The impact of the climate crisis is all too visible. Bush fires in Australia have killed more than half a billion animals, 20 people and forced thousands more to flee their homes. Floods and storms have left hundreds dead and many more destitute in Argentina, Uruguay, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi. And in the UK, record temperatures were seen last summer and this winter.
This year presents a remarkable opportunity to work on reducing our usage of fossil fuels, cut greenhouse gases and protect the planet from global heating. Here are a few ways you can be more environmentally conscious in 2020:
Walking or cycling from A to B is one the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint — while also giving your own health a boost! And cutting back on flying to save emissions doesn’t mean you have to forgo your annual holiday either. Simply hop on the train to your next destination, pack up the caravan for a road trip or even opt for a carbon-offset adventure!
Vary your diet
We could probably all be a bit healthier when it comes to our diet choices. But switching to a more plant-based diet can also help fight climate change. Farming animals for meat and dairy is one of the biggest causes of deforestation and is a major source of CO2 emissions. Eating more plant-based foods can lower your individual impact on the environment.
Focus on sustainable shopping
Being more conscious about what you buy (and what you don’t) can go a long way toward helping our planet. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to buy environmentally friendly products. Use your power as a consumer to support eco-conscious brands, shop second-hand when possible and just try to buy less “stuff” overall. It helps to always ask yourself if you really need something before buying it.
Recycle, recycle, recycle
There’s a reason we’re constantly reminded of the importance of recycling. The devastating consequences of plastic pollution is becoming increasingly obvious — especially in our oceans. Recycling means fewer new materials will need to be made. You can even upcycle if you’re feeling resourceful. Why not turn an old bottle into a lamp, or even a bird feeder?
Cut back on food waste
Did you know almost a third of all food produced every year is lost or wasted? You can help reduce this by wasting as little of your own food as possible: Eat the leftovers, get creative with any extra ingredients and start a compost pile in your backyard with scraps. Compost also makes a great fertilizer, so you won’t have to buy any harmful chemical alternatives!
Switch off and unplug
While we’re more connected than ever before, the simple act of remembering to turn off the lights, PCs, laptops and screens when you don’t need them can save a huge amount of energy in the long-run. Keep it up and pretty soon you’ll develop an easy habit that’s also great for our planet!
If you haven’t already, this is the year to lend your voice to the growing movement for global climate action. And that doesn’t have to mean protesting on the streets: Donate to a environmental cause. Stay informed and talk to your friends, colleagues and neighbors about what they can do to help the planet. Don’t underestimate the power of speaking up.
Get out into nature
This year, make more of an effort to get out of the house and explore the most beautiful landscapes our Earth has to offer. It might not have a direct impact on climate action, but it’s a great way to truly appreciate our planet — and remind us what we need to protect.