5 ways we can all fight climate change

Stop flying, start walking

Flying is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Take a train, not a plane: one return flight to Spain from the UK = the emissions caused by a year’s worth of driving.

This doesn’t mean we can’t travel. Want to fly to Australia? Just make it the holiday of a lifetime, not a yearly trip.

Europe is still accessible by train and can be a more relaxing journey which gives you a more immersive experience of the country.

Plan early to ensure getting the best seats and the best tickets. If your trip’s work-related, take your laptop and settle down for a few hours’ catch-up. If it’s for pleasure, why not watch a movie with a glass of wine, depending on what time you’re travelling?

If you can ditch the car at home too, this will also help – either walk, or take the bus. Public transport is better than private cars.

10 Best places to visit without flying:

https://www.loveexploring.com/news/68788/the-best-places-to-visit-in-europe-no-fly-europe

10 best no fly holidays, in the UK:

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/oct/09/top-no-flying-rail-train-trips-europe-amsterdam-eurostar-paris-ferry

places to visit from Manchester:

https://www.planetware.com/england/manchester-surroundings-eng-m-mansur.htm

Eat a plant-based diet –

  • for the planet; for the animals; for your health

If cows were a nation, they would be the third largest emitter of GHGs, after China and the US.

Eating a plant-based diet is better for the environment, it’s better for you, and it’s better for the animal too.

Start by cutting meat out one day a week and build it up until you’re either mostly or completely meat free.

Agriculture is one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide and fossil fuels are required in every stage of the process. From fertilisers derived from natural gas, to machinery like tractors and processing plants, through to transportation and distribution, the food on our table is totally dependent on fossil fuel production from oil and gas.

Buy locally and support your local farmers and producers. Eating locally-sourced, seasonal produce is by far the best way to cut carbon from your diet. By cutting out meat, we cut out a major source of carbon pollution. Meat production is a serious problem for us and the Amazon rainforest, the lungs of our world. The recent fires are entirely manmade. Logging firms slash and burn the forest, taking out any usable timber; once the fires are out, ranchers move in and put cattle on the cleared land. The west’s desire for cheap beef is creating a catastrophe in the Amazon which is having a global impact.

We don’t have much time left to change the way we live. Our carbon emissions continue to rise despite our being told over countless years that something must be done.

Support local food growing initiatives and find out how to get involved:

https://kindling.org.uk

Sensible advice on going vegan:

https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/how-go-vegan

Turn your home into an eco-home

One of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide emissions is our own homesa third of all emissions come from them. By reducing our home’s emissions, we can make a real difference.

From small changes like using low energy light bulbs to significant changes by renovating our homes, we can make a direct reduction in our personal carbon emissions. 

There are many ways to start reducing the energy our homes use:

  • smart thermostats
  • Upgrading heating systems

By making your home less draughty, you will increase your comfort as well as lowering your bills. Get advice on insulating your property and you will potentially make a massive impact on both your heating bills and your contributions to climate change.

Get in touch with Snug Spaces to find out how you can turn your home into an eco-home.

Get local

Use local shops and services and buy your products and food as close to your home as possible. This has multiple benefits – it supports your local economy, and reduces the miles that your food travels, creating less pollution. 

Consume less. Everything we buy has been created using energy, probably derived from fossil fuels. If it is plastic, it’s made from fossil fuels. It’s been transported to us using fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are integral to every product we buy from inception to the point at which it’s thrown away. If we buy less, we use less fossil fuel and thereby create less carbon. It’s a win win.

Get active

Sometimes it can feel like we are losing the battle. Corporations continue to pollute; governments continue to ignore the real and present dangers in front of us.

But there are still real, useful actions we can take.

16 year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden has set the world talking and finally people are taking notice.

How can you help?

Be active politically – make your vote count, so that local and national government have no choice but to listen and to act.

Join local groups, whether they are lobbying or looking for solutions. The more of us who act, the more that can be done.

Action must be collective: the problems have been created collectively and can only be solved by collective collaboration. Find like-minded people and create a grass-roots movement in your area.

For advice on your first steps to becoming a climate activist, try these organisations’ websites

https://rebellion.earth

https://www.greenpeace.org.uk

Because we have one life to live, and one world to live it in.  And our life shouldn’t cost the earth.