14 October 2018

Green Living – Individual Actions in Response to IPCC Report

Even though we face some huge environmental problems, if we all make small lifestyle changes they can have big impact for our planet. Green Living is a monthly series of articles suggesting practical, easy steps we can all do to make sure our beautiful Earth is preserved for our children by Paul Woodhead, Green Party Councillor for Hednesford South on Cannock Chase District Council.

This week a report was released by the United Nations body known as IPCC which underlines the urgency of the climate emergency. It states we have 12 years to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown and requires “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”

When this feels almost too large to even get our heads round here are some of the things people can do.

Home Energy - Switch to a renewable energy only provider wherever possible. Consider installing your own solar panels before April, when government incentives will end and the costs will increase for most people.

Insulate homes – The cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use and relatively simple measures such as insulating lofts and draft-proofing doors and windows on a large scale would see a big drop in energy consumption.

Transport - Walk or cycle where possible and if not – and it is available and affordable – use public transport. If you need to go by car, consider an electric one.

Reduce, recycle, reuse - Buy fewer things and consume less. Reuse things before considering recycling and then Recycle wherever possible. Choose wisely as there are many low carbon options in everything you consume, from clothes to food to energy. 

Eat less meat and dairy - According to a report earlier this year, avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.

Vote - There is still a chance to create a sustainable, cleaner and more equal global system. Individuals can hold politicians to account by supporting political parties that put the environment at the heart of their economic and industrial policies.

Collective action - Although individual choices and actions are important, experts say people need to unite if the scale of this challenge is to be met, making the political space for politicians and big businesses to make the necessary changes.

If you have your own tips for sustainable living please get in touch and we will share them in a future article.