Many of us will be feeling climate-anxiety due to the daily stories on the news, wildfires, floods, draughts, storms, unusual temperatures and unpredictable changes happening. The news stories might leave you asking, what can I do to help fight climate change? how could one person possibly help with what seems like an insurmountable problem? To help any of you feeling like this, I wanted to share a few practical ideas and to remind you that the actions of each and every one of us can and does make a difference.
70 Ways To Fight Climate Change
First things first: Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities you undertake, like driving, switching on the heating etc. It is these carbon emissions and those already in the atmosphere that are causing the climate to change. So, how can you reduce your carbon footprint?
You can calculate your environmental footprint on the @wwf Footprint calculator, to see how you’re doing and get lots of great prompts and tips on how to reduce your impact.
Offsetting emissions is not a long-term solution, but it is a step in the right direction. As a species, we need to be reducing our emissions and remove the existing emissions polluting the atmosphere, so it’s important that we do both.
- Reduce your energy use, and switch to a renewable energy company like Bulb.
- Switch to LED lightbulbs
- Buy vintage furniture, upcycle and repair existing homeware
- Buy from independent, sustainably made homeware designers
- Use less water, if possible harvest rainwater.
- Turn the lights off.
- Unplug unused electronics.
- Choose energy efficient devices.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated to avoid using excess energy on heating.
- Educate your family about climate change.
- Respect and protect green spaces.
- Join litter picking days in your community.
- Plant a tree, if you don’t have space at home plant one with The Future Forest Company.
- Compost, compost, compost.
- Use chemical-free fertilisers.
- Make homes for wildlife.
- Get wild, grow you lawn.
- Plant wildflowers.
- Grow your own food- Even if you have a windowsill, balcony or a few plant pots, you can grow herbs, some veg and edible flowers.
- Create a bee bath to save the bees.
- Buy quality items over disposable items.
- Buy secondhand clothes, to avoid over-production of new clothing.
- Value and take care of the clothes you already own.
- Shop less.
- Support ethical/ sustainable brands.
- Look at the labels, choose organic cotton and sustainable fabrics.
- Avoid polyester and fabric that release micro-plastics.
- Wash your clothes less often.
- Line dry your clothes (if that’s an option)
- Make sure your washer has a spin function, it’s more efficient to spin the water off than evaporating it.
- Educate yourself about climate change.
- Go paperless in the office.
- Run your office on renewable energy.
- Offer employees the option to work from home, to avoid commuting.
- Sign up to a team building green-day, go tree planting.
- Use your powers for good, take your unique skillset and work for a green company or organisation helping to tackle climate change.
- Switch to an old school phone, non-smart phones don’t allow for heavy photos and video files that impact your carbon footprint.
- Buy a used phone, you can get some great used phones- thus avoiding the impact of manufacturing new.
- Switch to an eco phone provider like @ecotalkmobile
- Send fewer emails, yes even emails have a carbon footprint!
- Switch to a green pension provider, like Pension Bee’s Fossil Fuel free plan.
- Invest your money responsibly, choose a company like Clim8 Invest.
- Switch to a greener bank like Triodos.
- Educate yourself about the origin of food. Plant seeds and watch them grow, pick and eat the food.
- Shop local, avoid buying products that have flown half way around the world.
- Always carry a cloth bag when food shopping.
- Buy food in bulk (then you reduce the need for packaging)
- Reuse and repurpose packaging like jars, boxes and metal tins
- Visit refill shops
- Carry a reusable cup/ water bottle
- Avoid food waste- Only buy food that you’ll actually eat, avoid over shopping. Do a stock take and make a list before shopping.
- Buy locally grown food- Lots of our food travels half way around the world before making it to the supermarket shelves. Buying locally grown food will mean that you avoid the carbon emissions caused by the shipping/ flights/ vans involved. Plus, what’s better than a local farmers market?
- Avoid plastic packaging- This goes without saying. Take your own bags. If you have a local shop that offers refills, go for it.
- Eat less meat and dairy/ Eat more plants- >Insert horrifying stat about red meat here< I’ll not labour the point, if you google the environmental impact of farming and red meat consumption, you can take your pick of which shocking article you want to read. Do a “vegan day” if you can’t commit to being fell-time vegan.
- Cut back on flying.
- Leave the car at home, walk and cycle instead.
- Carpool when possible.
- Avoid driving the commute as much as possible, switch short trips in the car for walking or cycling.
- Towel dry hair.
- Shop beauty brands that follow environmentally friendly practices.
- Make sure the beauty brands that you shop with are organic.
- Switch one beauty product at a time.
- Use a shampoo and conditioner bar, to avoid plastic packaging.
- Look for refillable beauty products.
- Use ocean-friendly sunscreen.
- Make your own beauty products from foraged ingredients.
- Tell your favourite brands what you want, email and have your say, demand better.
- Choose non-toxic, the chemicals in your beauty products get washed down the drain and end up in the ocean, damaging ecosystems and killing aquatic life.
- Make your voice heard by those in power. Write letters to your MP, get involved on a local level.
- VOTE, vote for a party that has climate-positive agenda.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully offers a few practical ways to help you to fight climate change.
Photography by Olivia J Lennon