When the words “climate change” are seen, people usually turn a blind eye. It is a massive problem of today’s modern world, so massive that it seems inconceivable to fight. However, that is not the case. Even the smallest changes in your lifestyle will make a difference in the fight against climate change. Below are just a tiny example of some changes you can make.
1. Refuse a straw.
The next time you are ordering drinks at a bar or cafe, think twice before accepting a straw. National Geographic quotes that 500 million plastic straws are used daily in America alone, all of which merely add to the eight million tonnes of plastic that wash away into the ocean every year. Refusing plastic bags should also help reduce this atrocious number.
2. Avoid coffee cups.
Most of us love buying a coffee at our local cafe, but rarely are the coffee cups recycled. In fact, only one in 1000 cups are recycled in the UK. Helen Bingham of Keep Britain Tidy told The Guardian that Britain is bad at on-street recycling, because it is “inconsistent and confusing”. So, investing in a reusable coffee cup will help in the fight to save the planet, and the same goes for plastic water bottles.
3. Use the car less.
This doesn’t mean selling your car or cutting up your licence. If you can walk, do it. Better for the environment, better for your health. If it’s too far to walk, cycle. If these aren’t viable alternatives (think London’s congested roads), use public transport or a carpool website. Car fuels damage ecosystems irrevocably and pollute the air we breathe, with cars producing 1/3 of all U.S. air pollution, as outlined by the National Geographic.
4. Reduce intake of red meat.
You don’t have to become a vegetarian, but it does pay to be more conscientious of the environmental impact the meat industry has. PETA highlights that the meat industry causes over 50% of global greenhouse-gas emissions. So, skipping steak night once a month may be a small act, but with a huge impact.
5. Have fewer children.
Having one less child, it has been discovered, has the ultimate environmental impact in fighting climate change. The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, found that it could reduce 58 tonnes of CO2 for each year of a parent’s life. Talking to The Guardian, researcher Kimberly Nicholas said, “It is not a sacrifice message. It is trying to find ways to live a good life in a way that leaves a good atmosphere for the planet. I’ve found it really positive to make many of these changes.” Of course, this is a personal choice and your decision in which will not be wrong either way, and will be the best option for you.
6. Avoid long flights.
Long-haul flights impact the environment the worse, with the average European traveller generating around 10 tonnes a year. Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner for climate action, told NY Times, “We believe that those of us who can afford to pay for an air ticket can also afford to pay for the pollution from their travel.” It is suggested that train travel is the eco-friendlier option.
7. Be green.
Everyone knows how to be “green” and eco-friendly, however not many of us actually are green. Recycling is a brilliant start, as well as using low energy light bulbs and drying laundry on a line. Additionally, you can buy only local produce and install solar panels in your home. Moreover, you can buy gas and electricity from companies who sell renewable power.
There are many more opportunities to be green, the majority of which will not demand massive sacrifices on your behalf, so do not limit yourself to these suggestions. Every act helps towards the fight against climate change, no matter how small.