Climate change heading

8 Easy Actions to Combat Climate Change

If you’ve been following me on my social media channels, you will know that I’ve recently been spamming various articles related to the recent report on climate change at the United Nations. For a while, we assumed that climate change was a problem for future generations, but the recent report has shown that the effects could be felt in as little as 5 years. There is a lot that can be done to try and help save our future, ranging from reducing travel (yes that means fewer holidays), reducing plastic use, recycling more, buying more sustainably etc.

Whilst you can argue that the government must be the one to make major changes, I’m optimistic that consumer power can have an effect if we all just DO SOMETHING. The rise in vegetarian and vegan options is certainly not something that was created via a top-down approach! If we want to continue to have any quality of life over the next few decades of our lives, drastic action is required by all, and we need it fast!

As this blog primarily focuses on food, I will be discussing some thoughts specifically related to this but will also touch on some of the other stuff.

8 Easy Actions to Combat Climate Change

8 easy actions to combat climate change

Here are some ideas if you just want a quick list. Below I will go into detail how this helps combat climate change.

  • Travel less, particularly flying
  • Eat less meat
  • Eat less dairy
  • Subscribe to a local vegetable box or vegetarian meal boxes
  • Reduce food waste
  • Separate your compostables from your general rubbish
  • Switch energy supplier or tariff
  • Talk about it!

Travel less

Everyone has heard about carbon dioxide which contributes to the majority of our global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The main contributing factors to this is the burning of fossil fuels and trees as well as specific processes in manufacturing. Tourism contributes to around 8% of GHG emissions, with this consisting of travelling, shopping and food [1]. Flying is, of course, the worst offender in terms of modes of travelling. Whilst I’m all for travelling socially to broaden our horizons and take in another culture perhaps it’s time to take another look at places that are closer to home. Have you truly explored your own town/city? What about the ones next to it? Also, consider more traditional modes of transport like trains. Perhaps try interrailing around Europe?

Eat less meat and dairy

14.5% of global greenhouse emissions is from the livestock sector [2]. Cattle farming factors into this the most, caused by cows belching methane. Beef production accounts for 41% of the sector’s emission, and milk production, 20% [3]. In terms of sustainability, the larger the animal, the worse it is for our environment. It, therefore, makes sense to eat less meat overall, particularly beef, and less dairy.

If you are eating out and looking for vegetarian or vegan options, Happy Cow is a really good website which lists eateries which cater to these. It can be used in many cities worldwide.

Subscribe to a vegetable box or meal box

Subscribing to a local vegetable box scheme is an easy way of reducing GHG emission as you will be eating locally grown produce and thus your food uses fewer resources to get to you. It hasn’t travelled very far and there’s very little plastic used if any. It also gets you using more vegetables in your diet and you find out about more variety of vegetables too. The community is normally good for giving recipe ideas and suggestions if you are stuck for what to use your vegetables for. You can find your nearest vegetable box scheme in the UK by checking Soil Association’s Organic Food Finder.

Alternatively, if this all sounds a little daunting, you can sign up with a meal box scheme such as Gousto or HelloFresh, and choose the vegetarian or plant-based recipes. This will give you the ingredients and recipes for making those meals, from which you can then take forward and incorporate into your own meal plans.

Salad box from Nibble NQ

Salad box from Nibble NQ

Reduce food waste

The second biggest contributor is methane. Although there is over 200 times more carbon dioxide than methane, methane actually traps 30 times more heat [4], so it is still worth reducing. Methane can be created in the decay of organic waste in landfills, created by food waste. This is why it’s important to separate your compostables from your general waste at home. You can also use the Too Good to Go app to buy cheap food that’s going to go to waste from eateries in your city.

Switch energy supplier

With so many energy providers offering green tariffs and carbon offset initiatives, it makes sense to pay extra for these. You can easily compare and switch providers by using Martin Lewis’ Cheap Energy Club or Uswitch, both of which offer you filter options so you see only Green providers. You might even save some money in the process!

Talk about it

Spreading facts and the importance of taking action against climate change is essential if we wish to see change!

Climate change lighting

references

[1] Lenzen, M., Sun, Y., Faturay, F., Ting, Y., Geschke, A. and Malik, A. (2018). The carbon footprint of global tourism. Nature Climate Change, 8(6), pp.522-528.

[2] Rojas-Downing, M., Nejadhashemi, A., Harrigan, T. and Woznicki, S. (2017). Climate change and livestock: Impacts, adaptation, and mitigation. Climate Risk Management, 16, pp.145-163.

[3] P.J. Gerber, H. Steinfeld, B. Henderson, A. Mottet, C. Opio, J. Dijkman, A. Falcucci, G. Tempio. Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock: A Global Assessment of Emissions and Mitigation Opportunities, FAO, Rome (2013)

[4] Yvon-Durocher, G., Allen, A., Bastviken, D., Conrad, R., Gudasz, C., St-Pierre, A., Thanh-Duc, N. and del Giorgio, P. (2014). Methane fluxes show consistent temperature dependence across microbial to ecosystem scales. Nature, 507(7493), pp.488-491.

None of the links provided is sponsored in this post. I am genuinely referring to them because I like them and think they will benefit everyone.