Climate change has become the most threatening challenge the world has ever faced and it can only be addressed by taking immediate action.
Evidence that climate change is due to human activity continues to accumulate and the crisis is becoming worse by the day. The question is, what can we do to reduce climate change?
Here are 50 ways to reduce climate change:
- Driving Less
It has been reported that cars account for 60.7% of the total CO2 emissions in Europe’s road transport. Drive less and take shorter journeys if you can help it. Take public transport instead of driving your car on a very long road trip. These acts of lessened driving can make a huge difference in reducing climate change.
- Power Showering
People shower in the UK for eight minutes on average and use around 60 litres of water, according to The Green Age. Install a shower head that saves water by restricting its volume. You can also simply spend less time in the shower if you can help it. That would make a big difference in helping the environment.
- Going Green
Green energy not only saves money but also portrays the message that you want to help the environment by avoiding dependence on fossil fuels. From chemical product treatment to plastic recycling, you can devise new and efficient ways to maintain sustainability for a greener world.
- Turning the Lights Off
Using energy-efficient light bulbs is always a good switch. But remember to turn the lights off when leaving the room or when you’re not using it all. If you’re living in a big house with lots of lights inside, this could help reduce the electricity bills.
You can also invest in motion detector lights that automatically turn off without movement. The upfront costs may be higher than conventional light bulbs but they will pay off in savings and the environment in the long run.
- Minimizing Travel
Trade your planned holiday abroad for an adventure within the UK. To make it more eco-friendly, tray travelling by train. Airlines produce hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 each year. Remember what Dorothy said about there being no place like home? I’m sure you’ll find a lot of adventure at home.
- Collecting Rainwater
It may not be always featured on the news but there’s a water crisis going on is some parts of the world due to climate change. Thus, by gathering rainwater, you are saving tap water, conserving energy, and helping solve the water crisis.
- Investing In Clean Energy
Invest in clean energy by moving your money to a green bank. Businesses play a crucial role in provoking change through sustainable means. In the competitive business world, investing your money in green projects can mean a lot not only for your bottom line but also for the environment.
- Eating Vegan
There are a lot of tasty vegan grub like Greggs that you can enjoy eating. So even if you do it only once, or twice, it would take beyond 2,400 gallons to produce a single pound of meat, and 25 gallons of water would be required for a single pound of wheat, according to PETA.
- Milking it
Even if it’s one day a week, try to go dairy-free. In an Oxford University study, boffins found that avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth.
- Having Fewer Children
Producing fewer children can contribute a lot on the climate change front. It will save 58.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions for every child forgone each year, although it can be quite a big deal for the majority of people.
Despite its being a sensitive topic, there’s an increasing number of experts and studies that point to population growth as a main concern – not only in terms of climate change but also resources of all sorts.
- Changing The Way You’re Washing Your Clothes
Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers and other washing appliances can heat-trap greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Wash your clothes with ordinary water and dry them outside on a wire instead of using the washing machine to save 247kg or 210kg of CO2 every year.
- Creating a Pond
Ponds generally accommodate a broader array of species than land. Even a pond as small as 1 sq m, or just a damp patch, contains a huge biodiversity within your garden. Butterflies, rabbits and hummingbirds can feel at home within and around a backyard pond.
Wildlife can benefit from a freshwater source. Native plants can grow better with the right water sources.
- Avoid Burning Coal
Coal fires are very cosy but they expel more CO2 towards the atmosphere compared to the central heating. Recycling and reusing also reduce the effects of coal use on the environment. Waste products caught by scrubbers can be utilized to create products like synthetic gypsum and cement for wallboard.
- Making a Hole For Your Fence
Hedgehogs can go for a mile in one night, which entails that walls and fences are often an obstacle in their path, so this will help. This helps ensure that the hedgehogs are not harmed and kept out of the endangered species list.
- Using a Compost Heap
Do not use fertilizers and pesticides for your garden. Instead, use a compost heap. Composting can help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions affecting climate change. Waste and food loss produce an estimated 8-10 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions while using water and land resources can pressure biodiversity.
- Donating Goods To Charity
Taking books, clothes, and other items to charity shops and putting them into clothing banks can help make a difference to those who need them. Providing basic needs, planting a tree, and giving used materials like metals and bottles can help improve environmental conditions.
Without water, soil or air pollution, the environment will improve dramatically and such improvement will enhance the living conditions of its beneficiaries. You can donate goods to foundations like The British Heart Foundation for a start.
- Using a Dishwasher
Researchers discovered that the British use 63 litres of water on average to wash after meals by hand. Dishwashers, on the other hand, use at least 18 litres of water on average. The energy consumption was also roughly the same on average.
