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[Serious] After the heat (so far) this last week or so, what can the every day person do to address climate change like this in the UK?

[Serious] After the heat (so far) this last week or so, what can the every day person do to address climate change like this in the UK?

  • By - jr-91

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malewifemichaelmyers

vote for parties who actually plan to address it and make legal changes. most of the damage comes from the same companies that need regulating or completely abolishing, and it's all driven by capitalism.


JockBbcBoy

Companies used coal and gas for over a century without regulation in most first world nations. Now that they are being regulated, some of those companies have plants in China, India, and Indonesia that use the same harmful fuels without regulation. There needs to be pressure to develop low-cost, eco-friendly fuels so that those companies and all nations have a viable alternative to fuels that create greenhouse gases.


AnAcornButVeryCrazy

Realistically there needs to be incentives, not punishments.


rbsudden

Incentives cost Governments money, punishments in the form of fines make Governments money.


Aerothermal

The economics suggest taxes are vital to transitioning to renewables, and even more effective than incentives. In economics this is referred to as 'pricing in the externalities'. We saw an example with the carrier bag tax which caused a huge shift in consumer behaviour. Conversely if you only had incentives then that usually leads to propped-up industry and inefficiencies. This is sometimes called a 'perverse incentive'. That's not to say we can't have both incentives (in the form of investment) and punishments (in the form of taxes) but taxes are shown to be more effective in changing behaviours, which is now well-established in economics and in psychology.


SuspendMeBitch

Why not both? The companies polluting need to be incentivised to stop doing so. Creating viable competition is only half the battle.


R_Jay101

The problem with FPTP is that voting for someone like the Greens makes it easier for the Tories to win.


JustUseDuckTape

FPTP is definitely a problem, but a vote for a third party candidate isn't always wasted. If a significant number of people vote for a more single issue party, be it Green or UKIP, that sends a message to whoever actually wins that they need to pay a little more attention to that issue. Of course it generally not worth letting the Tories win by voting green instead of labour, but if it's a safe seat (for either party) then a vote for green at least sends a message.


there_I-said-it

If people had voted for the single transferable voting system this wouldn't have been a problem. Relying on the electorate to get anything right will just least to disappointment.


Operation_Doomsday_

Genuine question, which parties are these? Is it just the Green party?


kryptopeg

Lib Dems are pretty good too, as they're more sensible on nuclear. We ain't solving the climate crisis without fission reactors, at least in the short term (50+ years).


---OOdbOO---

Surely everyone’s on board with fusion ?


aaaaaaalex

Nah lad fusion is a different kettle of fish. Fission is the one we can currently do. Fusion is pretty much sci-fi at this point.


_H_A_Z_E_

I love checking up on how Fusion is coming along about once a year or so. Its the stuff of dreams but science is slowly but surely plodding its way there and making progress.


aaaaaaalex

Seems like every time we get close to it, the goalposts get pushed back another 10 years. Almost as if someone doesn't want us to have this near-infinite source of clean energy...


SmArty117

Or maybe it's just really difficult? Fission is also near-infinite if you look at it like that, but the cost of building and maintaining and storing the stuff, all safely, is immense. I don't see the need for conspiratorial thinking.


aaaaaaalex

My crackpot conspiracy theory is more fun though


---OOdbOO---

Yeah, I'm aware of all that. My point was, surely everyone would be in support of fusion, were it to become viable.


aaaaaaalex

Ahh right, sorry! Yeah you'd hope everyone would want it. People on our level of society ought to. Can't imagine BP and Shell would be very happy about it though


BilboSwaggins1993

Fusion is about 30 years away from being viable, and has been for about 60 years.


LordAnubis12

Meanwhile wind and solar has come down massively in that time, and been mostly overlooked by subsidies in the UK. Nuclear definitely has a place, but you can't just pin all hopes on it as some magical tech that doesn't exist yet, when we have tech that we know works available today.


bcjdosmdndb

The Green Party want to close our existing Nuclear stock. Germans did that as a knee jerk reaction to Fukushima, and they ended up replacing it all with Coal and Oil. Labour, the Libs, and a handful of Tory MPs, are the best way to get this done.


_whopper_

They’re also anti-high speed rail. Which is much better environmentally than road or air.


MDHart2017

Imo, voting the greens in power wouldn't help the environment as much as you think, seeing as they're dead set against nuclear power.


UnderMaskAngryReacts

tbf that's only one issue, if i disagree with them on one issue then they are still miles ahead of every other party


MDHart2017

Im a big environmentalist, but It is a BIG issue though. Theres no other viable tech to replace fossil fuels whilst providing the base load required. It's a fundamental issue with their policies that they're refusing to budge on. Their pigheaded ignorance on the matter won't power the country.


UnderMaskAngryReacts

yes i do agree. I'd still vote for them and even become a member. they're still the only ones who are taking the treat even remotely seriously, and at the very least it would show other parties that people give a shit and give them a nudge in the right direction


KeyboardChap

There's a few rankings of the last manifesto of the various parties which should give some ideas, generally Labour and the Greens are vying for top spot and the Lib Dems are also towards the top of the pack: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/system-change/election-manifestos-labour-tops-friends-earths-climate-and-nature-league-table https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/climate-debate-party-manifestos-climate-change-nature-2/ https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/labours-plans-for-climate-and-nature-score-twice-as-high-as-the-conservatives-according-to-election-manifesto-ranking/


Conscious-Ball8373

It's a good theory. Except it's crap. It's the Western, capitalist countries that are doing the most to reduce their GHG emissions and the communist-run and authoritarian countries that are doing the least. The UK has a legally-binding net-zero target, a law to ban petrol and diesel car sales in nine years, is paying farmers to change land use back to natural woodland, is subsidising renewable energy.... so keep voting Tory? It's a total dodge to say that the damage comes from "the same companies." They don't sit there and produce GHGs for the fun of it, they produce them because there is a consumer demand for the goods they produce. Remove the consumer demand and those companies will go bankrupt and stop producing GHGs very quickly indeed. Regulation is a rotten way of dealing with the problem because it's herding people to do something they don't want to do. If consumers actually cared enough about climate change to make changes in their purchasing decisions in bulk, GHG emissions could be largely eliminated very quickly. They don't, so they won't. Grim, but true. The best way for governments to influence climate outcomes is to invest in R&D so that green technologies develop to the point they are cheaper than non-green ones. The best way for individuals to influence climate outcomes is to consume less, waste less, make the things you have last as long as you can and when you do need to make a purchasing decision, choose something that's produced in an environmentally friendly way.


Top_Excuse1680

It’s not crap, most of the large companies in the uk have there manufacturing done in those communist countries you mention, because it’s cheap and they can generate larger profits, we share that footprint, just because they’ve done one or two things right on home turf doesn’t absolve us of doing more globally. Which is also why cutting the aid budget makes no sense either because it’s used to help with research in all sorts of important things.


Conscious-Ball8373

In other words, the Western, capitalist countries have regulated GHG emissions and the communist countries haven't, so guess where all the emissions are. I think we're saying the same thing. When you go to buy clothes, you have a choice: You can buy cheap clothes that are made in Asia and cause lots of GHG emissions, or you can buy expensive clothes made in the UK that cause few GHG emissions. What do you choose? That same choice, made millions of times every week, is why most clothes sold in the UK are made in Asia. Not because "it's cheap and they can generate larger profits" but because it's cheap and so you get cheaper clothes. If you want to make those sales generate less GHG emissions, either you need to convince people to pay more for clothes or you need to make clothes produced with few GHGs cheaper than clothes produced with more GHGs.


