Have we pushed the planet too far?
Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Before the Flood” – a state of the earth documentary has to be one of Leo’s most captivating roles of all time. Yes, I am aware that he won his first academy award for his role in The Revenant after several nominations for many great movies throughout his Hollywood film career. However, I was left in awe of the actor after watching his hour and a half documentary in which he is the lead narrator. Designated the United Nation’s Ambassador of Peace with special focus on climate change in 2014 Leo spent the next 2 years travelling the world, meeting with politicians, policy makers, astronauts, climate scientists and environmental activists and breaks down climate change into the simplest terminology, dispelling the misconceptions of global media outlets who want nothing more than for you to believe that “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” are hoaxes made up by scientists who want to detract from the “real issues”.
Distributed by National Geographic, Before the Flood released to a global online audience on the 31 October 2016 for free and has to date been viewed 64 million times. The political aspects behind climate change is sure to have you rethinking who we vote into power in the next election. However, with South Africa’s lack of environmentally friendly lifestyle changes, I doubt this will factor into the decision come 2019.
Having watched Before the Flood, personally, I can attest to the documentary changing my outlook on life on this planet. Our time on Earth is not inevitable but more importantly, neither is the planet’s and if one has to call a spade a spade…we’re killing a planet that is one day going to implode.
With so many countries, South Africa included, dependent on fossil fuels to generate electricity across the world one has to stop for a second and think about the repercussions of this on the Earth’s atmosphere. The processes that fossil fuel companies go through to extract these commodities also adds undue pressure onto the Earth’s crust and increases the core temperature of the planet. With cities like Florida experiencing “Summer Day Flooding” , where the ocean levels rise and flood the streets of Florida during the summer days, South Africa’s recent flash-flooding and the several tornadoes that have in recent weeks ripped through our country, is it really that difficult to rule out that we are tearing our planet apart and that these occurrences are the Earth’s way of letting us know that enough is enough? If you think I’m being dramatic, watch the documentary and then decide for yourself.
I can only hope that Before the Flood leaves a positive impact on your life as it has done with the 64 million people who’ve viewed it, unfortunately, it is no longer free for viewing so I am unable to share it with you, I have included the trailer, however, to give you a sense of what you can expect.
With that out the way, here are 5 easy ways to go green and limit your carbon footprint:
1) Pay attention: Start by paying attention to how you use precious resources…water, heat, how often you include meat in your diet, the products you use and the chemicals they contain – from cleaning detergents to shampoo which all makes its way down the drain and into our water sources.
2) Plant a vegetable garden: This will help you appreciate food more and stop you from wasting produce, you’re also helping the environment in the long run. Eat the produce you grow and limit the portions of red meat you consume.
3) Conserve water: Set up your own water reservoir at home, re-use grey water, collect rain-water, fix leaks and take shorter showers.
4) Change your travel habits: Driving and flying are 2 areas where you can leave a huge carbon footprint and one has to rethink our travelling options by picking routes that will require lower fuel consumption. If your office is close to home, try cycling or walking to walk – 2 birds one stone here you can get fit while saving the planet a step at a time!
5) Educate others: We have a long way to go on this one and it needs to become a lifestyle change in order for efficient progress. Look at our litter rating for starters, can we stop littering and teach our children not to litter as well? How are we still this messy?