Climate change can seem like such a big problem that it is easy to feel unable to do anything about it… But, it really is possible to make a difference!
1. Take action! Help secure a global climate deal… CARE and other humanitarian organisations are working together to secure a globally binding and socially equitable climate deal. This is important because without a global legal framework to monitor and enforce the promises made by national governments, and multi-national corporations, it is unlikely that we will be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to reduce the ongoing, and increasingly severe, impacts of climate change on the world’s poorest communities.
If you are interested in getting involved, why not sign up to 350.org to join a global movement fighting for climate justice?
2. Change how we live as a society. Reducing your home/office carbon footprint. There are many small changes that we can make to our homes, offices, and lifestyles that, added together, combine to make a significant impact on the amount of carbon, and other greenhouse gases, we are responsible for emitting. Eating less meat, walking or cycling rather than driving a car, reducing the number of flights we take, or buying food that is locally sourced, are all simple ways to make a difference.
At home– Take a look at this ‘carbon footprint calculator’ from WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) it will estimate your footprint and suggest ways to reduce it.
Influencing your office– The UN are encouraging their staff to change their working habits in order to make the organisation more environmentally sustainable… The tutorial is available to anyone, and we think it could be highly relevant and useful for many organisations…
3. Support renewable energy sources- Most of the energy we use comes from burning fossil fuels, which is responsible for two thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is now easy and economically beneficial to switch to renewable energy sources within the UK, compare your current supplier with a ‘green’ alternative here, and see how much you could be saving!
4. Reducing your levels of consumption (aka buying stuff/eating/& air travel!)- Reducing consumption levels doesn’t mean sacrificing a good life. Although, millions of dollars have been spent on trying to persuade us otherwise… For many years, media and advertising industries have been selling us the idea that consumerism equates with happiness.
However, extensive research compiled by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) for the UK Government’s Foresight project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing, show that wellbeing does not depend on spending money, or consuming more. NEF’s centre for wellbeing has developed a set of five evidence-based actions that, if practised regularly, can improve personal wellbeing.
This means that reducing your consumption of meat, imported products and clothing, holidays abroad, super-sized cars, the latest gadgets, and fossil fuel- derived energy- is actually a choice you can make without fear of losing out on happiness, or emotional comfort. Why not give it a trial run and see how you feel?