What Can I Do About Climate Change?

Whilst governments are the big drivers of change, all of us can also do our bit to mitigate warming. Here are a dozen simple things we can do to shrink our carbon footprints and make a really positive difference.


Earth viewed from space

Change Your Diet: Research suggests that cutting back on meat and dairy is the single biggest thing people can do to reduce their impact on Earth. If you have a cat or a dog, don't forget them as pet foods account for more than twice the carbon emissions of the aviation industry. See Carbon Paw Print


Buy Secondhand: Manufacturing products is often a carbon intensive process, and uses up precious natural resources. It also damages the environment more than the airline industry. Happily, options abound when it comes to buying ‘pre-loved’ goods. Join The Pre-Loved Fashion Explosion


Stop Saying Thank You: “If each British adult would abstain from sending out a “Thank you” email, we would conserve more than 16,000 tons of CO2 per year - equal to 81,000 flights from London to Madrid. Are really all the emails we send necessary?” says Anneli Ohvril, one of Digital Cleanup Day's project leaders. Similarly, choosing standard definition rather than high definition when you’re streaming content from services such as Netflix can achieve an 86 percent reduction in your carbon footprint.


Switch Bank: You don’t even have to get off the sofa for this one. Yet doing something as simple as switching to a green bank can have a big impact as a significant amount of finance for the fossil fuel industry actually comes from the banking sector.


Check Your Pension Fund: Is it financing fossil fuels? If it is, all the good you're doing elsewhere in your life may be being squandered by your pension provider. If so, switch.


Check Your Insurance: Insurers are the second biggest investors after pension funds, so choosing an ethical insurance company will ensure your money isn’t propping up the fossil fuel sector.


Switch Energy Provider: Switching to a green energy provider is another simple but effective way of reducing your carbon footprint.


Get Active: Don't get in your car for a one or two mile journey (in the UK, for example) over 60 percent of car journeys are less than 2 miles. Walk or cycle instead.


Fly Less: Why not take the train, not the plane?


Buy Local: You don’t need a climate scientist to tell you that seasonal produce, grown locally, and to a high environmental standard is better for the planet than items shipped halfway around the world from companies with murky supply chains. If you can afford to go organic, it’s a worthwhile investment – organic farms support much more wildlife than those relying on fertilisers and pesticides.


Grow Your Own: Whether you have a windowsill or a garden, growing your own herbs, flowers or vegetables can be beneficial. Sure, cultivating a garden isn’t going to absorb much carbon. But it will help you reconnect with nature, which research suggests is good for our mental health. It's also good for pollinators.


Elections: They don’t come around often. But when they do, vote for the party or candidate that you think has the most credible roadmap to net zero. Like the Australians just did.

 

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