Top_Excuse1680

Pretty much, may has misinterpreted the tone of you original comment apologies. so it brings other issues into it, like fairer wages and better living standards, people are only making those choices because they can only afford those things. Another example is super markets always trying to drive down food prices, which forces British farmers into a very difficult position with smaller and smaller margins. Brexit was meant to fix all that though wasn’t it? But instead we have no one wanting todo the seasonal picking, which is wage and working condition related again.


Doofangoodle

> Regulation is a rotten way of dealing with the problem because it's herding people to do something they don't want to do. If consumers actually cared enough about climate change to make changes in their purchasing decisions in bulk, GHG emissions could be largely eliminated very quickly. They don't, so they won't. Grim, but true. Surely this is an argument *for* regulation? At least until those green technologies have been developed. We need to be taking an "attack on all fronts" approach


Conscious-Ball8373

Perhaps. But Western, capitalist countries have done a large fraction of what is possible through regulation, resulting in all the GHG-emitting industries moving to other countries where a combination of corruption and carelessness make it cheaper to operate. The problem with regulation is that, by its nature, it is restraining people from doing things they want to do and so their energies go into finding ways around the regulation. Better by far to make the green option more attractive than others so that people's energies go into acquiring the green option because it's what works out best for them anyway. This is happening, to a degree; in many places it's now cheaper to install solar and wind generators than coal or gas. The technological breakthrough that is missing is a cheap, quick and good energy storage method; once this is in place, renewable energy will take over quickly. Ideally, this would be a way of synthesising carbon fuels from atmospheric carbon, so that existing carbon-fuelled plant can be operated carbon-neutrally, but we'll take whatever we can get at this point. Battery technology has come a long way, but not nearly far enough (and the regular announcements you hear of breakthrough battery technologies that are 5-10 years from commercialisation are almost always nothing of the sort).


BuildingArmor

>The best way for governments to influence climate outcomes is to invest in R&D so that green technologies develop to the point they are cheaper than non-green ones. Even if this is the objectively "best way", and I don't necessarily believe it is, but the alternative to "the best way" isn't "not at all", it's "another way". A lot of these companies are making billions in profits. Not only can they afford to make changes, if they can't somebody else can. Here's couple of trillion dollars that could be going towards better processes, but isn't: [https://carbontracker.org/reports/stranded-assets-danger-zone/](https://carbontracker.org/reports/stranded-assets-danger-zone/)


LordAnubis12

Like solar panels? Which China made super cheap through mass production?


adamneigeroc

We have a green council and some of the worst recycling rates in the country.


adamneigeroc

Steve could stop taking his lunch break in his car, whilst running the engine to get the air conditioning working. Our office is air conditioned.


jr-91

The irony of this being that that's my bosses name hahaha, hit home a lot. But good point!


Jebusura

I'd like a word with you in my office right now


jr-91

Anus clenched reading this message.


LordAnubis12

Thing is if petrol was taxed in response to the damage it does to the environment, I highly doubt Steve would. There s just a huge disconnect at the moment where costs are externalised


adamneigeroc

Not just fuel, the cost of building and maintaining roads is massive! People complain about subsiding public transport but driving is effectively heavily subsidised


LordAnubis12

If you want to feel angry / sad https://www.racfoundation.org/data/cost-of-transport-index


Mabenue

Doesn’t really matter we’ll all be driving electric cars in a few years time. Cars are a very obvious target but the impact they have is fairly minimal and easy enough to solve. The bigger problems come in the forms of our vast consumption of almost everything and the manufacturing that’s involved.


Vladimir_Chrootin

>Doesn’t really matter we’ll all be driving electric cars in a few years time. If you have off-road parking, own your house and can afford a new car, sure. I expect my first ever electric car will be made in about 5 years time, and I'll buy it at some point in the mid-to-late 2030s.


AnAcornButVeryCrazy

I think I saw a study a while ago that stated in London that inefficient old boilers/poor property insulation’s were responsible for 50-80% of pollution. Buses were 20% and cars were something like 5-10%


mc_nebula

Refer to pages 7 & 8 of this document: https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/node/33257 The report acknowledges that it is difficult to break down exactly what the sources are, but when considering Nox, estimates are 50% from road traffic, 12% domestic gas. PM3 is 53% road transport and just 1% domestic gas. As a daily road user in London, it pains me to say that cutting down on road transport is the key to improving the air quality in the capital. My commute will be untenable if I am unable to motorbike in to work.


radeonalex

How would you begin to Even calculate that though? Not that I'm disagreeing, just it seems like an impossible metric.


Cam2910

Who wants to eat lunch in their car every day? I have to because I'm mobile, but I refuse to run the engine just so I can have the aircon on.


Vladimir_Chrootin

"Are you on lunch? Could you just..."


Cam2910

"No mate, I'm on lunch"


Vladimir_Chrootin

It gets tiring after a while, and some people then spend the rest of the day running around like a slapped arse. I actually got grassed up for it once (it didn't go anywhere, thankfully). At the time I was holding a piece of sushi in a pair of chopsticks about an inch away from my mouth, and I'd put my keyboard behind my monitor to make room for the crossword I was doing. I could not have been more obviously lunching. "Yes, I am eating lunch."


NibblyPig

Someone that wants a bit of peace and quiet. I can see the appeal of just blasting your tunes, or talking hands free to your girlfriend or whatever reclining back and peacing out for an hour


SquidgeSquadge

I had a boss like that but we had no air con but it was a surprisingly cool room. He missed out on the gossip.


inked_idiot_boy

The onus should be on large companies and manufacturers rather than individuals. But on a more personal level eating less meat (beef specifically) and less dairy products would greatly reduce your carbon footprint. Also public transport/cycling to work are obvious ways but won’t work for everybody


jr-91

It really should be, I've read that supposedly 100 companies produce something like 80% of carbon emissions. The optimist in me really hope change comes about sooner than later. I've essentially cut out dairy (shout out to oat milk) and I'm going to try and revert back to a vegetarian hybrid model I did previously where I'd only eat meat when eating out for dinner/takeaways (infrequent) or with friends.


inked_idiot_boy

That does seem to be the best way, need to show people that you don’t need to go full on greenpeace eco warrior to help the environment, just a few little changes will help


jr-91

I've grown to realise how much compound changes are a thing, for good and bad, so it makes sense that it's applicable to this as well.


slothrr

I think just quietly talking about it helps a lot. I've been a vegetarian for 15 years due to the environmental impact and I've made it a rule never to lecture people, but if they ask I be honest and open about my reasons. A lot of people seem to have made the switch in that time. I also drive an electric car and pretty much gave up flying. It amazes me how much plastic junk (for want of a better word, I'm sure that stuff feels to have a value at the time) many people buy. I try to think about landfill and resist the temptation to buy novelty sunglasses and whatnot... as a parent it's not easy! For gifts I try to buy books or candles or food - just not stuff which is going to clutter up a life. We've switched back to a milkround delivery and I buy in bulk from Faith in Nature (which is very local to us) stuff like shampoo, shower gel, etc. to reduce plastic. I try to look after my clothes and buy good quality for things that matter. Other stuff I can get from the charity shop and no one would know the difference. If I want something for a hobby, like we bought a tent recently, I'll go to ebay first and set the filter to "used" to see if there's something that will do the job just fine. So many thing are experiential anyway, whether your kayak has x or y technology isn't actually going to make a blind bit of difference to your trip - as long as it floats you're going to have a good time! We Oh, I've moved my bank account to Starling, which has a policy of being non-shitty in terms of investing (although there are takeover rumours apparently so that's a bit up in the air). Sorry, didn't expect to write so much. 2 final things I believe: have children, but not too many! I know people who aren't having kids because they're too frightened of the future. Apart from being terrific fun, for me my children represent Hope, and last thing humanity can afford to lose is Hope. Finally, support green movements, if not actively then at least tacitly - if someone is complaining about XR or some other disruption, it's really valuable to say "I'm just as badly affected as you right now but I've got to admit I completely back their position". There are many people whom seem to live without thinking. That's not to say one political position has a monopoly on being ***ts. There are ***ts absolutely everywhere :)


