Want to stop climate change? Here are six things you can do right now

Global warming has never been of more concern. Here’s how you can do your bit to save the planet

By Ernest Richardson

Climate-change activist Greta Thunberg is sailing a yacht to a conference in New York in an effort to minimise her impact on the planet.

    With record temperatures throughout the world, there’s never been more of a focus on climate change.  

The teenager will spend two weeks sailing across the North Atlantic en route to the UN’s Climate Action Summit in September. It’s the latest in a series of high-profile actions that have seen Miss Thunberg become one of the world’s most celebrated spokespeople about the challenge of global warming.

The Swedish protestor made her name as a 15 year old by holding weekly strikes outside her country’s parliament. Her actions inspired an international movement and pricked the conscience of world leaders.

With record temperatures throughout the world, there’s never been more of a focus on climate change. Which means it’s the perfect time to look at our actions and identify ways to save the planet. Here are six suggestions to help channel your inner Greta.

1) Walk and cycle more, drive less

This is obvious, right? According to the RAC Foundation, 76 per cent of journeys between two and three miles and more than a half of all trips over one mile are undertaken by car rather than on foot or bicycle.

That’s a lot of carbon being pumped into the atmosphere that could easily be avoided. If you’re travelling fewer than two miles, it should only take half an hour or so to walk. And if you’re going fu

rther afield, a bike will get you there in no time at all.

Whether it’s the journey to school, work, or simply to post a letter, leave the car at home and make a big difference to the climate.

2) Cut down on your meat consumption

The contribution of livestock to global warming is a controversial issue, and there are arguments on both sides. Studies show that livestock farming creates about 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse emissions, making agriculture the second-highest contributor to global warming.

Set against that, experts from the Sustainable Food Trust point out that grazing animals on grassland can play an important role in carbon sequestration and make a positive contribution to the environment.

Either way, it pays to think about how much meat you consume. Try to have at least one meat-free day per week and you’ll improve your diet as well as helping the planet.

3) Install a smart meter

Smart meters have a strong appeal to consumers: they help you save money as well as cutting down your energy use.

Many energy suppliers install smart meters as part of their routine upgrade programme, but you can request one ahead of time if you wish.

By monitoring your energy consumption in real time, a smart meter enables you to see how much you’re spending, and measure your impact on the environment.

Users find that having up-to-date information about energy consumption displayed in their home encourages them to be more careful. They see the cost of their electricity and gas use, and take steps to minimise it. Good for the wallet, and good for the environment.

    It’s tempting to think of politicians as toothless and lacking in influence.  

4) Write to your MP

It’s tempting to think of politicians as toothless and lacking in influence. But MPs continue to wield huge power, not least by voting on legislation concerning national carbon-reduction targets and the deployment of green technology such as electric cars.

You can monitor how your constituency MP votes on climate change issues and contact them using the UK Parliament website. If you want them to take a stand, or challenge their voting record, the best way is to email or write, or visit their local surgery.

If a mass movement is more your cup of tea, you could sign the Friends of the Earth petition, asking the government to take urgent climate action.  

5) Embrace renewables

Renewable sources are now proven to provide a reliable source of energy with minimal impact on the environment.

The easiest way to harness the power of the wind and sun is to sign up with a green electricity supplier such as Good Energy or Ecotricity. Companies like these often offer competitive tariffs and make a donation per customer to an eco-friendly charity.

If your property is suitable, you could install a wind turbine or solar panels, but that can be expensive and may not meet your energy needs.

6) Get your employer on board

Every brand wants to demonstrate its eco credentials, so your employer shouldn’t need much encouragement to launch an environmental programme.

You could encourage them to apply for B Corporation status, underscoring their commitment to the planet and encouraging best practice. B Corps meet the very highest standards of social and environmental performance. Members benefit from a global network that is committed to doing the right thing.

On a more day-to-day level, small acts like encouraging careful use of energy and adopting a green company car scheme all make a difference.

Employers often need the encouragement of employees to introduce environmentally friendly policies. If you want to make a difference to the planet’s prospects, why not give your employer a nudge in the right direction?

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

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