- Sorting Waste
Your food scraps may not seem harmful but as they accumulate in the landfills, they will decompose and be decimated by bacteria through a process called anaerobic digestion. This means that there isn’t enough oxygen going to the food waste.
With no oxygen facilitating the degradation process, food wastes will produce methane which is a greenhouse gas that’s 21 times worse than carbon dioxide. A simple act of sorting waste and putting wastes to its appropriate destination will have a positive impact on our planet’s health. It’s also very easy to do.
- Making Monetary Donations
Non-government Organisations depend on donations to keep their operations. The good thing about these organisations is they’re not out there for the bottom line, but genuinely want to help. The money you donate will be used wisely for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Even small donations can be quite helpful.
- Stop Using Disposables
It is not difficult to purchase a can over a bottle. And yet people keep buying plastic bottles. A study conducted by Earthwatch Europe reveals that at least 5.5 billion plastic bottles are being littered, incinerated and thrown into landfills every year. This produces 233,00 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Minimizing the use of plastic bottles will also minimize the CO2 emissions.
- Eating Less Dairy And Meat
Avoiding dairy and meat products is among the best ways to minimize your impact on the planet and the environment. Studies have suggested that a plant-based, high-fibre diet is better for your health – making it a win-win for you and your environment.
Eat smaller or fewer parts of meat, like red meat, which creates the biggest environmental impact, and reduce dairy products or take non-dairy products instead. Try choosing fresh, seasoned products that are grown locally to reduce carbon emissions from preservation, transportation or prolonged refrigeration.
- Transforming your transportation
Transportation is responsible for at least a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions throughout the world, and governments are creating regulations to decarbonize transport. You can have a head start, by leaving your car at the garage, then walking or cycling if possible.
If the distance is too long, use public transportation, especially electric vehicles. Should you drive, try carpooling with others to have fewer cars over the road. Lead the way and purchase an electric vehicle. Don’t go on too many long-haul flights.
For leisurely trips, choosing nearby destinations, and flying economy will help reduce the carbon footprint since business class passengers have three times the higher CO2 footprint than somebody within the economy.
- Leaving Your Car at Home
Instead of driving inside the car, walking or cycling will give you a lot of mental and physical health benefits, while helping you save money. For longer travels, take advantage of car-sharing schemes or public transport.
Cars not only contribute to greenhouse gas emissions – they also pollute the air through the exhaust fumes. These fumes coming from heavy traffic are a serious public health threat. It’s been known to increase the health risk of unborn babies and dementia.
- Driving more efficiently
Entertain the possibility of trading your petrol or diesel car for a hybrid or electric model. Alternatively, if you require one for a short period, there are several electric car hire companies to opt for.
While driving, think of how you drive:
- Turn the engine off as you park
- Be sure that your tyres are pumped, and the oxygen sensors are to improve the vehicle’s efficiency and fuel mileage by 3% – 4% respectively.
- Drive smoothly.
- Reducing energy use, and bills
Minor changes to your attitude at home such as using less energy can cut your energy bills and carbon footprint. These may include:
- Putting on an extra layer and turning down the heating one or two degrees.
- Turning off appliances and lights if you do not need them.
- Replacing light bulbs with low-energy lights such as LEDs
- Making minor changes to your use of hot water such as purchasing a water-efficient shower head.
- Make sure you have an energy-efficient home.
Check whether the building has the right insulation, and try draught-proofing doors and windows. If you’re renting accommodation, encourage your landlord to make the property energy-efficient.
Changing the energy supply with a green tariff is a fantastic way to spend on renewable energy sources and can also save money on bills.
- Protecting and respecting green spaces
Green spaces like gardens and parks are crucial in reducing the impact of climate change. They absorb CO2 and are linked to lower air pollution levels. They control the temperature by cooling down overheated areas and reducing flood risks by absorbing rainwater. This offers major habitats for certain animals, insects, amphibians and birds.
They also offer several public health benefits with studies connecting green spaces to reduced stress levels. Help to conserve and protect green spaces such as ponds, local parks or community gardens.
- Planting trees
Plant trees and community wood can yield environmental and social benefits that include storing carbon within the tree’s lifetime. It’s crucial to plant the right tree species in the right locations and allow the woodland to generate more biodiversity. You can also plant trees in your backyard.
- Investing your money responsibly
Determine the direction of your money. Forwant your concerns for responsible investment by writing to your pension or bank provider, and ask whether you can put funds in fossil fuels. You can also look into some ‘ethical banks’ to investigate:
- Cutting waste and consumption
- Everything consumers use that has a carbon footprint
- A landfill site
Avoid fast fashion and single-use items, and avoid buying more than is necessary. Look out for quality or second-hand items that last long. Putting your buying capacity to great use by selecting brands that are in line with your green aspirations would make a difference.