Tim-Sanchez

Those companies do so because there's consumer demand for it. If enough people decided to change the way they bought and behaved, then those companies would have a financial incentive to change. It's easy to push the blame and say the companies should just go green, but we have power as consumers to pressure them into that change by hurting their wallets. Companies don't pollute for the fun of it, they do it because it's most profitable.


radeonalex

I recommend watching Harry's Farm on YouTube. It's not pro farming particularly, it's a quite balanced and scientific approach. He owned and ran a magazine about cars called Evo, but has returned to farming as it was his original profession. He covers a lot of the changes in the industry related environmental policies, for example different crops that can be grown, locking up carbon in soil, diversification into solar farms. Another topic covered is methane from animals. One interesting thing I didn't know is that the UK banned a certain pesticide I believe used on rapeseed (iirc). It has caused worse harvests this year and in turn, the UK now has to import more rapeseed from abroad, worsening the associated pollution miles. It's very interesting and gives a balanced view on the world. He's also been very positive about his new electric Land Rover because there is no risk of fires from the exhaust when driving over dry fields!


slothrr

I love Harry's Farm. I'm a bit sceptical of him but it's really important to listen to people outside of your echo chamber and he does a great job of presenting his point of view.


No_Tangerine9685

Companies aren’t producing 80% of carbon emissions for fun, they’re doing it because demand is there, which individuals definitely do contribute to.


OsloOtter

I've read that statistic (or similar). I think it included things like domestic vehicle emissions under business's like BP, Shell etc. which is very misleading so do take it with a pinch of salt.


SwellestMonster

Yep but the onus gets thrown back on the little people in the whole cloak and daggers rigmarole to keep us focused on using the “right” recycling bin. Carbon footprint was invented by BP in an ad campaign in the 2000’s. Making the public believe that reducing their own emissions will make a spot of difference in the grand scheme of things is dangerous as it’s taken the pressure off big industry. World’s already fucked


danii1987

I’m doing this but vegan as of today! Just a bit of cheese/meat for a special occasion (Christmas etc.). Wish me luck!


PinkGoldJigglypuff

We, the consumers, are included in that "100 companies" statistic. If for whatever reason these 100 companies stopped (either by their own volition or by force from the people), then we would all very drastically have to change our lifestyles. I've seen a lot of people misinterpret that statistic by thinking we have nothing to do with it. We do. Anyway, oat milk nation let's go!!


Bicolore

>The onus should be on large companies and manufacturers rather than individuals. Nonsense. Companies exist to service our needs. As consumers we should vote with our feet and demand greener options. If people in general want greener options then that is what we'll be given.


clockworkmice

I used to agree with you but recently changed my mind. I read something about Morrison are reducing plastic packaging by something blah blah but one of the comments was from a Morrisons warehouse guy saying their deliveries come in more plastic wrapping and clingfilm than they do cardboard boxes they're wrapping. So what you see is all PR marketing bullshit for the customer to see on the front end while they're still polluting dogs round the back. I try to avoid plastic bottles entirely, while others use them exclusively. I try to buy a bigger pot of yoghurt rather than the individually packed ones, while others don't. Meanwhile all the deliveries are caked in plastic anyway. We can't win unless the government put tax incentives/penalties on appropriately packaged consumer products. All this reeducation, light touch approach is too slow if this is truly an emergency.


SomethingMoreToSay

>I try to avoid plastic bottles entirely, while others use them exclusively. There's a huge rabbit hole you can go down in simply trying to work out whether it's better for the environment to use plastic bottles or glass bottles. Raw materials usage, energy costs for production, energy costs for transportation, potential for re-use or recycling, implications for landfill, ..... At the end of the day it turns out that "better for the environment" isn't well defined. Is reducing energy usage better than reducing waste and landfill? Which should you prioritise?


clockworkmice

Sorry I meant I don't buy bottled water. I drink from a tap. Shower gel etc is from a plastic bottle. Don't think I can get around that - I'm not that hardcore. You're right though, the examples you give are too much for everyone to take on individually. That's why I feel like the research and decisions should come from above


Thraell

>Shower gel etc is from a plastic bottle. Don't think I can get around that - I'm not that hardcore Just an FYI; there's easy ways to move away from multiple single-use plastic bottles of shower gel - * you can buy bulk shower gel, this is more expensive than the cheapy £1 bottles so it depends on how "hardcore" you want/can be. It can be more cost-effective if you like the expensive stuff, but I don't really know anyone who exclusively uses expensive shower gel. But you can literally buy 5l of shower gel at a time and just refill a 500ml bottle as and when needed. Needs storage space though. * use refillable products - Lush are good at recycling, there's also low-waste brands that you can send old bottles back and get new refilled ones. This has an added "faff" factor * Or, go back to old-fashioned soap. Easily available, cheap, some come in cardboard boxes you can recycle (Faith in Nature is like £1 in Boots, cardboard box, the lavender one smells real nice), and if you store it properly the last ages (away from getting wet, on a draining soap dish). A lot of them are entirely naturally derived as well. But then I'm moving to low/no plastic because I'm utterly exhausted with the sheer amount of plastic waste the average modern household produces. I'm fed up with having to clear out all these sodding bottles and bags and packets *everywhere*.


lastattempt_20

You can buy shampoo bars, they can also be used in the shower. They usually come in cardboard boxes. Or look for somewhere that allows you to refill bottles.


Tim-Sanchez

> There's a huge rabbit hole you can go down in simply trying to work out whether it's better for the environment to use plastic bottles or glass bottles. The obvious answer is to use neither, since it's not an either/or scenario. The best thing we can do is minimise our usage overall, whether that's plastic, glass, paper or anything else. In this specific example, just try not to buy bottled water and use a reusable bottle.


Bicolore

I don't think that's an issue. People just seem to want instant solutions on this stuff and that's not going to happen. You start with the easy bits like plastic straws and then you work your way up. You want to create a commercial environment where companies compete to be the greenest (because that's what sells). BTW pallet shrinkwrap is 100% recyclable but only once. Cardboard maybe 3 times if its the good stuff. The difference is that cardboard is useless after 3 times whereas you can recycle LDPE into plastic decking that will be useful for a very long time. Recycling is complicated!


theMooey23

Got some evidence this wrapping is being recycled not incinerated? Uk only recycles 30 to 40% plastics, I think I read somewhere. Its much cheaper and easier to burn it, not the individual consumers choice!


dbxp

Worth noting that things are considered recycled as soon as they 're exported as recycling, what happens to them at their destination is anyone's guess


clockworkmice

But after that, the useless cardboard it's biodegradable right? I mean I don't know the specifics like you seem to, all I hear is plastic bad, and yet here it is, available to buy, all day every day, wrapping food products that we're hardwired to burn through daily. Normal people are too hard worked and pushed for time and money to attempt to work out which chemical compound is the more sustainable. If government taxes the shit out of the worst plastics. Hopefully companies would use the more sustainable ones and the others will be priced out of the market. Then average Joe grabbing some water from a shop would go, "Fuck that for a laugh," and drink water from a tap next time. That I can see happening, as opposed to him scratching his chin, deciding if that particular type of plastic bottle is LDPE or not. (Whatever that is - I don't know either)


Hydramy

Poor people don't have the luxury of choice. If you can only afford the more polluting option, then you'll take it.


