No matter how you’ve spent the festive period, a new calendar year is often a time for reflection, so we thought we’d join the flood of New Year’s Resolutions Lists with one of our own, as I’m often asked when I talk about climate change ‘But what can I do?’. Well, here are a few simple ideas (this list is by no means exhaustive, and even if you do just one of these, it’s all making a difference)…
- switch your energy supplier to 100% renewable (which can save you money if you’ve not switched in a while!) – either by using USwitch and ticking ‘Green Plans’ under plan features, or going through MoneySupermarket‘s green energy section
- check your bank/investments/savings (if you’re lucky enough to have any already!) and what the bank is doing with them. If you’re bank/money is invested in fossil fuels (or anything else you ethically disagree with) then move it away (Divest) and put it into something like a bank that invests in renewables and other more just options. Triodos are quite good and socially responsible investments, and Barclays invest a lot in fracking. You can also check out how your bank is doing in this guide.
- Fashion – learn more about the #fightfastfashion campaign
- Research which socio-environmental causes you can donate money to, and which charities and organisations are going to do the most good with your money. Even donating the cost of say a cup of takeout coffee each week can make a difference. GiveWell have a host of information on effective giving, and how to choose where to donate. Also see this helpful article from Good Housekeeping.
- eat less beef and dairy – see infographic
- eat less meat in general, or eat more local meat
- check the source of all food, most packaging for at least fruit and vegetables will show country of origin
- shop local (7 reasons to shop locally)
- eat out local (ie find a restaurant that’s not a chain) and see what you think!
- eat less food containing palm oil in (it will say in the ingredients, usually under vegetable oil(palm)) or check for a ‘from sustainable sources’ message on the packaging
- waste less food – enough food for 650 million meals (that is still edible) is wasted every year in the UK
- take the train (book train across Europe made easy or advice on trains and ferries worldwide)/bus/bike /electric-powered taxis instead of car
- get more politically active – sign a petition or two, put up a poster, attend/organise/host an event, post something on social media, write to your local MP about issues which concern you. Do you know who your MP is (whether you voted for them or not!)? Do you know who your councillors are? Or even what Ward/District you’re in? More about lobbying for your issue here.
- become active in your community (we are stronger together) – do you know who your neighbours are? Ever invited someone on your road/from your neighbourhood over for dinner?
- cut out the plastic straws – either take your own (e.g. bamboo, stainless steel) or go without
- get a reusable hot drink mug – and actually take it with you, or leave it in your bag (work bag, handbag etc.) or leave it in your car if you use one regularly
- same goes for a reusable bottle for cold drinks e.g. water (ranges from metal to collapsible!). Or if you do get one when out and about, use it again and you’ve already halved your plastic use right?
- use toiletries/cosmetics without microbeads (although these have now been banned in some products in the UK)
- use re-fillable or no packaging shampoo/shower gel etc.
- Use a filter in your washing machine to stop microfibres from synthetic materials sweeping out into the ocean – 15 ways to stop microfibre pollution
And have a great 2018!