Climate change: let’s get practical

Metal water bottle
Photo by Julia Sakelli from Pexels

We know the environment and climate are in trouble. This is from the perspective of humans and other species.. What can we do about it? First-off…please don’t leave it to politicians and business leaders! Many want short term results and profit at almost any price. And many will not deliver what we need.

Also don’t fall for the “what’s the point if other nations are not doing things?” Many of them are. Much more than the UK or US. It is politicians  playing the usual blame-others game.

It’s down to us. And we collectively are powerful. Yes, we don’t control energy policy, industrial strategy, transport investment etc but we can make a huge difference. The most powerful thing we have is our vote and actions. We vote rarely but we need to make it count. Don’t vote for the status quo.

Fine, but what can we do now. Well, here are some of my thoughts which you may find helpful, or not, when thinking about what you personally could do.

Transport

Is it really necessary for me to take the car? Can I take the train, bus, car share, walk, not go?

What sort of car do I have? Small is good. None is better.

Electric cars are fine as far as they go, but tyre wear still pollutes with fine particulates.

Think first if Skype, zoom, Whatsapp, google meets could be used rather than travelling to meetings.

Make use of supermarket deliveries. One delivery van round is much better than 50 car journeys.

Food

Can I reduce the amount of meat I eat? It will be both healthier and cheaper.

Reduce chocolate. Cocoa production is often associated with deforestation. Google it!

Can I use non-dairy additions to tea/coffee/breakfast cereals? Oat milk really is delicious. Try it.

Almond and soya are better than dairy, but are not as good as oat milk

Nuts. Try toasting chestnuts rather than buying nut selection packs.

Buy locally as much as possible. Food miles count.

Energy

Am I wasting energy at home? Can I reduce my electricity and gas usage?

Do I heat my house and water only when I need to? Have I got room thermostats?

The WHO guidelines for the UK climate are heating thermostats should be set at 18 to 21 Celsius.

Water

Partly fill the kettle with just enough water needed.

Can I reuse any of my wastewater? In the garden? Washing the car?

Keep a bucket next to the toilet. Use old bath/shower water to flush the loo

Don’t flush every time you wee. If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.

Bottled water. Why? Honestly!

Buy a metal water bottle and use it when you’re out rather than buy water.

Paper

Can I reuse paper and packaging? Do I need a new envelope, or can I reuse one I’ve received?

Plastic

Do I always recycle it?

Can I use less?

Use ink refill pens rather than biros. Better still, use pencil for everyday notes.

Christmas presents

Do I take spending to excess?

Can I avoid plastic-based gifts?

Fruit, veg, flowers make great presents for adults. If not a bit unusual. Here’s a pumpkin, granny!

Bee bombs and wildflower seeds are a great idea for presents.

Look in the charity shops. Oxfam do a great range of environmental gifts. So do other charities.

Attitude

Call out politicians and others who travel inefficiently (world-tours, private jets, helicopters etc)

Tell companies which offer Artic and Antarctic cruises what you think of them!

Am I thinking laterally about how I can reduce my energy needs and consumption?

Do I feel passionate enough about this to encourage my family and friends?

It is for our future, it is for the future of our children that we are fighting for.

Dramatic words, but sadly true.

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