Over the years I have given my opinion on this a few times either here on my blog or on Instagram or Facebook. There is always a need in trying to tackle climate change. However, while everyone wants to stop climate change, when it comes to them actually having to change their personal lives to help, people can be reluctant. With the current crisis taking place in Australia, I really hope this can change though. I hope that now will finally be the time that everyone looks up and starts making real changes in their lives for our planet and all the lives on it.
With that in mind, I wanted to post today easy changes we can all make to help tackle climate change.
Eat less meat and dairy or go vegan
There are numerous studies out there all showing meat and dairy is one of the biggest factors when it comes to climate change. Sadly it is not very widely covered by the news as it simply isn’t in their best interest. News corporations and charities like Greenpeace alike are at the publics mercy when it comes to money. They all need to make it and right now, meat eaters are paying their bills. Even worse, in certain countries governments have a vested interest in meat so publish reports to encourage eating it! The truth is the meat and dairy we currently produce is not sustainable.
Despite what I would want everyone doesn’t actually have to go vegan though. We just need everyone to eat less meat and dairy. Go a few days without it each week. As it is Veganuary this is a great time to start trying too. Everywhere has vegan options now so give them a go. Buy some vegan cookbooks for at home too. I really like the Aine Carlin books as she makes quite different food, she is not just making something with a meat replacer. And when you do buy meat and dairy, only buy what you need. Try not to waste any as this change alone could make a huge impact.
Use less electricity
I see lots of people encouraging we switch to suppliers who only provide renewable energy. While this is a good move, it is not quite what it seems. The way our system works in the UK and the energy is bought and sold there is no way to say you only use renewable power in your home. The national grid in the UK needs to have power provided by fossil fuels to balance it. This means no matter who your provider is there is no way to guarantee at any given time all the power is from renewables even if every single member of the public switched to such providers.
So yes, do switch, but also actually just stop using so much electricity. As part of my new years resolutions I am having a night a week with no electricity. While I am only 2 weeks in to this, I have found in general I am already starting to watch the TV or use my laptop less. If we all did this, again huge changes could be made. Especially if you live in Australia where they currently depend on coal for electricity.
Shower and wash clothing less
Obviously this is the same as the above, but if you shower less often and wash clothes less this all makes a change too. Not only are you using less electricity but also less water. For years we have been encouraged to pamper ourselves and wash our clothes after every wear, but this just is not required. Last year I switched to washing my hair every other day after years of believing it was too greasy for this. In truth, it is fine and I actually prefer day 2 as my hair styles better. As for my washing, I only clean things which are dirty. Tops and jumpers are worn 2 or 3 times each and my trousers tend to be 3 or 4 wears. The added bonus is, I am also saving myself time and money. Win, win.
Walk or use public transport
Now I know not everyone is in a position to walk to work, but for most of us public transport is an option. Yes it might be more inconvenient, but I think now is the time to accept those inconveniences and just do it. If public transport isn’t an option, look to see if you can car pool. I would imagine if you are in the position that you can only drive to work, others nearby you will be the same. Chat to neighbours or work colleagues and see if you can travel together in one car.
Eat food which is in season
2020 is the year I am going to aim to start buying local only. Not only has the food not travelled half way around the world, but it also tastes better. Whenever I suggest this to people they tell me it is too expensive, but it is not. Go to a local market and find your local farms stall. In my experience it is actually cheaper than the supermarket, tastes better and lasts longer, so less waste. The times it is more expensive are the farm shops either on the high street or at local garden centres. In my experience they are best avoided. We once paid £4.50 for 4 apples at one of these!!!
Now I have a garden I intend on trying to make my veg patch go a bit further too. Greens can be grown right into the winter in the greenhouse, so I am going to give it a go! While I was unwell for a huge chunk of 2019, my garden was neglected. However, it thrived! We had huge hauls of root veg, pumpkins and potatoes. So if you have space and have never tried, give it a go. It is not as difficult as you would think!
If we all made small changes the impact would be huge! As is mentioned a lot with regards to zero waste. We don’t need a few people doing it perfectly, we need lots of people doing it a bit. Encourage those around you to make changes too. I say this all the time, but it is so true. People are always watching and will notice what you do. It may not seem like it, but that starts to seep in and they start making the changes too.