What can you do?
There are many ways in which individuals can start to change their lifestyles in order to transition to help meet the Government’s net zero emissions target by 2050. Various organisations and bodies have produced guidance on what might be the best way for individuals to make a difference. Below are a series of links and a top 10 suggested ways in which we can all start to reduce our carbon footprint. This guidance is changing and evolving as we learn more about how human activity is affecting the climate and therefore this is not a comprehensive or exclusive list.
BBC – Ten Simple Ways to Act on Climate Change
Wikipedia – Individual Action on Climate Change
Sky News – Climate Change: How to Make a Difference
Committee on Climate Change – Independent Statutory Body
- Travel – Walk, cycle or take public transport more instead of using the car. Switch your car to an electric vehicle or to a hybrid or less polluting option. Reduce the number of flights you take especially long haul.
- In the home – Insulate your property properly and draught proof it. Choose LED light bulbs. Keep your thermostat no higher than 19C and water no higher than 55C. Consider getting a smart energy meter.
- Diet – Cut down on beef, lamb and diary products and eat a healthier diet. Eat more food which is produced locally and available in season to cut down on ‘food miles’ and try to reduce food waste.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Reduce buying products where possible – e.g. consider sharing or borrowing and item such as power tools if not using frequently. Reuse and recycle waste through the usual channels and opt for good quality products and think about repair before replacement.
- Consumer Influence and Investment decisions – Deciding where and with whom you purchase goods and services can have an influence on the behaviour of businesses and the production of carbon emissions. Investment decisions can also push businesses in transitioning to a greener future reducing their reliance on fossil fuels.
- Offsetting your carbon - if you can’t make all of the changes suggested consider offsetting your emissions with a trusted green project. While this in not a ‘get out of jail free card’ it is another resource to compensate for an unavoidable flight, car journey etc. The UN Climate Convention has a portfolio of projects around the world that can be contributed to or more local projects are available