Bicolore

To some extent I agree with you especially if we're talking globally. There's real evidence that the more you earn, the more you care about your environment. But for the vast majority of the western world we're wealthy enough to care but we still don't.


inked_idiot_boy

I do go green where and when I can but me choosing to buy loose veg over plastic wrapped isn’t going to make a dent when there’s millions upon millions of plastic wrapped veg still being sold. If that option is removed then so is the plastic


tilman2015

Plastic wrapped veg also reduces wastage of veg that has a lot of climate changing gases tied up in them. It may well be better for climate change for us to plastic wrap the veg and then incinerate the plastic wrap (releasing the trapped carbon in the wrap) than it is to buy loose and have higher wastage...


ScaryBreakfast1

You were downvoted, but you’re not wrong. It’s like the idea of getting a new electric car to replace your petrol car to reduce the pollution you cause. Well, sure, but what if the pollution involved in producing the new car outweighs the pollution of just running your old petrol car into the ground with 200k miles on the clock? These questions are never as simple as they appear.


Tim-Sanchez

If more and more people bought the loose veg rather than plastic-wrapped then they'd stop producing it so they stop losing money. Companies only respond to consumer demand, whilst it would be great if every company unilaterally decided to make the change, we still have power as consumers to pressure them into that change.


dbxp

Wrapping veg in plastic may actually be the greener option as the veg last longer which means less food waste and therefore less transportation emissions.


Baboobalou

Agreed. Look how many shops and restaurants are now doing plant-based food due to customer demand. Also, companies are trying to put back with CSR. As consumers we need to be far more mindful of where we shop. It may be inconvenient or pricier but it makes a difference.


Curtains_Trees

My biggest issue is that I buy organic veg, better for me and the physical land its grown in. Yet, as it has to be kept seperate in Supermarkets, it's always in Plastic. Bugs me so much!


Square-Image-6879

Agree - companies and manufacturers cater towards a market, aiming to achieve consistent profit. By consciously reducing demand, you can play a part in swaying a market. Any company that wants to survive will eventually adapt (although some will kick and scream - think tobacco).


LordAnubis12

At this stage it's on everyone, though Gov and Corporations should definitely be doing more. Even simple things like carbon pricing has managed to shift the existing system into reducing environmental damage - a bit problem is currently we place £0 value on our environment. That goes for individuals who litter, through to corporations who create underwater fires in the mexican sea...


headspace73

I agree with you about the large companies. But also if the individual takes it upon themselves then hopefully one day there will be a cultural change and then it will be in the DNA of people that will eventually run these companies. Pipe dream I know but I can hope.


inked_idiot_boy

Yeah good point and I feel the same. It’s just it’s so much easier to make an actual difference if you already have the money and the customers to influence people’s spending habits/lifestyles


Kesskas

On an individual level you can: * Choose not to have kids/pets * Avoid air/ferry travel * Use public transport over your own car as and when you can * Cut down on or completely cut out meat & dairy * Try to buy big things like cars, electronics etc. second hand * Get as much produce from local sources as you can (or better yet, grow your own if you have the time, space and patience) * Learn to repair things rather than throwing things out or buying new versions * Use things for as long as possible - try to avoid buying a new version of something just because it's newer and shinier * Try to support charities and companies that are environmentally aware and avoid those that are not * Switch to an energy supplier that uses 100% renewable energy One thing I will say is that while obviously climate change is an enormous, global issue, another interlinked problem that doesn't get the same focus is the loss of biodiversity. If you have a garden or any green space, I implore you to dedicate part of it to grow into a wildflower meadow to try and restore some degree of natural habitat for various insect and plant species. It's low effort and but noticeable benefits, not only to wildlife, but the soil itself benefits from having a variety of plantlife growing in it, rather than a monoculture such as a lawn.


E-A-F-D

Switching your home to 100% green energy was the easiest and biggest one for me. You don't notice it, it takes 5 minutes, and it's a huge whack of your personal emissions taken care of. I used Bulb, who have been fantastic if anyone needs a recommendation.


curiousghost90

Seconded Bulb are awesome. They also do a new user referral scheme where both people get (I think) £50 in credit.


burkeymonster

Bulb are getting worse. They prices go up year on year but they are still a green company.


aka_liam

> They prices go up year on year Seems to be standard across the industry at the moment, to be fair.


burkeymonster

True but they were the cheapest and now they are not.


buzben

I loved Bulb but they increased their prices 3 times in 9 months so I switched to The Green Energy Company (who are cheaper but user experience not as good as Bulb).


confuzzledfather

Bulb are so good, i leave all my lights on and leave the fridge open to use as much renewable energy as i can.


giggly_giggly

I was surprised to find out that 100% green energy really doesn't mean all that much in terms of making a difference [https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/energy/shopping-guide/energy-suppliers](https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/energy/shopping-guide/energy-suppliers) "However, the important thing is not whether a company can legally claim to be providing 100% renewable energy, but whether it actually is making any meaningful contribution to renewable capacity building for all energy supplied, as shown by the colour coding, with green being best. Companies in orange were marked down for making meaningless environmental claims."


jr-91

First month in the new house (rented) and they are actually one I'm considering - might have to hit you up with this!


IanRCarter

Since moving out of my parents into my own home over 3 years ago, every time I've switched energy I've used 100% renewable energy providers. They're almost always the cheapest when using a comparison site and you're talking a few quid on the annual bill when the chepeast is non-renewable. It's not like some things where doing the green thing is significantly more expensive for the consumer.


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WatchingStarsCollide

The key is to buy electronics from the few manufacturers who don't make un-repairable items. Vote with your wallet!


KingFrequent

Best answer so far


bazpaul

As a new parent can confirm that kids are fucking terrible for the environment. My god the amount of shite (products + packaging) that comes in and out of this house is mind blowing


Twolef

Go vegan. Seriously, the meat and dairy industry [account for almost 15% of all greenhouse gases](https://interactive.carbonbrief.org/what-is-the-climate-impact-of-eating-meat-and-dairy/) and take up huge tracts of land that could be reforested. If going full vegan is too much to bear, then you could have a few meat-free days a week. That’d be something. Edited: misread figures. Meat accounts for 14.5% of greenhouse gases. The 25% figure I quoted was for total food production.


LordAnubis12

I think the reduction is more important than trying to convince all out vegan. I feel like we're far more likely to get 80% of the country to reduce their intake down, than we are convince that many to ditch meat entirely. At least in the short term.


Twolef

For sure. I’m not expecting everyone to go full vegan. It’s hard. A small reduction my the majority is obviously going to be more impactful than a minority going meat-free. I’d be more than happy.


wet-sun

Legit. I've been vegan 6 years and obviously I'd be delighted if people could switch to veganism overnight, but I was vegetarian for a year before I eased into transitioning to veganism. A vegan diet is automatic for me now, but it's easy to forget how difficult it was adjusting in the beginning.