- Minimizing Waste
Repair and reuse. Give unwanted items a new life by donating them to charity or selling them on. Avoid wasting food. If brands are putting on too much packaging, be sure to send some feedback. Buy and use recyclable materials such as reusable water bottles, reusable plates, etc., so can reduce waste that can harm the environment.
- Talking about the changes you’re making
Conversations are an excellent way to share great ideas. While making these positive changes that help the environment, share these stories with your friends, family, clients and customers. Do not be a bore or start a confrontation. Just talk honestly and positively about your activities and how it has impacted your lifestyle.
Insulation is often the most cost-effective way to save more energy. It is easy to insulate a loft and you can do the installation by yourself. Buildings constructed between 1920 to 1980 can be good candidates for cavity wall insulation. Wall and loft insulation can enable you to save a lot on the annual heating bills.
Treating your hot water tank by giving it a jacket if it’s less than 75 mm thick will help you save more money by fitting one over or replacing one completely. Insulating jackets can reduce heat from your hot water tank by 75%.
- Using appliances more efficiently
Take care of your kitchen fridge-freezers since they are the most energy-consuming appliances inside the kitchen. To reduce costs, do not leave the fridge’s door longer than needed. Do not put hot food inside the fridge and defrost it regularly. Check for door seals. Make sure to boil only enough water for your coffee and tea.
- Looking for that logo
Make sure to check for that Energy Saving Recommended logo while purchasing new electrical appliances. The logo should appear on different products. Buying an Energy Saving Recommended fridge-freezer, or replacing an old one without the logo, could allow you to save at least £45 per year. If you don’t need a freezer, a larder fridge won’t need defrosting and save more energy.
- Making the switch
Shopping around for renewable energy units and products will enable you to save more on energy bills. Several electric companies provide renewable energy options and you can compare prices and tariff types to make the switch. Electric companies are obligated to source an annual increase in electricity supply from renewable energy sources.
Several large companies just package such obligations with a green tariff. You may be looking for a company that makes a bigger overall renewable contribution.
- Radiant radiators
Keeping radiators inside buildings clear to save more money on heating bills. Blocking them with objects and furniture can help minimize their efficiency and increase your heating bills. Adhering a reflective foil panel behind a radiator on the outside walls will minimize heat loss and pay for itself within a year.
- Taking care of boilers
Even if the boiler isn’t broken, it might still require fixing. Boilers generally break down during winter so it is important to check them during the summer. If it is over 15 years of age, it’s probably better to replace them with a high-efficiency condensing boiler, which saves at least a third of the heating bills.
Make sure that the hot water thermostats within your building are tuned down to ideal temperatures. The Health and Safety Executive recommends that a building that’s used by vulnerable people and children should heat hand washing water at temperatures of 41º.
So aside from being a money-saver, such action also practices safety.
- Building more windows
Double Glazing can cut heat loss through windows by up to 50%, saving more money on your heating bill. Secondary double glazing is more affordable to install compared to replacement windows and also saves energy.
You can purchase DIY kits in plastic or aluminium frames trapped with drought-resistant strips. You can select sliding or hinged panes, which are easy to close, open and clean.
Use your electricity and petrol bills to determine the amount of CO2 pollution you can produce. Every kilowatt hour (kwh) or unit of your electricity bill expels 430 grammes of CO2. That is enough to fill up 43 party balloons.
When it comes to electricity, multiply the number of kwhs or units on your latest bill by 430 and you will get the number of grammes of CO2 that was produced. Multiply the kWh or units by 190 for petrol. Divide your answer by 1,000,000 and you will get the amount of CO2 tonnes.
Every CO2 tonne can fill up six double-decker buses. You can reduce your energy bills by setting a target.
- Making Travelling Greener and Stress-free
Road transport is one of the UK’s main climate change culprits – it accounts for 25% of all UK carbon dioxide emissions, exceeding emissions caused by industry. One person using one car
for a five-mile return trip will result in roughly 1,500 grammes of carbon dioxide, enough to fill 150 party balloons!
There are several easy actions like riding a bicycle or using eco-friendly vehicles that will help make travel safer, cheaper, greener and stress-free. These can help people save money as well as protect the environment. There must be enough cycle parks, bus shelters, roadside seating, and local community bus services.
Grants may be available for these facilities and it is crucial to take advantage of these before they expire.
- Using energy-efficient vehicles
Make sure that your vehicles are getting constant service to help reduce costs and cut down pollution. Advanced driving teaches drivers to drive more effectively, which lowers maintenance and reduces the bills.
Energy-efficient cars may be standard cars with low-emission ratings, or low-carbon vehicles like hybrid (combination of electricity and petrol) or electric vehicles.
- Making life easier for the pedestrians
Walking is free and beneficial for your health. It also encourages children to exercise with their parents by walking together and reducing overcrowding at the school gate. Safety is also practised here since pulling in and out of cars at the school gate could be dangerous for young children.
