Incredible, it has taken the most famous naturalist in the world, David Attenborough, and a 16 year old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg to wake the world up to the real dangers of climate change. Their heartfelt pleas and genuine fear of what is coming have truly changed thinking.
The coinciding Extinction rebellion campaign has also helped to take the awakening to the next level with their direct but peaceful actions.
The tanker that is Climate Change has been slowly changing course for decades with continuous tiny nudges from groups and individuals such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, WWF, Leonardo Dicaprio and so many more. It was thought the Paris summit in 2015 would represent a big turning point, but it has spluttered and stuttered it’s way forward, then choked after a defiant act by Donald Trump who has pulled the United States out of the agreement. With this kind of action it is no longer realistic to believe that we can leave it to the few activists or the politicians to do the right thing for the future of our species or any other species.
It now comes down to the rest of us. We have to rely on ourselves to make the changes. We cannot hide behind the excuse that Climate Change is so big that whatever we do is too trivial to be worth trying. Whatever you do really does make a difference and here we hope to show you that working together we can change things.
If you read my last blog about smart meters then you may have seen how to reduce your CO2 imprint when boiling water in a kettle. Over a year that was 69kg, ok not a huge amount, but now scale it up and suddenly that small act takes on a different meaning. If 5,000 people did the same thing then during the course of a year the CO2 savings are equivalent to the weight of 57 full grown, male African elephants (345,000kg). How does that feel now, not so trivial I bet.
As individuals this is the only way we can think and by encouraging everyone around us to do the same we can be a part of the solution. We take some of the responsibility away from the politicians and CEOs and if it has any impact on them or their organisations they will be forced to come round to our thinking.
So here are a few other ideas you could try, and once you have a taste for change try ramping up your actions, there are hundreds of things you can do to make a difference. (see ecofrenzy.com)
Did you know that 7% of car journeys in the UK are less than 1 mile. If you walked or cycled you would keep fitter and save 10kg CO₂ per year. Again on it’s own, not much, but 5,000 people doing the same and CO₂ e savings are equivalent to the weight of another 8 full grown, male African tuskers (50,000kg). Our herd of CO2e is growing.
Now let us take a look at a game changer, power showers are a nightmare when it comes to CO₂ imprint. Once you have read this I bet many of you will put restriction devices on your showers to turn the water cold once your child has gone past an 8 minute dousing.
Here are the numbers to shock you –
8 minutes (136 litres of water)
4 minutes (68 litres of water)
From these figures you can see that reducing from an 8 minute to a 4 minute power shower SAVES 245kg CO₂e and £110 per person per year.
Translate the CO₂e savings into elephants and our herd has risen by 204. (1,225,000kg)
Just one more thought before I leave you to start your own personal campaign. Feeling thirsty, what do you do, maybe grab a 1 litre bottle of water from a store, service station or café.. We encourage you to think again. Each one of those plastic bottles with water creates a whopping 250g CO₂e, that’s 1,000 times more than water from your tap. Four of those a week is 52kg CO₂e a year. Multiply up by 5,000 and that’s another 260,000kg CO₂e, 43 more elephants. Simple solution take your own water bottle.
That brings our CO₂ elephant herd to a grand total of 312 or 1,880,000 kg CO₂e between 5,000 people for 4 simple changes to their lives which do not cost a penny. See what I mean, lots of small changes very rapidly grow to big changes.
Over to you, good luck.« Is a smart meter a wonder gadget to help you save money and reduce your CO₂ footprint? | Building the future with recycled plastic bricks »