LordAnubis12

It's one of those things that would be quickly adopted with a Gov policy and reducing meat subsidy, and increasing veg. There's an opportunity to shift this weirdly because of Brexit and now we're rebuilding CAP, so fingers crossed the value shifts towards environment rather than agriculture


threalseymourskinner

I think yours is a pretty constructive take and one that seems to becoming more dominant when I see vegans talk about stuff in person and on social media. It seems to me that small reductions in animal product consumption can lead on to larger ones. This might be a more sustainable (as in 'permanent') way of changing people's behaviour that might avoid the people oscillating too wildly between eating extremes.


Deif

Conversely it's actually quite easy to switch. If people knew of the immediate health benefits, the environmental impact, the true state of factory farming, and what meat substitutes actually tasted like everyone would switch in a heartbeat.


Twolef

That still wouldn’t be enough for some people, sadly. I’ve had discussions with people who have asked me why I made the change and they’ve complained about people who are “aggressively vegan” whilst being aggressively carnivorous. My arguments fell on deaf ears but they were relieved that I didn’t “lecture” them about it.


Deif

Yeah. At least with the Netflix documentaries you/we can point them to something as light and accessible as Gamechangers and hope it starts the process of changing their traditional views about it all. I've found people have a hard time arguing against Arnie.


bcjdosmdndb

Look at the % of folk who smoke, drink and don’t exercise. Most folk do not care about health benefits.


MinderReminder

It's odd that you think so. Most people know some or all of this already, they still don't want to go vegan because the food's simply not anywhere near as enjoyable to them.


Baboobalou

Going full blown vegan/plant-based is a shock to the system. I highly recommend thinking about cutting back and making a few tweaks here and there on an ongoing basis. I can't recommend it highly enough for the health benefits you get, as well as being more adventurous in my cooking. I was your typical unadventurous meat and potatoes type beforehand and now I eat things I'd never thought I'd try. I've a lot more energy, and less headaches, fatigue and brain fog.


LordAnubis12

Agreed - few years ago we got a veg box, and this forced us to learn to cook way more stuff and eventually we just went vege because it was easier. Never missed meat, but do eat fish on occasion. It really is about small behavioural changes to nudge the right direction, rather than some grand declaration one day.


MagicalWhisk

Need to caveat this heavily because the UK is FAR more efficient than the world averages for beef and dairy. Most British meat and dairy comes from UK farms so you need to take UK figures. Below are the most up to date ones I could find. The UK total agriculture (meat, dairy, veg and other organics) account for 10% of UK emissions. It's roughly 6% just meat and dairy. The UK on average produces 60% less CO2 in its agriculture industry. Your numbers above are global and it is heavily skewed by countries with very poor and inefficient agricultural industries such as India. Overall, yes vegan will reduce your CO2 impact but the difference is smaller than most people believe and the best thing you can do is buy local. Data source: [NFU](https://www.nfuonline.com/nfu-online/sectors/dairy/mythbuster-final/#:~:text=The%20carbon%20footprint%20of%20a,of%2046kg%20CO2e%20per%20kilo39.&text=According%20to%20the%20latest%202020,about%20half%20the%20global%20average42.)


Twolef

That’s fair. I totally agree that we should go back to shopping locally.


ImNotNew

> Overall, yes vegan will reduce your CO2 impact but the difference is smaller than most people believe and the best thing you can do is buy local. To add to that, food waste has a huge impact. Especially non animal food which makes up 82% of food waste. 52% of fruit and veg goes to waste compared to 22% of meat. A vegan diet reduces your carbon footprint, but if more than double the amount of food gets wasted then the carbon saving is negated. So the best thing you can do is buy local and waste as little as possible.


MagicalWhisk

This is true but it's a reflection of price and storage. Meat is more expensive and people are much less likely to waste it compared to fruit and veg which you can buy big bulk packs for cheap and can go off before you can consume it all. For example you care less about a few apples rotting from a £2 dozen apples pack you bought last week compared to a £10 steak in the fridge. But yes food waste is a big issue to deal with. I don't have data to back this up but I would believe vegans care more about reducing food waste that the average person due to general environmental concerns they display.


jr-91

Eye opening, thanks for sharing. I've essentially cut out dairy and want to revert back to a vegetarian hybrid model I had before where I'd only eat meat when eating out/having takeaways (infrequently) or with friends. Guess that'd be a start. Had a few fake meat substitutes at a BBQ the other night and it's great how far they've came in terms of availability and quality.


sofarsoalive

If you're looking for motivation (because I know how hard it is!), what pushed me practically overnight to cut out all animal products was watching Netflix documentaries - "What the health" in particular was very eye opening in terms of health (as was 'game changers') and "cowspiracy" for the environment. Sounds like you're doing great though!


Deif

Yep, those documentaries also got me to immediately switch. I was and am still pissed off that I didn't know those things before and I ate meat and dairy for so long.


curiousghost90

As a life-long non-meat eater (grew up eating fish, otherwise vegetarian, now 99% vegetarian other than eating out, as mentioned by others) your comment on meat substitutes is so true! Growing up all you could get was Linda McCartney(expensive), Quorn(Also expensive) or unflavoured tofu if you went to specialist shops. Now the range is great and it's every shop. Shoutout to Greg's vegan sausage rolls, they are amazing.


thebroadisbored

This. I can’t stress how important it is to the environment. Not only the welfare of the animals but the health benefits. I cut out dairy gradually over a couple of weeks then I watched documentaries on the dairy industry and how we’re not naturally suited to meat and dairy. I sound like an ad but I honestly can’t believe how much better I feel, I’m full of energy all the time.


K0lesM

Don’t eat fish. Everyone is talking about recycling and not using plastic bottles so it doesn’t end up in the oceans but the worst thing ending up in the oceans is fishing gear.


LordAnubis12

Agreed, but also plastic pollution is a different issue to climate change. Plastic is an environmental issue, but in terms of CO2 emissions it's a relatively small contributor compared to things like transport


K0lesM

Don’t forget that huge fishing boats use tons of oil to run. Bottom trawling releasing tons of carbon as well. Fishing and the whole fishing industry releases so much carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. Aquaculture releases tons too.


tothebank84

The documenty on Netflix seem to exsplain it well. Fishing is killing the oceans, this is where 85% of the Oxygen comes from via the Plankton. The Planxton converts CO2 to O2.


beartropolis

A big one is actually make sure that those in power - large businesses and governments are doing all that they can. That means showing your views with your wallet and lobbying representatives. Some small things: Look at using public transport or electric cars Get a smart meter for your power Look at renewable power for your gas and electric (Bulb and Octopus for example) Cut down on single use plastics and other single use things (such as paper towels) Be aware of food miles and try and buy in season. Stay away from fast fashion, invest in things that will last or buy second hand Turn stuff off when you aren't using it


LordAnubis12

I'm a fan of EVs, but putting them alongside public transport is a bit misleading as they're not equal. We need less cars, more of them electric. Even then, electric cars are an incredibly inefficient way to move people around and take up a lot of urban space which could be used more effectively.


