For those immersed in the plight of our climate and our environment, David Attenborough’s Extinction: The Facts documentary will probably be reinforcing unfortunate truths you already grapple with. For others, it may have been a moment of stark realisation that we have a serious crisis on our hands.
One thing that must have united all viewers was the desire to do something about it. So, here is our simple summary of actions you could take tomorrow, that will make a difference;
Make your voice heard
Write to your MP it does make a big difference if our elected representatives get to hear your concerns first hand. You could also consider persuading your MP to join the campaign for a Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) bill. Written by an alliance of leading scientists, environmentalists and lawyers the bill provides a clear framework, based on scientific reality, to deliver the UK’s commitments to the 2015 UN Paris Climate Agreement and to tighten up current UK legislation.
Start a community environment group
Such groups are springing up all around the country and focusing on issues like energy generation, energy-saving measures in the home, low carbon travel and biodiversity issues such as planting trees and wildflowers. For many issues like climate change just seem too big to solve, so why not start small. The benefit of working from the ground up is that you can make a visible and direct difference to your community. One good reason for starting this now is that the government is offering a Green Homes Grant scheme that pays up to £5,000 per household to help make homes more energy-efficient. As most people are unaware of these grants, now is a great time for communities to work together to help make they homes more energy efficient. It is also worth checking out Hubbub’s Greenprint, a comprehensive effort to create a more sustainable UK that is very community focused. Driven by public opinion Hubbub have developed 10 policies across five themes that would create a green recovery that also reduces inequality.
Flying is the fastest-growing cause of climate change and emits more greenhouse gases per passenger mile travelled than any other form of transport. Covid19 restrictions aside, there are some great staycation opportunities right here in the UK, but if you really like it warm, then do check out rail travel as a means of securing your sunshine fix. Planning this is much easier than it used to be, check out raileurope.co.uk (formerly loco2) and the www.Seat61.com. You might also consider lobbying your employer to adopt the Climate Perks initiative where staff are awarded extra paid holiday as an incentive to ditch the plain when they go on holiday.
Eat Less Meat
You actually don’t have to become full vegan or vegetarian to make a big difference when it comes to diet. The livestock industry is thought to be responsible for an amazing 18% of all our greenhouse gas emissions. Raising livestock is also one of the key drivers for habitat destruction, largely due to the amount of soy that needs to be grown to feed nearly 1 billion cattle. Cutting down your meat intake, particularly beef will not only make a real difference to the planet, but it will also probably leave you feeling healthier too. Here is a full list of the greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram for different food groups.
Change your pension provider
It can be hard to envisage how your pension could have much of an impact when it comes to protecting the environment. However, according to Make My Money Matter, it is probably the most impactful change you can make as an individual. Your pension is very likely invested in activities that damage the environment, changing it to a sustainable provider can be 27 times more impactful than giving up flying AND becoming a vegan. If enough of change our pensions, we could change the world for the better…. what are you waiting for?
If you would like to know more about how your choice of insurance can also make a difference then do give us a call on 01803 864390. Otherwise, good luck in making some positive change….