Even with destructive floods, fierce storms and life-threatening heatwaves all becoming more frequent, climate breakdown may not hit home to us in the UK. But ‘home’ is not just our house, community or country. It’s our world. And actions in one place have consequences in others.
From North America to the Amazon to Australia, homes and wild habitats have been destroyed by unprecedented wildfires.
Farmers in the Himalayas are seeing vital water supplies dry up due to disappearing glaciers. Hundreds of thousands of people across southern Africa have been left homeless by cyclones.
These communities – many of whom have contributed the least in terms of carbon emissions – are already experiencing the devastating impact of climate breakdown. They may be among the first. But they won’t be the last.
We have one world. We have one home. We must all help protect it.
To prevent climate breakdown spiralling beyond any hope of control, greenhouse gas emissions have to come down fast. It’s a huge problem to face. But it’s one we can all contribute to solving in our own small corners of our global home.
Here are three simple but significant things you can do to help make a difference:
1. Switch to renewable power, or encourage others to switch if you’ve already done so.
We must transition from coal and gas to renewable power such as solar, wind, hydro and bio generation. And, by choosing a green power supplier, you can personally support the growth of renewables through your energy bills.
But as Which? magazine recently highlighted, not all energy suppliers that claim to offer ‘green’ tariffs provide the same level of investment in renewables. So if you want to be sure you’ve chosen a supplier that’s genuinely helping the renewable industry to grow, get a quote for Good Energy.
If you’re already a customer, join Good Together to refer friends and spread the word about how choosing clean power helps fight climate breakdown. As a thank you, you’ll receive £50 credit whenever someone joins us because of you.
2. Eat less meat and dairy
Animal agriculture produces greenhouse gases, so if you eat a lot of meat and dairy then consider cutting down. The Committee for Climate Change set a UK wide goal of a 20% reduction in order to meet its 'net zero 2050' target.
It is important to note that what meat and dairy you eat, including how and where it is produced, also defines its impact. The BBC's climate footprint calculator shows you should certainly be avoiding beef from Latin America, for example.
We don’t all have to go vegan or even vegetarian. Try replacing meat with plant-based meals for at least a day or two a week. Supermarkets have an increasing amount of meat-free options available, which make cutting back even easier. And for a sci-fi twist, we may even soon be able to eat meat made from air.
3. Drive and fly less
Easy car-free travel is essential for tackling transport related emissions. You could research what your local council has planned or even write to your MP about supporting clean travel initiatives.
If you can’t easily walk, cycle or use public transport for journeys, think about whether you can car share. And, if you’re upgrading your car, consider looking at electric vehicles – something we’re huge supporters of here at Good Energy.
When it comes to air travel, one return flight from London to New York generates 1.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s the same amount an average person living in India generates over a whole year. If you have to fly for work or to see loved ones, there are plenty of options for offsetting. For holidays, cut down on international trips or plan fly-free adventures.
How will you make a difference?
To work out how your energy, food and transport choices are affecting the environment and get more ideas for reducing your impact, take a look at this carbon calculator created by the World Wildlife Fund.
Our home in the UK may feel far away from the front line of the climate crisis at the moment. But our world is heating up – and time is running out. The more people who make changes to help the planet, the bigger difference we can make together.