(* Yes, I know it's a reach, but... if we ALL did these things, then they actually, probably would solve it, just saying... )
The Climate Crisis: it's all TOO much, isn't it?
Sometimes the climate crisis is just too much to face.
Not only the terrifying reality of what we will all face if we do not limit global warming to 1.5'c above industrial levels, but also the question of "what can I do about climate change?"
It feels so complicated.
There seems so MUCH to do. So many options. So many things to change. And so little time!
I get it.
I've felt the same thing.
But the other evening, something in my head just clicked!
It's not as complicated as it first seems.
There's not lots to do. There's not too much to do.
In fact, there are a just few simple things that will have a hugely positive effect in the fight against the worst effects of the climate emergency.
Have this as a check list of guiding principles against which to check your daily decisions and actions, and not only will you be taking real action to fight the climate crisis, but you’ll also not be letting that fight take over all of your mental and emotional energy and deny you of time spent enjoying this wonderful life that we're all fighting for.
Side note: one of the benefits of waking up to the reality of the climate emergency, no longer burying your head in the sand and facing the fear head on, is that every day is filled with joy. You truly appreciate every bud on every plant, every sound of bird song, every ray of sunshine, every snowflake, every breath of fresh air, every hug, every laugh, every crappy Netflix show. You appreciate ALL of it. And it's beautiful and joyful.
This life, this world, is worth us all fighting for.
Every fraction of a degree counts.
And there are just seven things we need to do.
Seven Simple Ways to Solve the Climate Crisis
How you can solve the Climate Crisis...
1. Solve the Climate Crisis through Voting & Lobbying
a. Vote Green whenever you can
In last year’s local elections (May 2022), the Green Party had a net gain of 81 seats. There are now a total 542 Green councillors on 164 councils!
If there’s no viable green candidate in your local area, check out this Greenpeace evaluation of the green credentials of all the major political party manifestos in 2019. (To be updated at the next general election.)
b. Email your MP (regularly)
Did you know that every communication to your MP gets logged?
Even if your MP doesn’t agree with your concerns and priorities, and never replies, it is STILL worth emailing them - your views and those of other constituents will be recorded.
Keep telling them to make fighting the Climate Crisis their top priority.
c. Sign every petition you can on climate
Every signature makes a difference.
2. Solve the Climate Crisis through your Diet
Reduce your (especially red) meat and dairy
Food production is responsible for between one-quarter and one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. [i]
Simply halving our meat and dairy intake would make a real difference on our carbon footprint, possibly cutting our overall footprint by up to 10%. [ii]
And for meat eaters, your initial focus should be on reducing or cutting out beef, lamb, and cheese. Beef from a Beef herd emits TEN TIMES the about of Greenhouse Gases across the food chain than Chicken. [iii]
3. Solve the Climate Crisis through your Energy Use
a. Save energy in your home by insulating it as much as you can. On a 3 bed previously uninsulated house, insulation could save you 1 tonne of CO2e emissions a year![iv] Line-drying your washing, instead of using your tumble-dryer 200 times a year, could save another 400kg CO2e a year. b. Switch your energy provider to a Greener one by checking out this Which report.
4. Solve the Climate Crisis through your Travel
a. Choose active travel (walking or cycling) or public transport wherever you can.
b. Reduce or eliminate your air travel.
Do you know the carbon cost of the flights you take? Here are a few examples of typical flights from the UK:[v]
CO2e Cost in Tonnes
|Flight (return)||Economy||Premium Economy||Business Class|
|Manchester to Malaga||0.56||1.13||1.97|
|Leeds Bradford to Lanzarote||0.89||0.89||1.33|
|London to New York||1.65||2.64||4.78|
|London to Los Angeles||2.60||4.15||7.53|
If we’re aiming to reduce our personal carbon footprints from close to 13 tonnes down to 2.5 tonnes per year, with the aim of keeping global warming below 1.5’C[vi], the carbon cost of these flights uses up a HUGE chunk of that carbon ‘budget’, and some use it up many times over.
5. Solve the Climate Crisis through being a (truly) Sustainable Consumer
a. Do you really NEED that purchase, or just want it? b. Buy second-hand wherever possible. c. If you have to buy new, try to make truly sustainable choices – and not just fall for companies’ greenwashing.
Ethical Consumer - £30 a year subscription and rates over 40,000 brands and products across Energy, Fashion & Clothing, Food & Drink, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden, Money, Retailers, Technology and Travel www.ethicalconsumer.org/
B Corp Directory. Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. www.bcorporation.net/en-us/find-a-b-corp
6. Solve the Climate Crisis through having Hope through Action
a. Follow positive climate stories.
With all the scary headlines and fatalistic news stories it’s VERY easy to think that all is lost and there’s no point in taking any action. This is not healthy for us or the planet.
Instead make sure you follow accounts who highlight positive climate and environmental stories, and remind you of just how many people are taking action to help combat the climate crisis.
Some great accounts are:
I also try to post a weekly Climate Happy News on the Contented Earth account, so make sure you follow: www.instagram.com/contentedearth/
b. Take quick, simple, regular action.
And if you want one easy eco / climate action to take each week, taking from just seconds to a few minutes, then sign up to www.thecontentedcompany.com/justonething.
c. And TALK about eco changes you’re making.
Research found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans think that people should install solar panels on their homes.
However, when asking those same Americans about what others believe, they estimate that only 3 in 10 people think other people should install solar panels.
People perceive they’re more alone in believing more people should take climate-positive action than they really are. And if people don’t realize that those around them hold positive views of these climate actions, they are less likely to take climate action.[vii]
7. Solve the Climate Crisis through your Finances
And did you know that you can cut your carbon 21 times more than going veggie, giving up flying and switching energy, simply by making your pension green?[x] (That said, please keep doing everything else on the list too. Just make sure your money turbocharges those steps, not undermines them).
a. Check how green your bank is: https://bank.green/
c. Tell your pension provider to go green expansion (choose your provider, and complete a pre-written email) https://makemymoneymatter.co.uk/21x/
d. Switch banks (or pensions).
Seven Simple Ways to Solve the Climate Crisis
And so that's it!
Seven super simple steps:
And if we ALL do these seven things, we really can solve the Climate Crisis.
I hope this realisation calms your mind and soul as much as it did mine.
If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to ask.