Climate change needs a mindset shift

I feel there is a general awakening about climate change happening. The momentum was building before the COVID 19 pandemic but the green shoots are back as we all come out into the open again.

The science is very clear that climate change is happening. Action is needed to reduce and then reverse the change in order to protect our home, Planet Earth.

Photo by Markus Spiske on

When you listen to political leaders climate change is something we can overcome, put adaptations in place to reduce the impact perhaps or use new technology to replace things that currently cause the most harm. You can almost hear the clanking chains of business and bureaucracy slowly creaking. When you listen to campaign groups and activists the message is more urgent, we need to take action now, we can’t wait for some as yet fledgling technology to be developed to scale.

I have been following the premis that I need to start reducing my carbon footprint now, and sharing my changes so others can learn too. I cannot influence when or how some technology might get developed, so I focus on the things within my gift. However, there are seemingly endless changes and it is easy to become distracted with what to change first or what makes the biggest difference to my carbon footprint.

Top 10 tips to reduce your carbon footprint

I wanted to share with you a recent BBC article Climate change: Top 10 tips to reduce carbon footprint revealed Link about a new research paper by the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) on household carbon footprints soon to be released in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

The Paper (you can view the abstract here) begins with:

Around two-thirds of global GHG emissions are directly and indirectly linked to household consumption, with a global average of about 6 tCO2eq/cap. Changes in consumption patterns to low-carbon alternatives therefore present a great and urgently required potential for emission reductions.

It lists the top 10 actions that we can take as a household to reduce our carbon footprint in order of the ones that make the biggest difference. The BBC article has a great graphic for this.

Changing our transport habits has the biggest impact on reducing out carbon emissions.

  • Living car free or changing to an electric car saves 2.04 or 1.95 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person each year respectively.
  • Taking one less long haul flight per year saves 1.68 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person per year
  • Using public transport saves 0.98 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person annually

At home:

  • Renovation/ refurbishment such as insulating your home could account for a saving of 0.895 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person annually
  • Switching to a vegan diet 0.8 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person annually
  • Changing to heat pumps 0.795 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person annually
  • Improved cooking equipment 0.65 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person annually
  • Renewable-based heating 0.64 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person annually

The report also looked at other changes such as recycling, using green roofs, using less paper, turning down the thermostat. All made valuable contributions but were less significant than the top 10 actions highlighted in the report.

The report concludes that taking these actions could save 9 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person per year.

This quote from the author caught my eye.

“We have to agree how much carbon we can each emit within the limits of what the planet can bear – then make good lives within those boundaries.”

Dr Diane Ivanova CREDS

All of a sudden this brought a new concept – a budget. Not for the country or for the purpose of trading – the carbon budget for my household – that is my cloth – now I must cut my cloak. This powerful in two ways, it sets a boundary – if you want to fly and drive miles in a car you can but you are going to have to buckle up in all the other areas of your life. Secondly……………. dramatic pause ……………. the longer we leave it before we start the bigger the change we need to effect to reverse the damage to climate so our budget will reduce.

Summer with Greta

I have had a little time this week to listen to a few podcasts and clips on climate change this week. I came across Greta Thunberg’s radio ‘interview’ – Summer with Greta, which the BBC has included on BBC Sounds. It is from a Swedish radio programme ‘Summer’ a bit like the UK ‘Desert Island Disc’ show but without an interviewer. The interviewee presents their own article with a little music. It is brilliant and shocking and amazing and a wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee this-is-happening-right-in-front-of-you message. Make yourself a cuppa and listen.

What is your motivation this week? What has inspired you? Please share x

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