Some of the most significant areas where you can make changes are suggested below. This will be updated with links to give you more information. Most headings have a range of suggestions, some with smaller and some bigger impacts. Some of the things listed are small daily changes, some are larger decisions that you make less frequently but can have a much longer-term impact. e.g. if you buy a new car, or decide how to renovate you house or need a new boiler. The main thing is to start somewhere, one step at a time and don’t worry….. you will be surprised how quickly you can make quite a big difference. You can track this if you are interested by calculating your Carbon Footprint.
A simple Footprint calculator is produced by the WWF, and a more detailed one by carbonfootprint. They suggest offsetting your carbon at the end of the calculator. However, it probably makes more sense to use the money to reduce your footprint as far as possible first. Interestingly, the original concept of an individual carbon footprint was an advertising campaign intended to divert attention from the fossil fuel industry onto individual consumers.
The biggest impact will be generated by us getting informed and then individually and collectively letting those in charge know that we care and expect them to take action. Changes in policy will make it easier for everyone to make a difference.
- UK Government. Contact your MP to let them know you are concerned and expect that the government plan appropriately for your future and that of your children. The big decisions made by government are critical to ensuring a sustainable future for the UK. Ambition alone is not enough, the actions to make it happen also need to be in place. We are not currently on track to meet our UK targets. You can contact your current MP, Andy Carter (Con) email@example.com, address: House of Commons, Westminster SW1A 0AA. Tel. 0207 219 6867. Constituency office: Conservative House, 1 Stafford Road, Warrington. WA4 6RP. Tel. 01925 231 267. You can also ask him to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (CEE Bill) which is cross-party legislation designed to make meeting the Paris climate agreement targets legally binding. This is also a good description of the CEE Bill here and the Warrington CEE Bill Alliance are supporting this initiative.
- Home Energy Supply. Switch to a renewable Energy Supplier. This is easy, quick, has a big impact and can often save you money too.
- Transport choices. Reduce the amount that you use your car, walk and cycle more and use public transport. If buying a new car, bear in mind SUVs use significantly more CO2 to manufacture and energy to run than conventional cars, even hybrid and electric SUVs. Buy a battery electric vehicle. Even better, live car free.
- Flying. Reduce the number of flights you make, particularly long haul. Avoiding one long haul flight saves 1.7 tons of CO2. Better still, stop flying.
- Food. Reduce waste and be creative with leftovers. Eat more seasonal fruit and vegetables and reduce the amount of meat that you eat. There are now a wide range of tasty plant based options available. Producing meat, especially beef and lamb uses significantly more resources than a more plant-based diet.
- Home Improvements. Turn down your thermostat. Insulate against draughts. Buy energy efficient appliances when they need replacing. Get an energy audit of your house and consider improving energy efficiency as much as possible. If you are doing renovation work this is the easiest and most cost-effective time. There are many potential improvements ranging from better insulation, solar panels, heat pump based heating etc.
- Shopping. Everything we buy uses resources and produces CO2, and a lot of what we buy is not needed. Consider repairing, reusing, sharing, swapping, recycling and buying second hand or ethically produced items. Reduce the amount of packaging and disposable plastic in your purchases.
- Money. A lot of investments are in things that are harmful to the planet, though significant changes are starting to take place. When making banking or investment decisions consider where the money is invested and if there are more ethical alternatives.
- Waste and garden. Compost green waste and recycle as much as possible of your other waste. Use your own compost or use peat-free instead of peat-based compost. Plant a tree if you have space. A fruit tree will cut down on food miles!
- Communication and community. Making changes to improve our environment or our impact on the world is less easy by yourself. There are many things we can do with our families or communities. However, first of all, enjoy the countryside around Lymm and appreciate the bird life and nature that surrounds us. Feel welcome to get involved in the community groups and support local initiatives to improve our environment. Link to Local groups page.