We all know how important it is to co-operate in order to tackle climate change, but what simple steps could we all take individually that would make a difference? 

Nicola Siddons, who works with the Carbon Literacy Project to deliver training on climate change, gives us her top five tips on what action we can all take to make an impact and change things for the better.

Climate change protester placard

Here in the UK, climate change is set to bring more downpours and extreme weather, but there could be a silver lining amongst all those dark clouds. Scientists call these rays of light ‘co-benefits’ because solving the climate crisis could actually take us down a path to a healthier, happier society.

So, what personal actions are top of the list when it comes to combating climate change to reach that silver thread of happiness? Here are my top five.

1. Eat your greens

With the love of a plant-based diet on the rise, it’s not difficult to learn to cook with less meat. Meat and dairy have a big hoof print when it comes to climate change and yes, one of the top offenders is methane! Bulking up on fresh vegetables, fruit and plant proteins like nuts and pulses is not only good for the planet, it will also have a remarkable impact on your health too:

A study published in the British Medical Journal states that five portions of fruits and vegetables a day is optimum for lowering the risk of death from any cause.

For the gym bunnies amongst you who believe muscle means meat, I suggest you take a look at ‘Game Changers’, a brilliant documentary, available on Netflix, which covers the extraordinary power of plants for top athletes.

2. Move your body

Reaching for your car keys every time you need a bottle of milk (oat milk, please!) is an easy habit to get into but also contributes to climate change and to the epidemic of obesity in the UK.  Instead, why not reach for your bike, pull on some trainers or get into the routine of taking public transport, getting off a stop or two early to stretch those desk bound legs.

If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented

Dr Nick Cavill

3. Reduce your bills

Did opening your last gas bill create stress, tension and the realisation that your party weekend with friends could be a financial no go? 

If you imagine hot air literally carrying your hard-earned wages into the sunset then proper insulation for your home starts to look very attractive.  Simple steps like good loft and wall insulation, double glazing and getting rid of drafts can make a huge difference. 

If you really want to meet the challenge head on then contact the Carbon Co-op via the button below who can give expert advice on retrofitting your home to combat climate change.

Contact Carbon Co-op

4. Block out the advertising noise

So, you’re strong minded and definitely not someone who is easily led?

Why is it then, that most of us have been literally wheeled down the garden path by marketing?

‘A new outfit every week is the ticket to….   popularity?’

‘A bigger car to impress….  somebody’ 

‘That extra special hair product….  because I’m worth it!’  

Evidence clearly shows that once we have the basics covered, buying more and more stuff is not a ticket to fulfilment.  Many of the things that truly inspire happiness are free, which is probably why no one is trying to sell them to you!

The NHS five ways to wellbeing include ‘learning’, ‘connecting’, ‘taking notice’ and ‘giving’ in its top tips to living a happy life. Read more about these via the button below

NHS five ways to wellbeing

5. Contact your MP

It’s difficult to see how emailing or even speaking to your MP about climate change can have a silver lining, but you will be left with the self-satisfaction that you’ve done your bit. 

We need governments to take action, quickly and decisively, and all of us want to feel we are helping to leave a better planet for the next generation.

Find out who your MP is and contact them via the button below.

Contact your MP

Learn more about climate change, including the facts and what more you can do to make a difference as part of our Essential Climate Change course. Taking place on Earth Day, 22 April 2020, more information is available below.

Essential Climate Change