Adrian_Shoey

And also "buying a new car" is something that isn't very green at all, whether it's electric or not. Yes, an EV will cut down local emissions dut to no exhaust, and can save money with lower tax/fuelling/toll charges. But if you have a car that is perfectly serviceable you should use that until it isn't. There's an enormous amount of energy utilised to get that Tesla to your front door.


beartropolis

Yes you are right. They shouldn't be put in the same point. I guess I was trying to say think about moving around differently. It should have read something like: Look at public transport, bikes, walking or if you need a car desperately then electric


anotherbozo

If there was better public transport, many people wouldn't need cars. Pre-covid, my commute was a 15 min drive. Or, 45 mins minimum with the bus (with one change).


LordAnubis12

Agreed - there needs to be both push and pull factors. Generally a shift over to PT from cars is needed for better cities generally, ignoring environmental impacts.


satanspanties

> Stay away from fast fashion, invest in things that will last or buy second hand And learn to take care of and repair things when they do wear out or get damaged, or take them to someone who does know how. Knowing how to do alterations or being willing to pay someone to do them for you also makes buying secondhand easier. /r/sewing and their related subreddits and /r/visiblemending are good places for advice on repairing and altering clothing.


Thraell

>invest in things that will last Carrying on with this theme; if you're like me and continually get the "crotch blow-out" in your jeans, you should look into finding jeans that are constructed with a diamond in the gusset (or, like what I did, give on on finding them commercially and learn to make your own). This gusset style gives a lot more movement for the fabric, and reduces wear meaning you'll get more wear out of them before they start to wear out. If you *are* getting the tell-tale signs of an imminent blow-out, treat it proactively. Add in patches to stabilise and reinforce the weakened fabric - there's a very beautiful method of clothing repair called "sashiko" which repairs clothing with embroidery. Jeans can be very hard-wearing, highly repairable clothing (there's a reason cowboys liked it so much) if you buy the right kind (100% cotton, the right cut for your body shape) but they're quite environmentally unfriendly in production on the whole, so you want to make these last as long as possible.


LordAnubis12

Broadly, reduce your meat intake, fly less and reduce the amount you drive. Those three are the biggest things you can do. Recycling does very little for climate change and a lot of the plastics in food actually help reduce food waste. Transport is around 35% of UK emissions, agriculture 10% (reality is much higher as this is only domestic emissions and ignores imported food emissions). The second thing to do is influence your friends and family to also make these changes and reductions in consumption. If you haven't, move to a green energy supplier. WWF have a really good carbon footprint calculator which helps flag the biggest areas in your life. https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#/ Good article here too on perceptions vs reality of impact https://www.ft.com/content/c5e0cdf2-aaef-4812-9d8e-f47dbcded55c


Cam2910

Boy-fist-pump.jpg I'm under the UK average! Would like to read the FT article if you have a readable link as I always feel like I could do more, but may not have the impact I expect. Edit: Wow, I've just done this again pretending to be vegan and it only dropped 4%. Adding a 9000km return flight pushed it up 30%!


LetsLive97

Ayy I'm only 75% of the 2021 target


PeteEdinburgh

Upvoting this - these calculators can be really helpful for assessing your priorities. If you're trying to reduce your carbon emissions in a serious way - whether as an individual or an organisation of any size, it's really helpful to start with some kind of audit of where you're starting from. It's easy to focus on a couple of symbolic measures that aren't actually all that important. Calculators like this obviously aren't perfect and have to make generalisations, but they nonetheless can be pretty helpful.


LordAnubis12

Totally agree - people can easily find holes to poke in these tools but that's not really the point of them. It's great at flagging some starting points to work down from based off broad trends. You don't need to do a full LCA on your life to know that driving less is going to help reduce your emissions!


HybridReptile15

I recycle, Use reusable water bottles,I drive a 0 road tax vehicle (although I didn’t buy it because of that), use glass containers for food storage, I’ll always have a scout around the local Facebook groups/gumtree/ebay if I need furniture, sometimes I do have to buy new if I can’t find what I want. Don’t know what else tbh


LordAnubis12

This is a good example of the misplaced focus. Recycling is the smallest impact you can have if you're driving a diesel. Appreciate that personal circumstance means it's not possible to just ditch the car, but it's a good example where recycling really isn't doing much around climate change vs transport emissions. For example, recycling will save around 0.2T of CO2 a year, where as [not having a car saves 2.4T](https://www.ft.com/content/c5e0cdf2-aaef-4812-9d8e-f47dbcded55c)


tilman2015

>Recycling is the smallest impact you can have if you're driving a diesel. This is not true. Of all fossil fuel vehicles, Diesel vehicles pollute the least climate changing gases. The NOX they put out is shit for us (and other animals) to breathe mind you but for GHG, they're the best vehicles.


Shellout

Out of interest, what's the vehicle?


bigfuckingdiamond

My fiesta ecoboost diesel is zero tax too *sorry, its an econetic.


HybridReptile15

Astra diesel ecotec


TheAkondOfSwat

> I want to be more proactive in 'helping' on a personal level You can stand and fan me with a large palm leaf if you'd like. Also don't drive, don't fly, don't have kids, and reduce or eliminate meat and dairy in your diet.


jr-91

Not sure how socially distanced that'd be.. ;) But in all seriousness - strong suggestions, thanks!


TheAkondOfSwat

It's fine, it's a very large palm leaf, you'll need to stand a few metres back to get the full waft. So yeah I'm not 100% on all of these but getting there. I'm also fortunate to be well served by public transport so it's easy for me to say 'ditch the car' but I realise it's not practicable for everyone.


dollarfrom15c

So the idea is to save as much energy as possible - not just the energy that comes into your home but the energy cost of flying, transportation etc. The average total energy use per person is about 195 kWh/day when you add everything up so we need to get that down as much as possible. The best things you can do as an individual are: - Stop flying: one long distance flight per year uses up almost as much energy as a year's worth of daily car use (30 kWh/day vs 40 kWh/day). Cut out flying and you save 30 kWh/day. - Drive less and buy an electric car: could save 20 kWh/day - Buy less and avoid over-packaged goods: could save 20 kWh/day - Turn the thermostat down to 15 degC, turn off the heating when no-one is home and do the same at work: could save 20 kWh/day. - Eat veggie 6 days out of 7: could save 10 kWh/day. Source: Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air by David Mackay. I really recommend giving this a read, there's a free pdf copy on his website if you Google it.


Baboobalou

I applaud you for wanting to make a difference. Below are a few things I do that I hope will help (and don't come across as too preachy). ​ * Buy local. I'm lucky to live in an area that has an abundance of farms and local producers, and I love food markets. * Plant-based diet. I can say I've had some *great* health benefits from it. I didn't realise how poor my diet was before. * Where possible, walk or cycle instead of driving * Avoid holidays that require flying. The UK is full of amazing places to visit and with our summers you don't need to go to Spain for that tan nowadays. * Make sure your home is properly insulated. This will help your bills as well as the environment. * Shop with companies making a different. Corporate social responsibility is going to be so important and we can make a difference by shopping with those who are trying to make a difference. * Be mindful of the ingredients and sources of the things you buy. Things that require a forest to be chopped down so we can have something to spread on our toast isn't worth the sacrifice the world has to make. * Where you can buy things that has less packaging, even if it is recyclable * Recycle! I've just found out I can take all that flimsy film packaging I used to throw away to Sainsbury's for recycling. It does mean going to the shops with a bag of bags but my conscience is better for it. * Think about shopping for pre-loved clothes and other items. I've started looking to sites like [re-fashion](https://www.re-fashion.co.uk/). Not all of the clothes have been owned before - some are ex stock - and I've got some great bargains. And it's great to have shoes someone else has already broken in for me. * Donate clothes, shoes, appliances, furniture, etc, that you no longer use. Someone else could get a few more years out of them.


