We’ve already been to motivation station with our post on why we should all be prepared to fight for our planet and its future, so now it’s time to take action however we can. It’s not about spreading yourself so thin for the planet’s future that you’ve got nothing left for your own – it’s about doing what you’re comfortable with and capable of, as an individual and as part of a team. Read on for 8 ways to preserve our planet, with something for all ages and abilities to get involved in…
1. Animals are friends, not food
I wonder how many times we’ve repeated the sentence “going vegan is the single biggest thing an individual can do to reduce their carbon footprint”… The farming of animals to produce meat, fish, dairy, eggs and byproducts like leather, have earned their place at the top of the carbon footprint league table. Going vegan or plant-based is estimated to save 1kg of CO2 per day compared to an omnivorous diet! Read more about the whys and hows in our dedicated blog post here, and don’t forget to support yourselves through the dietary transition with Vegums!
2. No likey, no lighty
It’s so simple, but it really makes a difference! If you’re not using something, turn it off. Get into mood lighting: make sure all your lights are fitted with low energy bulbs, and choose a single lamp instead of that multi-bulb chandelier you’ve got hanging from the ceiling. Sign up for a smart meter if your energy provider offers one, and see where you can save.
3. Make the move to slow… shopping
It’s not just fast fashion that’s the problem – we need to stop buying all kinds of things we don’t actually need. There are loads of benefits to reducing our spending or buying secondhand (not least a fuller pocket). Get the full guide on standing up for yourself against consumerism here.
4. Use your voice to educate
You might know and already do all these things, but does your cousin? Or your neighbour Margaret? Time to find out. Get a poster about Earth Day up in the window, improve waste disposal education in your local area, share the news on social media, join social and environmental activism groups, shout from the rooftops. Small talk is SO pre-industrial revolution – it’s time for Big Talk. Be the person at parties that the planet needs you to be.
5. Use your voice to advocate for change
It’s no secret that the majority of the responsibility for getting us out of this mess lies in the hands of bigger corporations – it’s nice to do our bit as individuals, but there’s only so far a reusable coffee cup can go. If individuals band together though, we can be a force to be reckoned with! Protesting might be risky business nowadays depending on your government’s stance on it, but writing letters to your local MP to raise awareness or putting pressure on companies by calling them out on social media or via email is the next best thing!
6. Say no to food waste
Thanks to the efforts of initiatives like Love Food Hate Waste we’re already doing better here – compared with 2007 we’re saving 5.0 million tonnes of CO2 (the equivalent of taking 2.1 million cars off the road)! But if you’re not quite up to date, here’s a list of 6 things you can do to generate a smaller carbon footprint from the comfort of your own kitchen.
7. Shop right
It’s not possible for everyone, but if you can manage it then buying produce that’s in season, i.e. grown in your own country rather than flown into your fridge from around the world, makes a massive difference. Eating ethically is a multifaceted beast, but shopping in season, buying in bulk to reduce packaging, and going to an independent greengrocer (where chances are you’ll be able to get your fruit and veg sans pointless plastic), are all massive steps! Read a bit more about it here.
8. On yer bike (or other low carbon footprint transport option)
Obviously if you live in the middle of nowhere it might not be possible to forego the car, but if you’re closer to civilisation then at least have a think before you turn the ignition on. Could you walk or ride your bike? Could you get the bus/tram/train, or could you at least share a lift with someone? Dare we say… could you avoid making the journey at all?