How to combat climate change
Global warming figures are at a record high and we’re edging dangerously close to irreversible damage to the planet. There are millions of tonnes of plastic in the oceans, and we’re facing species extinction at an unprecedented rate. The time to act is now.
If we stand any hope of curbing our carbon footprint and securing the future of the planet, we all need to start making changes. The good news is, there’s plenty you can do – here are the best ways for you to fight climate change.
Switch to green energy
One of the leading causes of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels, so it’s essential we stop relying on oil, coal and gas to power our homes.
Ecotricity supplies 100% green electricity and carbon neutral green gas. And we use the money from our customers’ bills to build and maintain new sources of renewable energy production, and energy storage. So switching to green energy can help build a greener Britain.
Eat less meat and dairy
The production of meat and dairy uses up 83% of farmland and produces 60% of farming’s greenhouse gas emissions – but it only provides 18% of food calories.
You can make a huge difference to your carbon footprint by cutting down the amount of meat you eat, along with eggs and dairy. And you might even save a bit of money on the weekly food shop in the process.
Why not give Meat Free Mondays a go? We’ve got some great recipes on our blog.
Cut out single use plastic
Most plastic can’t be recycled and ends up at landfills where it can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. It’s also made using energy from non-renewable fossil fuels.
Every day, around 8 million pieces of plastic pollution enter our oceans. And every year, 100,000 marine animals and turtles are killed by plastic pollution, along with 1 million sea birds.
By cutting down on your single plastic usage, you can help reduce plastic waste and fight climate change:
- Take a backpack with bags for life with you when you go shopping
- Buy loose fruit and vegetables, and look for zero waste grocery shops
- Use bars of soap and shampoo
- Use reusable coffee cups and water bottles
- Switch to bamboo toothbrushes
- Swap disposable razors for a safety razor
You can read more about cutting plastic out of your everyday life here.
Change your travel
Transport in the UK accounts for 26% of our greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s important to make small changes where you can to reduce your carbon footprint:
- Car share. If you need to drive to work every day, talk to people who live near you about running a car pool. It means you can split the share and cost of the driving, while reducing your fuel emissions.
- Use public transport. Check the local bus times or head to your nearest train station. You’ll drastically cut your carbon emissions, and you’ll have time to read, listen to a podcast or just watch the passing countryside.
- Walk or cycle to work. If you’re lucky enough to live in walking or cycling distance of work, leave your car at home. It’s better for the environment, and it’s good for your overall health.
- Fly less. Take a holiday in the UK, or use Skype to avoid travelling overseas for business. If you have to fly, try to book your travel with a low carbon airline.
If you haven’t already, why not look into getting an electric vehicle? You can find out more about how they work and how they can even save you money here.
Campaign against fracking
Drilling for fossil fuels is a major contributor to climate change and habitat displacement, but it’s happening in the UK despite mass public opposition. But you can still make your voice heard:
- Check your energy supplier. You may be inadvertently supporting fracking in the UK if you get your gas and electricity from an energy provider who supports drilling for shale. You can switch to green energy to make sure your money doesn’t get invested in fracking.
- Support your local anti-fracking group. If drilling is set to go ahead in your local area, you can get involved with local groups who oppose fracking. You can find a list of anti-fracking groups in the UK here.
- Write to your local council. UK councils are investing £9 billion in fracking companies, so email or write to them asking them to stop. You can also sign the Friends of the Earth petition to oppose fracking in Britain.
- Switch your bank account. Lots of High Street banks invest in fossil fuels and fracking companies, so move to an ethical bank like Triodos. They only invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. You can find out more about what they do by visiting their website.
We’ve got a small window of time to reverse the effects of climate change, and it’s up to all of us to secure a greener future for the environment. If everyone took small steps to lower their carbon footprint, it could make a huge difference to the overall health of the planet.
Will you join the green revolution?