jr-91

Thank you, means a lot! Some great suggestions in here, all appreciated. Thanks :)


Baboobalou

If you're not already on the way to moving towards plant-based and want some tips, feel free to drop me a message. I've made all the mistakes with plastic cheeses and might be able to point you in the direction of the tastier products :)


emmatays

Here's a few things my partner and I do 😊 we both appreciate that we can only do so much, but its nice to know we are doing our bit. Tampons ➡️ menstrual cup Sanitary towels ➡️ period knickers, reusable pads Normal t bags ➡️ plant based t bags Fairy non bio ➡️ eco washing liquid Kitchen roll ➡️ cloths Tissues ➡️ bamboo/recycledtissues Kitchen cleaner ➡️ eco kitchen cleaner Packaged fruit ➡️ buy loose Sponges ➡️ natural sponges or reusable Minky style sponges Tin foil ➡️ reusable cooking mats Sandwich bags ➡️ reusable silicone bags Flash ➡️ eco bathroom cleaner Dog food plastic containers ➡️ tinned Dog normal poo bags ➡️ degradable bags Buying new ➡️ Refill shop for shampoo and shower gel Green energy supplier ✅ Composting and recycling ✅ Washing machine/dishwasher only on when full ✅ Cook and freeze meals to avoid food waste ✅ Wash at 30 and air dry clothes ✅ Check marketplace before buying new things for house ✅ Use silicone food covers instead of cling film ✅ Use baking soda in a small glass jar as a natural air freshener ✅ Plant bee friendly plants in the garden ✅ Buy clothes second hand from Vinted, charity shops or Ebay ✅


JojanScreed

Anything that isn't geared toward pressuring governemnts and multinationals into drastic top-down action is re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic. Having no kids - useless Going vegan - useless Installing solar panels - useless Not flying - useless You're one in seven billion. Your personal choices are less than an irrelevance.


Tim-Sanchez

Surely something like going vegan and stopping flying will pressure companies by affecting their bottom line? Plane companies and jet fuel companies don't pollute the atmosphere for fun, they do it because there's a customer base that will make it profitable. If everyone stopped flying and it wasn't profitable, they wouldn't keep flying empty planes for the sake of it. Same goes for going vegan and minimising other fossil fuel usage.


bennybobberz

I agree but I don't think enough of society is willing to stop flying, or stop eating meat. Heck there's quite a reasonbly sized portion of society that doesn't even think climate change is a thing!


Tim-Sanchez

That's not really the point though, we can all take personal responsibility. And if enough people do, it will absolutely pressure governments and multinationals to change I can't force my neighbour to do anything, but that's not an excuse for me to just carry on. OP's asking about what they can do, if everyone just thought their personal choices were so small as to make no impact then we may as well just give up. Nobody would ever vote for example, since it's just 1 person and unlikely to ever make a difference, but we do because we know collectively we can make a change.


FizzyBns

"What difference can one person make?" said 7 billion people...


KingRookKnight

Our personal choices are NOT irrelevant. Companies are influenced by our buying behaviour. They follow the money. If people go vegan, for example, food manufacturers will start producing more vegan foods, which are generally better for the environment.


SmilesDefyGravity

The biggest most important thing, imo, is to stop voting for the conservative party. It doesn't matter how strong their will to address this is, the actions needed are fundamentally at odds with "business as usual" and the profit structure in general. It will never get addressed under Tory rule.


Bicolore

Don't have kids or a dog. Upsetting for a lot of people but the most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is simply not to reproduce.


Sht_Hawk

I understand, and agree with, no or less kids. But what's the deal with dogs?


Euphoric-Orchid488

Its not something I had considered before but I think the idea is, they are still a consumer, they still use resources. We need less consumption.


LordAnubis12

Mostly their food which is meat intensive, plus they produce methane.


mdzmdz

According to Qi >Keeping a dog has the same environmental impact as owning two Toyota Land Cruisers (including both the making and using of the car), or even more if it is a large dog like a German shepherd, because they eat so much meat. Meat needs more land to be used to make it than plant crops. It takes 43 square metres of land to generate 1kg of chicken, much more for other meats, but only 13 square metres for a 1kg of cereal. Other pets also do damage. For example, a cat has the same impact as a Volkswagen Golf and two hamsters have the same impact as a plasma screen TV.


workathomewriter

Dogs can't be anywhere near as bad as kids? You can control what they eat, whether they reproduce, etc, so it should be possible to keep the impact quite limited. They don't even have a biological need to eat meat (unlike cats).


Deif

Funding the breeding industry is probably the significant part. Owning a rescue dog is obviously fine and better.


letmeout95

Agreed.


UnOpenedCan

Nothing. You cant do a thing tbh. Just have a look at the amount of shit that goes into the air from cars, planes, boats etc. The pollution from factories world wide. The constant raping of natural resources etc. Me standing at the sink for 20 minutes, trying to get marmite out of the jar to recycle it is doing fuck all when they are dumping shit all over out planet and atmosphere. By all means recycle etc but lets not get any grand illusions. It really adds up to nothing but at least you made an effort.


LordAnubis12

Perhaps the biggest sign of how much the problem lies with policy is the image of someone in a diesel SUV proud to "do their bit" by driving their glass to the recycling center...


dollarfrom15c

This is incredibly untrue. You can cut your personal energy expenditure (including transport, heating, consumption etc) by 40-45% relatively easily. Key things are to turn down the thermostat to 15 degC, stop flying frequently and/or long distance, drive less and buy an EV, buy less, avoid packaged goods as much as possible, and go vegetarian. Obviously climate change requires global policy decisions but there are absolutely things we can do as individuals to make a difference.


kunstlich

>Obviously climate change requires global policy decisions Until those are made, any milquetoast personal lifestyle changes are wholly irrelevant.


JBCoverArt

Here's my thoughts below, and things I will live by. Will it help much against climate change? No idea to be honest, and I agree with /u/inked_idiot_boy that companies and governments have a lot more power and influence in that space, but short-term profits tend to outweigh long-term ethical considerations. In any case I say do what you can but don't drive yourself crazy over it. I've long assumed we went past whatever tipping points we've been told about years ago. I also feel like the freedom to care about the long-term planet of the health is sadly something of a privelege in a world where so many people are struggling just to get by, and picking any kind of eco-friendly option costs more. So again, do what you can but don't go crazy over it. * If you drive, choose a hybrid or electric vehicle. * Cut back on the meals with meat in it. I'm no angel, but I at least try to keep it down to 3/4 meals with meat in it per week nowadays. Sure, I could do better eventually but we're talking about changing habits of a lifetime. Use leftovers, whatever it is if you can. Might be a weird breakfast/lunch but hey it saves you money too. Alternatively, change out the meats you do have for ones that have a lower overall impact. * Get into good habits if you don't have them already. Don't leave a TV on in the background if you're not actually watching it. Use the auto-sleep functions on other electronics. Don't just leave your work computer on or whatever as you saunter off for the evening/weekend. Turn things off. * Buy less. If something pops up that you *want* in life, put it on a wishlist or whatever for a couple of weeks. Still want it by then? Maybe check out second hand options before looking at brand new. If you don't want it by then, drop it off your wishlists and carry on wit life. It gives you a time to avoid impulse purchasing too much prepackaged landfill. (And a lot of the shit being sold does feel like pre-packaged landfill). * When it comes to gifts for people, I give them money, unless there's something they've specifically asked for. What's the use in giving someone a gloss laminate box with foil all around it, a plastic blister on the inside holding some *absolute tat* in there, if their next step will just be to throw it all away? * The big one, in my view. If you have any influence over certain areas in your employer's business, see what eco-friendly alternatives exist. If you're mailing a lot of stuff, get away from anything involving plastic already. If you get materials printed up there are options for fully or partly-recycled printed stock. If it's dealing with manufacturing, see if you can talk people out of plastic blisters and use pulp instead. Yes all these things mean extra cost and it might be a hard sell, but if your company is producing thousands of products on a monthly basis then just changing one small thing there is probably going to have a way bigger effect than your entire lifetime will on rinsing out the tins of beans you eat.


miffyonabike

Stop. Voting. Conservative. Seriously, stop it.


bibbons1

Stop voting Tory, bro.


