The heatwave that’s been pummelling the northern hemisphere this summer is a sharp reminder of the dangerous reality of living in a warming climate. The mercury reached 40.2 degrees in the UK on Tuesday 19th July – the highest temperature since records began.

Experiencing conditions like this can (and should) be unsettling. As is the likelihood that even in a country where we’re used to complaining about damp and dreary weather, dangerous, 40OC+ summer days could become the norm.

One of the best ways to combat the feeling of helplessness the climate crisis can cause is to do something. Instead of ignoring the warning that searing heatwaves or severe flooding provides, or giving into feelings of hopelessness about the climate crisis, we need to take action. If you’re asking, ‘How can I fight climate change?’, here are some ideas.

An olive tree smouldering during wildfires in Greece.
Olive tree smouldering during wildfires in Greece.
Save electricity & gas at home

We don’t just need more of our energy to come from renewable sources, we need to use less of it in the first place. View our articles and advice about simple ways to start making savings – from using less energy at peak times to getting a smart meter.

Generate renewable electricity

One way to directly reduce how much electricity you need to draw from the national grid is to install your own generation technology at home. Getting solar panels will make your home more self-sufficient and reduce your bills over the long run.

Solar panels on the roof of a house.
Eat a planet friendly diet

The answer isn’t quite as simple as ‘everyone should go vegan’. Lots of factors, like farming practices, the availability and expense related to buying fresh fruit and vegetables, and suitability of land for different uses, affect how sustainable a diet is both for you and the planet. But generally, people in countries like the UK need to reduce how much meat and dairy they eat to cut diet-related carbon emissions.

Travel a greener way

If you can, take journeys on foot, by bike or by public transport when you’re able to. If you need a car, think about how to make your journeys more efficient. For example, can you car share on your commute? Are you able to switch to an electric car?

Think about how often you take flights, and for what reasons. If they’re for work meetings or conferences, can any be held digitally instead? Can you swap international city breaks for exploring in the UK, or by rail? With the wealthiest 10% of the world’s population being responsible for more than 50% of all carbon emissions since 1990, we need to make sure we appreciate the resources we use – and use them wisely.

Make your workplace more sustainable

You could join (or set up) an employee climate action group to share ideas with likeminded people. If you have any influence over workplace policies, think about what you could do to make things more sustainable. Take at look at Good Energy’s sustainability page to see some of the changes we’ve made to how we work to cut emissions.

Good Energy employee in a meeting
Support organisations standing up for the planet

We can make a bigger difference when we work together. Recently, Friends of the Earth teamed up with environmental law charity, ClientEarth on a groundbreaking legal case that argued the government had illegally failed to include policies in its climate strategy that would actually deliver emission reduction targets. The case was successful, and the government has been ordered to explain its policies. By supporting charities like them, you can help fund vital climate action.

Explore greener job options

This isn’t a quick fix, but think about the impact your place of work has on the world. If you’re not satisfied and you’re fortunate to be able to look for new work, explore roles at companies that match your values. We happen to have vacancies at Good Energy, as it happens…

Vote for politicians with a plan

Whenever you have the opportunity to vote, make sure you find out what the candidates’ positions are on issues you care about, including climate change. Check out They Work For You to review your MP’s voting record on environmental issues.

If you’re not happy with climate action taken by your MP (or their party), write to them to share your views.

Get involved in local environmental initiatives

Look up your local council’s climate action plan. Support measures that will help people be more sustainable, such as affordable, accessible public transport and safe walking and cycling routes. 

If you want to be more directly involved, find local climate groups to volunteer with, or join things like community gardens and wildlife projects.

We all have the power to make a difference. If you want to receive more climate news stories and articles about green energy and climate solutions, please sign up to our monthly newsletter.

How to cope with eco and climate anxiety

News about extreme weather events can prompt stronger feelings of eco anxiety for many people.  Hear from psychotherapist Caroline Hickman on the impact climate change is having on mental health and how to build your own resilience.

Tree canopy seen from ground level, looking upwards towards a blue sky.