Over the last year or so we’ve been working with a bunch of experts and team members from some of our other Letts Group projects to create a simple, actionable plan for individuals and households to do something about solving the climate crisis. A 10 step plan.
We’ve tried to keep this 10 step plan as simple and achievable as possible. Each step is backed by science and each one has been selected to make the biggest difference possible to reducing global warming. None of these steps is hard for us to do.
Over the coming months we’ll be writing more in depth about some of the steps so that we can better understand why they are so critical. We’ll also highlight some of the companies and government organisations that are leading the way on climate change solutions.
10 Step Personal Plan to Tackle Climate Change
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. Try to 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 your home produced fruit, vegetables and herbs. It's cheaper, more fun, it's 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 possibly biomass boilers. In the short term transition to 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 (whether in shops or restaurants), contractors and repair services. There are already plenty of them. For example insist on a gardening service that uses rewilding/wildlife gardening techniques and electric gardening tools.
5. Rewilding 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 a more effective carbon sink, for restoring habitats for wildlife and to nurture natural, diverse plant growth.
6. Change your approach to travel and transport - try and travel less after lockdown. 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. There is no longer any excuse for any government, business or farm not having a clear, deliverable net zero carbon plan to be achieved ideally by 2030. Hitting zero carbon by 2040 could be too late. We are currently developing a 10 step climate change plan for businesses.
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 carbon 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 rewild any of 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. And if you go beyond this and become more of a pro-environment citizen you will not only do your bit to save the planet but you will also develop skills and experiences that could qualify you for the next big global industry - the climate solution industry.
We hope you’ve found this 10 step plan useful. Sadly, it will only make the necessary impact on climate change if enough of us follow it. If you think it makes sense please try it out for yourself and share it with your family and friends.
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