Ten things you can do right now to tackle the climate crisis
In amongst all the uncertainties surrounding the climate crisis one thing is for sure, we need to take action now.
There are some transformations that are going to take a while, some we need to discuss, some that need more research. But there’s also loads of low-hanging fruit we can get on with right away. And we can’t sit around and wait for those, we need to get going. Now.
So here are ten things you can do right now to tackle the climate crisis.
If you’re not sure where to start, go with the thing you think you’ll enjoy the most. You’ll be at you’re most impactful if it’s something you have a passion for. You’ll be at your most infectious too, inspiring more people to shift their behaviour with you.
1. Talk about climate change.
One of the many things that gets in the way of the era-defining climate action we need is that most of us, most of the time, avoid talking about the climate crisis.
This is understandable - it’s a complex issue, it’s depressing, people might get upset or feel guilty. But allowing the climate silence to fester just makes it harder to know what the problems and solutions really are, and keeps the pressure off people who could change things.
So get chatting. It’s a simple as that. Unsure where to start? We have a great guide to how to make your climate conversations better. It’s surprisingly easy once you get started.
2. Plant a tree
If you have access to some land where you can plant a tree, give it a go. It’s brilliant and we even have a handy how-to guide to get you on your way.
You can also help one of these great organisations cover the UK in trees, and help campaigns to support indigenous rights in forest regions around the world.
3. Move your money.
If you haven’t already, switch to a renewable energy supplier. If you have already, help someone else to.
You can also think about where you bank, and what your pension is invested in. If you want to work with others on this, rather than just via your bank account, you could join a divestment campaign or see if there’s a local community energy group you can get involved with.
4. Send your MP a message.
Research suggests that MPs know they have to take more action on climate change, they just don’t think their voters are interested. So make sure your representatives know you care.
We’ve got a handy guide to talking to your MP, and some tips about what you might talk about.
While you’re at it, make sure your friends are registered to vote (you are too right?) and if an election is called, make sure you all let your local candidates know how important climate action is.
5. Drop the airmiles.
When it comes to taking personal action to cut carbon, one of the most effective things you can do is cut down on flying. Avoiding a return transatlantic flight saves more carbon than the average Briton choosing to live car-free for an entire year.
Don’t just swap the plane for the train, tell everyone how much fun it is. Did you know that if you cut flying, your friends are more likely to follow suit? It’s vital we make low-carbon travel trends go viral.
You could also get your workplace signed up to our Climate Perks scheme, a way to give staff paid ‘journey days’ to help people choose low-carbon holiday travel.
6. Choose plant- rich meals.
According to researchers at Oxford University, vegetarians have roughly half the food-related carbon footprint of meat eaters. Vegans are lower still.
In fact, the researchers’ definition of “a high meat diet” is actually about half the amount of meat the average Brit eats, so if you’re starting from there, there is even more you can save.
You don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach. Try going “vague-an” (kinda vegan, at least on weekdays, if it’s not your birthday, or your brother’s cooking...).
Don’t just cut down on meat in your own diet, spread the love and cook up a plant-based feast for your friends (we’ve got plant based occasion food covered).
You could also see if your local canteen/ restaurant would be up for “menu flipping” - instead of just one or two veggie options, ask them to make the bulk of the menu plant-based, with only a few meat items at the end.
7. Find something that’s broken, and fix it.
I bet you’ve got a sock with a hole at home, or a jacket where the button’s fallen off. Mend it (you can find guides online if you’re not sure how). You’ll feel so great afterwards.
Now go find something else that’s broken too, and fix that too. Then help someone else fix something.
If something is not mendable (and we’ll be honest, that might well be the case…) write a complaint letter to the manufacturers saying you want sustainable products that last and can be repaired. You can also check out our friends at the Restart Project that run amazing fix-it events and do brilliant work supporting the fixer movement.
8. Break bad consumption habits.
Challenge yourself to give something up - meat, disposable plastics, flying, new clothes - for a period of time. It’s a great way to break bad habits and just see how much stuff we all get through.
Pick the period of time that would work for you. For example, for some people, giving up buying new clothes for even a month is really hard, so maybe start there and see if you can do six months (or a year) later on. For others, a year will be the perfect amount of time. When it comes to disposable plastics, a fortnight is long enough to be a challenge, but still pretty easy, it gets harder at the one-month level, and a year is for those who want try something a bit more hardcore.
Better still, get friends of colleagues involved. It’s more fun when loads of you try together, you can support each other and agree forfeits if anyone falls off the wagon.
9. Layer up your home!
Don’t just stick a jumper on yourself, get your whole home wrapped up.
Insulating your water tank and pipes, for example, is a great way of keeping the heat inside the pipes, so it heats the water not the airing cupboard. You can pick up a hot water tank jacket in a hardware store. Not only could save the £15 or so it’ll cost in about a year in energy bills, you could cut your carbon emissions by 100kg too.
We’ve got loads more tips for ways to save energy at home on our action blog.
10. Donate money to your favourite climate action charity (cough cough).
Or better still, fundraise with friends and family, so while you’re raising money you’re also taking the chance to talk about why climate change is important to you.
Our work cuts carbon, but because we work on cultural as well as technical levels, we get people talking about climate change action too. It’s always more than a solar panel here, or a tree or five there - it’s about people working together to change the world. Your donation is a spark that spreads change.
Help us create the ripples. Be a changemaker, and set up a regular donation to Possible today.