint as a species. Zero emissions day was created in 2008 in Canada, aiming to give our planet a break from fossil fuels and raise awareness about the importance of reaching zero emissions. The message of this worldwide event is about “giving the planet a day off a year”.
Why is it important to move away from fossil fuels?
Many sources (IPCC, EASAC, NAS…) have reported on the importance of reaching zero emissions to meet the Paris temperature targets (1.5 – 2-degrees) and stop climate change. However, most reports claim that it is not enough to reach zero emissions, they say we must also remove historic CO2 emissions to avoid the temperature from increasing further. This involves removing CO2 from the atmosphere to stop the warming inertia of our planet. A series of technologies have been presented which could do this – namely Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs), yet the moral and technical uncertainties are too broad to imagine such technologies working in a near future. Therefore, it is vital to start changing the course of climate change by adopting cleaner habits.
Here are some tips on how to help our planet this Zero Emissions Day:
Try to go car-free for the day and use alternatives like walking or cycling.
Try to make sure switches are off at home when not needed and use less heating and air conditioning.
At Modulex we work with a wayfinding software that enables us to recommend the most flexible and optimized solutions for our customers, reducing the need of unnecessary signage.
Fix things instead of throwing them away. Everything you buy leaves a carbon footprint and has used fossil fuels to get to you. Whenever you buy something, make it last!
When you have old items which are no longer useful, try to upcycle them before throwing them away – find other ways in which they can be useful. For example, mount old cutlery onto the kitchen wall to be used as hangers or convert old bulbs into candles. It’s all a matter of imagination! In the same fashion, encourage upcycling modular signage by updating panels and giving old Modulex signs a new life.
When things can no longer be used by you, try to ensure they have another life. Everything item you recycle will be used for a new purpose, saving the need for another brand-new product. At our factory in Billund, we recycle 66% of our pre-consumer waste. Additionally, two of our greenest products – Etronit and GreenBondTM are generated from wood waste from the logging industry in Finland.
As individuals, this is the hardest goal to achieve, although not impossible. Everyone can calculate their carbon footprint – there are many free online tools to do this – and find ways in which they can remove or offset this amount of carbon from the atmosphere. But remember, reducing comes first!
Adopting cleaner habits is vital to combat climate change. By following simple habits, we’ll be able to take steps in the right direction to contribute to Zero Emissions Day and help the planet.
These tips include reducing car usage by opting for walking or cycling, conserving energy at home by turning off switches and using heating and air conditioning sparingly. Reusing items instead of throwing them away, repairing things to extend their lifespan, and upcycling old items creatively. Recycling is encouraged as a way to give used items a new purpose and reduce the need for new products.
Erik Sørensen Ruiz
Environmental and Partnership Manager