The start of a new year, and decade, is a natural time for people to set goals for their future. And this year, lots of us are setting goals for the planet’s future too.
In a recent survey we ran with the British public, 57% said they intended to be greener in 2020, but only 5% were able to pinpoint some of the simple lifestyle changes that will have the biggest impact. Almost half didn’t know that switching to renewable power is one of the most important choices you could make to protect the planet.
Public awareness on the environment is growing. We can see in the daily news headlines, nature documentaries, and global climate protests that the health of our planet can no longer be ignored. Our research also found that the majority (61%) of Brits are concerned about climate change and two thirds (65%) are prepared to make lifestyle changes to be more sustainable.
57% of the public said they intend to be greener in 2020, but only 5% could point to the change that will have the biggest impact.
It’s more important than ever that people, business, and politicians all work together to tackle the climate emergency. The government has legislated to cut the UK’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050, and we need everyone to play their part if we are going to achieve that ambitious goal.
There are lifestyle changes you can make to cut your carbon emissions and take real steps to help the planet in 2020, here are our top five recommendations:
1. Eat less meat
Red meat is carbon intensive. Cut it from your diet and limit portions of white meat. Vegetables are better for you and the planet – especially if they are locally sourced and in season. Signing the Veganuary pledge is also a good way to discover more plant-based food.
2. Choose a green energy tariff
Switching to 100% renewable energy will save the average household four tonnes of carbon each year. This is more than the emissions of four return flights from London to New York.
3. Fly less
The aviation industry alone contributes over 2% of all global emissions. If you’re planning a holiday, consider travelling by train to one of the UK, or Europe’s, many beautiful destinations.
4. Switch to an ethical bank
Put your money where your mouth is. Many banks fund environmentally damaging activities, such as oil & gas exploration. Make sure yours doesn’t.
5. Walk or cycle more
There are 32 million cars in Great Britain and the majority of these emit dangerous air pollutants. Walking or cycling is better for you. Aim to take public transport wherever possible, or drive an electric vehicle to reduce your impact.