As I am writing this article, it is the halfway point of the COB 26 climate change conference in Glasgow, and the Metronome clock in New York reads “7 years, 84 days, 11 hours, 34 minutes and 11 seconds until the Earth experiences irreversible damage from global warming. It is time for all of us to act now and there are things we call all do right now.
Of course, the biggest steps in the fight against climate change need to happen at a government level, but there are things all of us can do to reduce our impact and pull together to help fight climate change. The good news is that taking action doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.
Here are nine ways you can start to protect the environment today:
Travel responsibly. Transport is one of the most polluting sectors in the world. Lower your environmental impact by walking or cycling instead of driving, choosing trains over planes, and vacationing closer to home. I have pretty much stopped travelling anywhere for business (especially on planes) as working from home is easier than ever.
Vote and advocate. Vote for people who represent your values and make the environment a top priority. Hold your local and national politicians accountable by making phone calls or writing letters. Attend constituency meetings and speak out about key issues on social media.
Keep informed. Staying on top of the latest news about the state of our natural world gives you the information you need to have important conversations with your friends and family.
Eat less meat. As a family, we now eat vegetarian and vegan food more often then we eat meat. And even for the carnivore of us, these days, you can find veggie burgers or other protein alternatives nearly everywhere – and they are closer to the taste and texture of meat than ever, some are even better!
Watch your wallet. Check out the brands you buy from, and find out how their products are sourced. If you want them to make changes, email them or use social media to get them to understand exactly what you’re asking them to do.
Sign up for a green pricing program with your electric utility. Some utility companies allow homes and businesses to choose power from clean sources. Check with your local energy provider to see if this is an option for your home or office.
Reduce your home’s emissions. Install a smart thermostat, buy efficient appliances, consider a heat pump and ensure good insulation.
Move to a green bank. Choose a bank that reflects your values and invests in the types of things you agree with. Opt-out of funds that invest in fossil fuels and socially irresponsible companies.
Cut consumption and waste. Use fewer single-use plastics, and buy less “fast fashion.” Shop for secondhand items when possible, try to avoid food waste, and repair household items instead of replacing them. One very simple thing we have done in our family is to cut shower gels and shampoos that come in plastic bottles - we use soap and shampoo bars instead.