Karen Kasmauski for CRS

Climate Change: Home Inspection

Anna Ruiz

Climate change is happening now. While the poor and vulnerable feel it’s impact the most, wealthier nations are the biggest contributors to the problem. It’s essential that we examine how our daily choices are connected to climate change. Here are 10 things in your home that have a climate change connection, and how you can live a more environmentally ethical lifestyle.

Gerda Milien, 36, walks home after a CRS distribution of food, blankets, hygiene kits, cooking pots and tarps and ropes in Roche Bateau. Gerda who has five children lost her home when Hurricane Matthew hit the town of Roche a Bateau. Roche a Bateau, a town roughly 30 miles south of Les Anglaise where the eye of Hurricane Matthew struck, has very few homes standing. Photo by Marie Arago for Catholic Relief Services

Fish

Overfishing is becoming a major problem. Many species of fish are disappearing from the places that need them most, or even becoming extinct. Learn how to stop overfishing by visiting the Environmental Defense Fund.

Gerda Milien, 36, walks home after a CRS distribution of food, blankets, hygiene kits, cooking pots and tarps and ropes in Roche Bateau. Gerda who has five children lost her home when Hurricane Matthew hit the town of Roche a Bateau. Roche a Bateau, a town roughly 30 miles south of Les Anglaise where the eye of Hurricane Matthew struck, has very few homes standing. Photo by Marie Arago for Catholic Relief Services

Coffee

Coffee leaf rust, a fungus that destroys the coffee leaf plant, is affecting the livelihoods of farmers and their families in Central and South America. In 2012, some farmers in Guatemala lost up to 85% of their coffee plants because of coffee leaf rust. Source: Catholic Relief Services. Learn more about the challenges coffee farmers face in Central and South America.

Gerda Milien, 36, walks home after a CRS distribution of food, blankets, hygiene kits, cooking pots and tarps and ropes in Roche Bateau. Gerda who has five children lost her home when Hurricane Matthew hit the town of Roche a Bateau. Roche a Bateau, a town roughly 30 miles south of Les Anglaise where the eye of Hurricane Matthew struck, has very few homes standing. Photo by Marie Arago for Catholic Relief Services

Mail

Did you know that 100 million trees were destroyed to produce 100 billion pieces of junk mail annually? About 848 pieces of junk mail get delivered to every household, which creates 51 million metric tons of greenhouse gases are created. Source: TakePart.com. Learn how you can stop junk mail from being delivered to your home at Eco-cycle.

Gerda Milien, 36, walks home after a CRS distribution of food, blankets, hygiene kits, cooking pots and tarps and ropes in Roche Bateau. Gerda who has five children lost her home when Hurricane Matthew hit the town of Roche a Bateau. Roche a Bateau, a town roughly 30 miles south of Les Anglaise where the eye of Hurricane Matthew struck, has very few homes standing. Photo by Marie Arago for Catholic Relief Services

Driving

Driving in your car is a major cause of global warming. Your car releases around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide for every gallon of gas used. In 2015, drivers in the United States burned 140.42 billion gallons of gasoline in a year, releasing 3.3 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. Learn more on alternatives to driving a car at TreeHugger.

Gerda Milien, 36, walks home after a CRS distribution of food, blankets, hygiene kits, cooking pots and tarps and ropes in Roche Bateau. Gerda who has five children lost her home when Hurricane Matthew hit the town of Roche a Bateau. Roche a Bateau, a town roughly 30 miles south of Les Anglaise where the eye of Hurricane Matthew struck, has very few homes standing. Photo by Marie Arago for Catholic Relief Services

Plastic

It’s estimated that 12 million barrels of oil are used to manufacture the 30 million plastic bags Americans use each year. In addition to creating carbon dioxide build-up in our atmosphere, plastic bags often end up in our landfills and our oceans. It’s estimated that 100,000 marine animals die each year from suffocating or ingesting bags. Source: 1bagatatime.com. Learn more about using reusable bags at 1bagatatime.com.

Gerda Milien, 36, walks home after a CRS distribution of food, blankets, hygiene kits, cooking pots and tarps and ropes in Roche Bateau. Gerda who has five children lost her home when Hurricane Matthew hit the town of Roche a Bateau. Roche a Bateau, a town roughly 30 miles south of Les Anglaise where the eye of Hurricane Matthew struck, has very few homes standing. Photo by Marie Arago for Catholic Relief Services

Pets

You love your pets, but they require food and shelter, produce waste and use a variety of accessories that contribute to their carbon paw print. Learn more on ways to have a “green” pet at Care2.

Gerda Milien, 36, walks home after a CRS distribution of food, blankets, hygiene kits, cooking pots and tarps and ropes in Roche Bateau. Gerda who has five children lost her home when Hurricane Matthew hit the town of Roche a Bateau. Roche a Bateau, a town roughly 30 miles south of Les Anglaise where the eye of Hurricane Matthew struck, has very few homes standing. Photo by Marie Arago for Catholic Relief Services

Water

Every year, the average U.S. household uses over 100,000 gallons of water. Some 780 million people around the world lack access to clean water. That’s almost twice the population of people living in North America. Source. Pacific Institute. Learn 25 ways you can save water at Earth Easy.

Gerda Milien, 36, walks home after a CRS distribution of food, blankets, hygiene kits, cooking pots and tarps and ropes in Roche Bateau. Gerda who has five children lost her home when Hurricane Matthew hit the town of Roche a Bateau. Roche a Bateau, a town roughly 30 miles south of Les Anglaise where the eye of Hurricane Matthew struck, has very few homes standing. Photo by Marie Arago for Catholic Relief Services

Chocolate

An increase in temperatures could melt your appetite for chocolate. More than half of the world’s chocolate production is sourced in West African countries like Ghana, where they are facing extreme drought, erratic weather and flooding. These farmers could face a halt in their cocoa production and a lack of chocolate on our shelves. Source: Scientific American. Learn how you can have your chocolate and make lives better at the same time by purchasing fair trade chocolate at CRS Fair Trade.

Gerda Milien, 36, walks home after a CRS distribution of food, blankets, hygiene kits, cooking pots and tarps and ropes in Roche Bateau. Gerda who has five children lost her home when Hurricane Matthew hit the town of Roche a Bateau. Roche a Bateau, a town roughly 30 miles south of Les Anglaise where the eye of Hurricane Matthew struck, has very few homes standing. Photo by Marie Arago for Catholic Relief Services

Home

If you increase the temperature of your house, your home will be warm and cozy. But a boosted temperature over most land surfaces can lead to drought, rising sea levels and  increased intensity of storms. Learn what rising sea levels could mean for homes on the coast at TakePart.com.

Gerda Milien, 36, walks home after a CRS distribution of food, blankets, hygiene kits, cooking pots and tarps and ropes in Roche Bateau. Gerda who has five children lost her home when Hurricane Matthew hit the town of Roche a Bateau. Roche a Bateau, a town roughly 30 miles south of Les Anglaise where the eye of Hurricane Matthew struck, has very few homes standing. Photo by Marie Arago for Catholic Relief Services

Family

Conflict is displacing 65 million people around the world, but climate also plays a role in migration. The number of people displaced by natural disasters, including floods, storms and droughts, has averaged 22.5 million a year since 2008 and is growing. Source: Reuters. Learn more about the people who are forced to migrate at CRS Education Center.