Tired3520

I don’t eat meat anymore (gave up 18 months ago on advice of a doctor and it has had a profoundly positive effect on my fatigue levels!). Plant meat can be amazing as an alternative, or as a transitional tool (try Cauldron sausages, Vivera mince, quorn chicken pieces, Linda McCartney mozzarella burgers, Vivera bacon etc). Reduced my dairy intake - although I’m still searching for a decent alternative to cheese, but the likes of milk is easy to change. And many companies produce plant cream these days. Don’t buy/consume as much - think about whether you really need it. Think about how long it will last. If you do really need it, buy it to last. Little things like swapping plastic to glass (think ketchup, Mayo jars etc). Walk more - use cars less if possible. Research businesses who are more eco/ethical. Think banks. It’s quite easy to find the info online. Look into energy companies like Octopus and swap over to them. Buy organic whenever possible (watch Kiss The Ground on Netflix - it will change the way you think about farming and it’s effect on the environment). The onus should be on governments and big companies, but if you start to change your own personal ways, big change will happen in the end - it has to!


Deif

Cheese is pretty hard. Theres 2 that I've found to be pretty good - Sheesh and there's an applewood smoked cheddar in Tesco's. Unless you're looking for stuff like blue cheese then I haven't really found anything for that.


Tired3520

I did try one of the applewood ones, but I found it tasted like bacon. Now I like the taste of bacon, but not in my cheese! I’ll give the sheesh a go. Thanks x


Murka-Lurka

Plant trees. Rip up decking and artificial grass and replace it with plants.


Square-Image-6879

We've had summers like this for decades... the summer of 1976 is a well known example. Some are hotter than others. I'm not denying climate change (in fact I agree with you that more needs to be done, by everyone), but your post seems like a bit of a knee jerk reaction. To provide an answer to your question, if everyone enacts small changes, routinely and consistently, it will make a difference. Recycling, use of public transport/walking, switching from gas boilers, reducing excess water usage. Awareness of global warming and an understanding of what you can do to make a difference is the first step.


_MildlyMisanthropic

We have had summers like this for decades, but I think 5 separate heat domes in the Northern hemisphere at the same time is a relatively rare phenomenon.


R9281

You can't do anything personally that will have a tangible effect. The vast majority of emissions are caused by the energy industry. That is, production of energy, production of goods and materials, and transportation means. Electric cars will help but ONLY once the electricity source is renewable and ONLY when the physical manufacture of the electric car also has a low carbon footprint (it is still very high). This will require electrifying the manufacturing industry at some point. People miss this out. There needs to be a dedicated effort to drive manufacturing (iron + steel mainly) and large transportation (ships, aviation, lorries) to electricity. All well and good turning vegan but the key is the energy industry as this is a massive proportion of global emissions.


dollarfrom15c

Electric cars are already much, much more efficient than petrol cars in terms of overall energy consumption per passenger km, even factoring in the energy cost of producing electricity at the plant. An electric car uses about 15 kWh per 100 passenger-km whereas a petrol car uses about 80 kWh per passenger-km (2008 vals so EVs will only have got more efficient since then).


_MildlyMisanthropic

use your car less. Eat less meat. Buy local. Recycle as much as you can. Sure, it's a drop in the ocean compared to the effort needed, but the ocean is made up of millions of drops.


gwvr47

Can people please stop touting battery powered cars as a solution to this. Look at the environmental damage caused by mining the nickel and producing the acid, it's on the same level as petrol for damage. You're not reducing your emissions, you're shipping them off shore. This is ignoring the elephant in the room that is where the power is coming from. As an alternative: look into hydrogen powered cars. There's 3 sorts of hydrogen generation of which green and purple (blue is the third and isn't particularly good) would provide fuel for cars without the environmental impact of batteries. Purple hydrogen is particularly interesting, it is produced as a biproduct in certain types of nuclear reactors. We'd still have to solve the electrical power generation in the first place but this is occurring anyway. Sorry, this is a bit of a side track but read about batteries. They're full of nasty nasty stuff and we can't dispose of them and they break after 10 years. Hydrogen has none of these issues.


MettySwinge

Personally? Nothing. As a person you're responsible for an infinitesimally small percentage of the emissions. If you went fully carbon neutral tomorrow, it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference. There is no 1 single answer. The agriculture industries, meat, milk, etc aren't the answer. Vegan isn't necessarily better, an Avocado getting to your plate has 846g of C02, twice as much as a KILO of Bananas. Driving EV's won't fix anything, even if the energy is fully sustainable, the production of the elements are still more damaging to the environment than an ICE car. The only way things can change is hold the biggest 100 global companies to account. If Ballbag Bezos can afford to fuck about in a dick shaped space pod, then he can commit to reducing Amazons carbon footprint. Shell can easily reduce their footprint by using more renewal/sustainable methods. In the UK we can switch cars to bio-fuels, which are a more sustainable fuel, resulting in less cars running on squished dinosaurs. TL;DR. As a person, nothing. Holding companies to account may yield tangible changes, but needs to be a global approach. The UK is just to small to make real world changes.


HappyBrenKent

The social science behind Extinction Rebellion remains that, very simply, every major societal change in the Cvil Rights movement, (plus Indian independence, etc.), occurred once a critical mass of the public were arrested at the same time. It is calculated that if only 5000 people were arrested over one weekend (out of the UK population of >65m) it would be enough to get the issue to the top of UK policy immediately. I got myself arrested and will be doing so again. My person arrested before me was a retired Police Detective Constable, the one behind me was a teacher, I used to work in the City as an analyst. The media love portraying XR people as unwashed layabouts, having marched with them I can assure you nothing is further from the truth. They all were well educated and were informed of the scientific evidence. So, if you want to make a difference forget voting, petitions, and doing more recycling. The only way to rapidly change the trajectory we are on is to be arrested and encourage everyone you know to do so. I strongly suggest watching on YT the video of "Roger Hallam at Penzance". He's a founder member of XR and a Social Scientist who explains matters very well during a public seminar. Love and Rage


NaniFarRoad

Getting arrested is not an option for those who are carers or have a residence status/job that is dependent on maintaining a clean police record.. Or anyone who's got history of being targeted by the police. Sure, if you are retired, from a privileged social group, or have no dependants go ahead - use your privilege. But many, many people cannot use this option - the consequences are too great.


hothead125

They would all agree with you, I think they’re using their privilege for a good cause


kitgreg

My girlfriend and I are actively looking for carbon neutral companies or even negative and utilising their services as much as possible. Try to avoid big corp as much as possible!