As the world warms, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, sea levels are rising, prolonged droughts are putting pressure on food crops, and animal and plant species are being driven to extinction.
While organisations and businesses need to bring about large scale change, it’s good to know that we can make small changes in our lives to reduce our global footprint. Here are a few ways you can help:
‘Green’ your commute
The benefits of riding into work rather than driving or using public transport are numerous, the most obvious being the cost-saving and health benefits. Cycling is one pollution-free form of exercise recommended by the NHS as a healthy way to cut the risk of developing major illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.
Cycling 10 km each way to work would save 1500 kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year. So why not give cycling to work a go! If you can’t cycle in, try taking public transport or joining a car share?
Use energy wisely
You can make small energy changes in your home that will add up. You can also save money too! Try:
- Change to energy-efficient light bulbs.
- Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics when you are not using them.
- Wash clothes in cold or warm (not hot) water.
- Hang your washing out to dry instead of using a dryer.
- Choose energy efficient appliances.
- Switch lights off in rooms that are empty.
Eat less meat
Red meat is particularly to blame, consuming 11 times more water and producing five times more emissions than its poultry counterparts. You don’t have to become a vegetarian but eating meat less frequently will significantly help the environment. To get 500g of beef, it takes over 22,730 litres of water – as the number one consumer of freshwater in the world, animal agriculture is drastically increasing the problem of water scarcity.
Plant some flowers!
Whether you live in a house or a flat, planting some greens is a quick and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. Plants absorb carbon dioxide, so plant some bee friendly flowers, herbs or a vegetable garden!
Join the Plastic Free July campaign!
Plastic Free July® is a global movement that encourages millions of people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner oceans, streets and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by refusing single-use plastics?
If you would like to read more about Climate Change, take a look at the BBC.