Taking climate action can be quick and cheap. It’s about everyone making good, smart choices in everyday life. Easy choices. Watch Bake Off live as it’s broadcast instead of later on catch-up – already you’ve saved the electricity that catch-up would’ve cost on Channel 4’s servers.
Taking climate action asks you only to think a little, and remember to do the right thing, right by you, yours and your neighbours.
Start with one thing, until it becomes your habit (good habits are as hard to break as bad ones), then move onto something else. Some of these ideas are things you can do right this moment – which of these changes can you make straightaway?
- Be less picky – it doesn’t matter if your spuds are a funny shape, or the colour isn’t quite right. Less picky means less waste.
- If it’s cold, put on an extra layer, not an extra notch on the heating. If it’s hot, take one off or open a window. Dress for the weather.
- Walk further and more often, it won’t take so much longer and is cheaper than petrol or the gym.
- Cook bigger, so you have some left over for extra meals or to give to friends. (but don’t forget about it!)
- Carry reusables with you, like bags and cups.
- Sell, swap, share or donate the things you’re not using, and borrow or buy second-hand the things you need but haven’t got.
- Make the most of hot water, in kettles, washing machines, dishwashers, in washing yourself – heating water that travels dozens of miles to reach you eats power. Imagine how much more sparing you’d be with it if you had to physically carry it from its source.
- Eat locally-grown and in season – or even better grow it yourself; herbs, berries, tomatoes, rhubarb don’t need much space or looking after.
- Eat more veg and less meat and dairy, pay for better quality not more quantity.
- What you need is not the same as what you want, so shop smart and shop local, or even better; rent, borrow or be creative with what you already have.
- Buy from people who care about the world as much as you do – buy sustainable, ethical, renewable. Whenever you buy something, make sure you stop to think about where it came from, what impact it’ll have while it’s in your possession and what you’ll do with it once you’re done.
- Get other people to think about what they’re doing – the Council, your MP, the people you work with, the places you go, the people you buy from. Be noisy about protecting the future and making it better.
And plant a tree. Planting in them in your garden can be a long and anxious task – we had an apple tree that struggled to grow, then finally it fruited (just the one apple) before getting broken in half. We thought it was a goner, but fed it and watered it, and after a couple of years it fruited like crazy last year, though it’s still very short.
If you fancy something involving less finger-crossing though, something a little … larger scale, why not find out more about our project to plant trees around Minchinhampton? We’ve got the promise of the trees, we just need somewhere and some people to plant them. Would you like to help?