We are all part of the global warming problem. We all make and impact: we all have a carbon footprint. We all need to start being part of the solution. This page aims to point you in the direction of some personal changes that you can make to help reduce the impact of climate change. It's partly about what you do in your personal life, the choices you make, the things you do...and don't do. It is also about electing the right leaders and making sure they build the sustainable infrastructure that we need to live in.
1. Stop wasting energy
It is important to realise that at the moment, especially in the UK, use of electricity, heating, transport, etc. is mainly using fossil fuels. Hence producing carbon dioxide and adding to global warming.
- For a start we surely need to get rid of any energy wasting habits...if you are not using it, switch it off...
2. Get informed
I have written this website to try and help. To persuade ourselves to take action, I think we all need to understand: what climate change is, why it's important, and what we need to do about it. See the following if you haven't already...
Having persuaded yourself that action is important, the next sensible step is to find out how quickly we need to act and where to best target our efforts.
Your personal energy footprint - To make the most best use of your efforts in cutting your carbon footprint, it is important for you to get things in perspective. Which parts of your life demand the most energy: is it transport or heating your home? It makes sense to focus on the "easy wins" - those actions that make the most difference for the least amount of effort.
3. Start changing your lifestyle
And think about getting politically active - I don't mean to get heavy but this problem is not going away. Even if all other sectors of the UK change (e.g. business and energy supply), we still need to reduce our domestic and personal transport use to be more sustainable. This is partly though our personal choices and partly by working together and getting our politicians to make the right decisions.
What you can do - Here are a few personal changes you might want to consider. There are loads of webpages and books, with hundreds ideas of things you can do to make a difference. I hope this will highlight some of the more important ideas. Hopefully the information that you have seen so far will give you a good idea about where is best to target your efforts, from reducing car / plane travel to cutting down on the amount of stuff you buy...or maybe you need to find efficient replacement for some of the things that you own.
Getting Political & working together - Climate change is a hard subject to discuss because, whilst it is so serious and important, I can see that it goes against our basic instincts to actually deal with it. Life is tough enough, and it is in our nature to worry about the day-to-day, rather than what the world will be like in 40 years time. For all of the things that you and I do to help reduce our impact on the atmosphere, we are small fish in a large sea of people. It is obvious that we can't sort all of this out ourselves. However, we can do a lot more if we work together; especially if we make sure that our elected leaders take the issue seriously and make sure it is a political priority to reduce our emissions.
4. Don't forget about adaptation
Personal adaptation - Even if we manage to completely stop all emissions of greenhouse gases right now, we can't undo the changes we have already made. We have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 50% over the past 250 years. The way the atmosphere works means that its reactions are likely to be delayed so the changes are only starting to show themselves. We will need to adapt to a changing world, and this means us as individuals as well: are you ready for heat waves; thinking about adapting your house / garden; and do you need to worry about flooding?