Parking a bit further away reduces fuel consumption and cuts the accumulation of emissions throughout the school. Drivers may save up to £100 every year.
- Shopping local – thinking global
Food is the source of one-third of the climate change impact created by households, due to the energy utilized in transport and food production. Purchasing local and seasonal food will not only reduce environmental impact, it also help local farmers and support the local economy.
It also encourages local service providers and shops to reduce the journey miles required to perform distant services. Walking towards the shop yields several health benefits and builds a more cohesive community.
- Community recycling
Reusing materials can reduce the need to burn landfill items. Every recycled bottle saves energy to light up a 100-watt bulb for at least an hour.
Once the items are recycled, they are processed and transformed into another item, instead of making something from a virgin material or disposing of it for treatment as landfill waste. Recycling to produce new items generally requires less energy than producing raw materials.
The more people recycle, the less energy is required to create an item and the fewer greenhouse gases being produced along the way. This makes community recycling an excellent solution to the climate change crisis, as more people participate in lessening greenhouse gas emissions.
- Reusing instead of just recycling materials
Recycling is often promoted as one of the best solutions to the climate crisis, but it can also impact the environment. Processing and transporting waste for recycling uses a lot of energy, increasing CO2 emissions. So try reusing, instead of just recycling materials.
First, you can reduce your dependence on plastic products and focus on items that can be reused more before you throw them in the trash bin. Reusing coffee cups, carrier bags and water bottles are great examples, along with upcycling used goods.
- Keeping fossil fuels buried underground
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the major cause of climate change. It’s a greenhouse gas emitted from burning fossil fuels – petrol, oil and coal. There’s been a 30% increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the last 2-00 years – the highest at any period within the last 800,000 years.
Fossil fuels include coal, oil and petrol – and the more that are extracted and burned, the worse climate change will get. All countries need to move their economies away from fossil fuels as soon as possible.
- Protecting the oceans
Oceans absorb huge amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, keeping the climate at stable levels. But many are overfished, and petrol and oil are drilling for deep sea mining that threatens the ocean’s health.
Protect the oceans by condemning overfishing and deep seas mining and we also protect ourselves from the effects of climate change.
- Spreading Awareness on Social Media
From Extinction Rebellion to Greta Thunberg, social media has been used by climate change activists to spread awareness to the global community. You don’t have to be a member of the group to be a climate change advocate. Sharing their posts or making your own to spread awareness is already a good thing.
- Joining Campaign Groups
Greenpeace UK reported that there are only 20 fossil fuel companies that are the culprits for a third of the world’s gas emissions. Thus, big businesses and the government are the ones who can make faster and bigger changes.
Joining campaign groups, protests and charities reminds those in the business world of their responsibilities amidst the climate crisis. Besides that, the government aims to achieve zero net emissions by 2050 so you can always get their support.
- Celebrate success
Whatever action the communities take to try and resolve climate change, will be celebrated. These celebrations of small victories will encourage more people to engage. A significant step like clearing a renovated community hall, can be distinguished by a party. Smaller actions by householders may also be mapped and praised.
Local media are constantly looking for positive community-based stories, so be sure to be on the lookout for these events also. Remember to photograph and include the event in a local case study.
Adapting to Climate Change
While there are several ways to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions, it is also crucial to be aware of the necessity to adapt to climate change.
Irrespective of how much carbon emissions we cut, we will still experience much climate change within the next 40 years because of the emissions that are already present in the atmosphere.
Summers will likely be much hotter in the UK, with an impact on animal, human and ecosystem health. Some areas may experience more coastal erosion and flooding. The protection of community members who live in areas with water scarcity or high flood risk is particularly important.
There is also a need to cope with high summer temperatures, especially protection for vulnerable individuals like children and the elderly. And we’ve mentioned in one of the 50 ways, it helps to plant trees and create green spaces.
Opting for Renewable Energy
New heat and on-site renewable energy can come from several sources like the sun, water, wind, and even plant materials. Using these renewable energy sources will help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Energy saving depends on selecting the proper technology for a certain building. In subtle locations, a solar panel can save eight tonnes of CO2 pollution through its lifetime. That can fill up 48 double-decker buses.
There’s an array of renewable energy resources available so they can be provided to individuals and the community.
Facing climate change, the UK government is rolling back on environmental policies. Individuals and communities, however, can make a huge difference by doing their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
While there are many ways to do this and save energy – such as insulating your home, putting up solar panels, and planting trees – the 50 ways we’ve discussed in this article are the simplest and easiest changes you can make.
Commit to doing your part today, so that we can all do our bit to slow down climate change. Expand your knowledge: Explore additional resources and recommended readings to gain a broader understanding of Solving Renewable Energy’s Biggest Problem.