5 simple steps to help tackle the Climate Emergency

Jacob Webb

09/02/20

In October 2018, a landmark IPCC report that warned that we had just 12 years left in which to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C, and stave off climate catastrophe. Now, with less than 11 years to go, and with comparatively little action taken compared to the scale of the problem, it can be easy to feel all is lost.  


The good news is that there are many easy things we can do as individuals that, combined with collective action, may help us to build a sustainable future. Here is my 5 point guide to help prevent climate doom!


1: Switch your bank

When you put your money into a bank, it then gets used to make investments, for which you may get part of the return in the form of interest. Most of the major banks don’t really care where the money goes, as long as it makes a profit, even if that is at the cost of the planet. By switching your bank account to one that invests your money ethically, you would be very much helping the planet.


Ethical Consumer rates how environmentally friendly each bank one a scale of one to 20. It shows the most environmentally friendly current account to be from Triodos at 16/20 jointly followed by the Cumberland Building Society and Nationwide at 13.5/20. Switching to one of these accounts would make a big difference and only takes 20 minutes!


2: Eat less meat, eggs, and dairy

Eating less meat is one of the best things you can do to save the environment. Oxford University Scientists have demonstrated that switching from a meat rich diet (eating over 100g a day) to a vegan diet would significantly reduce your carbon emissions from 7.19 kgCO2e/day to 2.89 kgCO2e/day.


Going fully vegan imminently may seem a bit of a push for many (myself included). However, committing to a reduction in your consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy could significantly help the environment. As a first easy step, you could consider to go meat free on Monday (or another day of the week). After that you could perhaps consider going vegetarian on weekdays, or only eat meat on big celebratory days and when eating out.


2020 has seen shops and restaurants up and down the country launching new tasty Vegan options.


3: Switch your energy supplier

Probably one of the most common sense of the 5 points. Switching from an energy company that makes energy out of coal to a company that uses renewable energy sources reduces pollution.


The Ethical Consumer Magazine recommends Good Energy and Ecotricity as the best companies to switch to.


4: Buy second hand

The production of goods damages the environment. On a planet of finite resources, endless consumption is impossible if we want a planet left. Because of this, using things that have already been produced that other people don’t want, rather than asking for new all the time is a good way to save our planet.


5: Vote and campaign for change

This final one is important as governments have a huge amount of power they can utilise in the fight against Climate Change. As they have the power to invest in renewable energy and ban environmentally damaging practices, encouraging changes to government policy is key way to protect the climate.


With severe pollution from Heathrow Airport and the destruction of the Colne Valley through HS2, Hillingdon is a fantastic (and important) borough to get involved in Climate Activism. 


There are many active groups fighting for climate justice in Hillingdon. Here are just a few: