The National Aquarium sits at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay—the country’s largest estuary. As residents of a coastal state, our staff, volunteers and members are experiencing the effects of climate change first-hand. As a core part of our mission, the National Aquarium remains committed to sparking open dialogues with our community around climate science and the simple actions we can all take to make a difference.
In honor of the #DayofFacts on February 17, we’re sharing some truths about climate change facts, along with actions you can take to help make a positive difference.
The burning of fossil fuels is causing the polar ice caps to melt, resulting in elevated sea levels.
The ocean is rising at an estimated rate of one foot per century. This rise in sea level quickens the erosion of coastline environments, making our cities more vulnerable to storms and floods and eliminating important habitat for coastal species.
There’s a lot we as individuals can do to lessen our emission of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere. Using less plastic, particularly single-use plastics like straws and grocery bags, is a great start. Being wise about your water usage is an even better way to help!
It takes a lot of energy to pump, treat and heat water for residential use. Turning the faucet off while you’re washing dishes and taking care of that leaky toilet can save thousands of gallons of water a year and help to reduce carbon emissions.
Trees cover close to 30 percent of the Earth’s land area. Every year, large swaths of forest are cleared for commercial development and use.
Trees play a critical role in keeping our planet resilient to the effects of climate change. They keep our soil moist, help moderate temperature by blocking the sun’s rays during the day and holding in heat at night and absorb most of our carbon dioxide emissions.
Want to help restore our forest force? Plant a tree (or two)! A single mature tree can absorb approximately 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
If planting a tree just isn’t in the cards for you, consider donating to a cause that can plant one for you like the Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion initiative!
Getting food from the farm to our plates is our nation’s single largest financial and resource expense. Yet, 40 percent of the food we produce in this country goes uneaten. This is not only a financial issue, it’s an environmental one. Uneaten food often ends up rotting in landfills, emitting large quantities of methane gas into the atmosphere.
With some thoughtful planning, reducing food waste can be easy. Get creative in the kitchen and start to incorporate some of the unnecessarily discarded parts of produce like broccoli stems, beet greens and celery leaves into your recipes!
Another great way to curb food waste is by simply planning ahead! Start getting into the habit of planning your meals for the week before heading to the grocery store. It’ll keep you from buying random ingredients you might not use. Once you’re home, a good rule of thumb is to start eating or cooking with the most perishable items in the fridge.
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Join the #DayofFacts conversation here.