As we put 2020 firmly behind us it's that time of year to step up and establish some new habits! We would like to help by offering a climate friendly New Year’s resolution. We call it ‘ten habits which could save our planet’.
This year climate change has only got worse with increased global heating, wildfires, drought and more extreme storms. We continue to lose wildlife and key habitats. Plantlife is shrinking. While nature seems to be using viruses to fight back at us.
The good news is that we are starting to change our habits. Renewable energy is on track to replace coal, we are embracing vegan and ethically sourced products as never before and electric and hybrid car sales are soaring. As a result, we hope you will adopt these ten habits which could save our planet.
10 habits which could save our planet:
1. Eliminate waste - eliminate all unnecessary waste with the ultimate goal being zero waste. This includes food waste, plastics and energy waste. Shop locally and try to shop at stores that allow you to pack your own food so you take the minimum amount of single use plastic home with you. Shop more diligently and frugally, eating everything you buy and getting better at freezing, composting wasted food, recycling metals, clothing and other materials. To remove household energy waste add heavier curtains over windows, all LED lighting and improved insulation.
2. Shift to more of a plant based diet - move to a plant based diet and at a minimum try to become a flexitarian eating meat only in the evening at dinner. Make your own little kitchen garden, indoors or outdoors, so that you can eat some home produced fruit, vegetables and herbs. It's cheaper, more convenient and reduces your travel emission footprint. As much as possible try to buy locally sourced food and pasture fed livestock.
3. Use renewable energy - switch to renewable energy sources including electric, solar, wind and green heating systems. In the short term increase the use of electric heating, water and cookers plus outdoor solar lights, then start looking into solar panels or roof tiles and mini-wind turbines for your garden. The UK electric grid has made strong progress shifting to predominantly renewable energy sources and away from fossil fuels - particularly coal, so electric energy from the grid in the UK is cleaner than most fossil fuel heating systems.
4. Shop differently - how we shop and what we shop for dictates how products and services are designed. By shopping differently we dictate whether manufacturers and service providers adapt their offerings to become more environmentally friendly. So insist on eco-friendly products and services whether it's eco-friendly clothes, shoes, food, contractors and repair services. For example insist on a gardening service that uses wildlife gardening techniques and electric gardening tools.
5. Wild your garden - rewild your garden, terrace, courtyard, verges and more. Lobby your school, neighbours, churchyard, office green spaces, commons and local parks to rewild their green spaces. Learn about wildlife gardening techniques. Rewilding is the most holistic, proven method for making your soil an effective carbon sink, for restoring habitats to wildlife and for nurturing natural, diverse plant growth.
6. Change your approach to travel and transport - try and travel less. Do you really need to shop by car for food or other essentials more than once a week? Try to walk or cycle to the local shops, to work or school. Home work as much as you can while insisting on virtual meetings wherever possible. When you change your car buy an electric vehicle or an electric hybrid at a minimum. Try to reduce flying for leisure to just one flight a year and holiday locally, wherever possible at eco-resorts.
7. Elect environmentally responsible politicians - choose politicians and leaders in general that make solving the climate crisis their top priority and have tangible, short term plans for achieving this. There is no longer an excuse for any government, business or farm not to have a clear, deliverable net zero emissions plan to be achieved ideally by 2030. Hitting zero carbon by 2040 could be too late.
8. Become more frugal and balanced - consume less, exercise more, spend time in nature, read more, spend more quality time with family, friends and in your local community. Make things that are eco-friendly whether it's DIY, hobbies, projects, community initiatives or the arts. Support environmental art and artists.
9. Work for an environmentally friendly company - you get to choose who you work for so choose companies that have clear, achievable net zero emission plans and that let you work from home unless you're in walking or cycling distance of the office. Push them to provide more environmentally friendly products and services, workplaces, warehousing and supply chains. Get them to wild their green spaces.
10. Stay healthy and adapt your lifestyle - with Coronavirus lockdown we have had a unique opportunity to change the way we live and work. We have already been forced to do a number of of the things required to reduce global warming and to solve the climate crisis. We’ve seen a sizeable reduction in global emissions. So just keep doing much of what you've been doing but in a more sustainable way.
If you embrace these ten habits which could save our planet and you become more of a pro-environment citizen you will not only make a difference but you might also develop skills and experiences that could qualify you for the next big global industry - the climate solution industry.
None of us want another year like 2020. The only way we can secure a safer, cleaner, greener planet is to reduce global warming and eliminate emissions and pollution. This plan can make the difference.
We would like to thank the Letts Group for developing net zero plans for individuals, businesses and government and for allowing us to publish this New Year's climate resolution.