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How can I help fight the climate crisis?

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23 Aug 2022

This summer has seen record breaking temperatures in Britain, with a staggering 40.3C recorded at Coningsby in Lincolnshire on 19 July 2022. It was a huge jump from the previous record of 38.7C set in 2019 and caught the public’s attention like never before.

This heatwave, coupled with the wildfires raging in Spain and France from scorching temperatures, will hopefully prove to be a key moment in raising awareness of the seriousness of the climate crisis in terms of media coverage.

As the climate crisis intensifies, we can all feel a bit helpless – after all, what impact can individuals really make in solving this worldwide problem?

There’s no denying that coordinated international action on a governmental level is needed – but that doesn’t mean our actions and voices are irrelevant. In fact, we believe individual action is more important now than it’s ever been.

Here are some effective ways in which you can help to fight the climate crisis across our four pillars of energy, transport, food and nature.

smart
Energy

Our mission is to end fossil fuels. As long as we keep burning them, things are going to keep on getting worse. It’s that simple.

Three things you can do to take action:

Choose a deep green energy supplier. Greenwashing – making things seem greener than they really are – is rife in the energy industry. Ask how much of your energy bill will be spent on building new sources of green energy. The more the better. If the answer is none, you’ve been greenwashed.

Insulate your home. This will help you save money as well as the planet. Britain’s housing stock is notoriously leaky when it comes to heat, so make sure you’ve got as much insulation in place before winter arrives.

Install a smart meter. Smart meters are an essential part of our journey to net zero. They can help you take control of your energy, make the national grid smarter and more efficient, smooth out bumps in energy demand so more green energy is used, and enable you to export your own electricity to the grid.

transport
Transport

The way we travel and move goods around accounts for around a fifth of global CO2 emissions. The move to electric vehicles is essential and while it’s picking up speed, it’s not a magic wand. We need to fundamentally change the way we travel.

Three things you can do to take action:

Fly and drive less. It seems obvious today but it’s only relatively recently that it’s entered mainstream thinking. There’s no need to travel for a business meeting when you can do it online. Every time you choose not to fly or drive, you make a direct contribution to the fight against the climate crisis.

Go electric or train it. If you have to travel, can you use an electric vehicle or go by train? Can you carshare? If your company has company cars, can they switch to EVs? Can they introduce a rail season ticket loan for people who need them?

Walking and cycling. These are the best forms of transport for the planet and – if they suit your needs - they’ll keep you fit. If you live somewhere really hilly or the commute feels just too far, think about an electric bike. Can your workplace help with bike loans and showers for people who want to cycle in?

food
Food

Livestock farming is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions in the UK and around the world. It uses 83 per cent of all farmland globally but provides just 18 per cent of the calories we eat.

To tackle the climate crisis, we – that’s humanity as a whole – have to eat less meat.

Three things you can do to take action:

Eat less meat. Or go vegetarian. Or even better, go vegan. The flood of vegetarian and vegan foods on our shop shelves hasn’t come about through the goodness of supermarket CEOs’ hearts. They’re there because individuals want them and will buy them, so as well as cutting your own impact, you’re adding momentum to the movement to eat less meat.

Choose a vegan energy supplier. Livestock and other animals don’t just end up on our plates, they’re processed to create energy. We don’t think this is right, which is why we’re the only energy company in the world to be certified as vegan by both The Vegan Society and Viva!.

Think about where it’s been. Before you make a decision or buy something, think about how it has got to you. Food miles aren’t as vital as eating less meat but they still make a difference, particularly when it comes to air freight. Plus, when you choose locally produced food, it encourages more of the same, creating a virtuous circle.

nature
Nature

We focus on energy, transport and food because they’re the areas that emit the most greenhouse gases, and worsen the climate crisis. But to create a truly green Britain, we also need to take action on nature and wildlife, which is under threat both from the climate crisis and the way we build on and use our green spaces.

Three things you can do to take action:

Think local. You can make a huge difference for wildlife in your own back garden or window box. Plant pollinator friendly flowers, put out food for overwintering birds, stop mowing your lawn and get comfortable with nature.

Go plastic free. Plastic is everywhere in our oceans. Sea Shepherd, our marine conservation activist partners, estimate that we’re adding eight million tonnes of plastic to the oceans every year. So cut out plastics wherever you can and help the shops and supermarkets understand that people don’t want this stuff in their lives any more.

Switch your SIM. We can’t resist mentioning Ecotalk + RSPB, our green mobile phone service. All the profits go to buying back land for nature – so every time you use your phone, you’re helping wildlife in Britain.

Going even further

All these individual actions create positive change in the world. Think about green energy, vegan food, electric vehicles – they’ve all become mainstream over the past 20 years because individuals pushed for them and created demand that made companies take notice.

Three things you can do to take action:

Join one of our partners. Building a green Britain isn’t something we can do alone. We partner with organisations who share our values. The likes of Friends of the Earth, The Vegan Society, Sea Shepherd, CND and RSPB are all working for a green future and they will always make good use of your help.

Choose ethical banking. An ethical bank is one that helps you manage your money, while making sure you’re not unknowingly supporting planet-harming industries. Our partner Triodos Bank helped finance our first windmill – they refuse to finance polluting fossil fuels, and regularly top ethical banking rankings.

Vote wisely. Politics can be intensely tribal but the climate crisis is simply more important. Whether it’s local or national government, it’s time for all of us to do our research on the candidates who will use their positions to genuinely tackle the climate crisis – and vote for them.

To find out how much carbon your Energy, Transport and Food generates each year, use our Carbon Footprint Calculator. You can then take simple steps to reduce or offset your personal or household impact.

Click here to sign up to our newsletter and find out more about how we invest the profits from our customer's bills into building a greener Britain!

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Climate Clock

The Climate Clock is a version of the Doomsday clock that has been running since 1947 - this tracks the risk of global man-made disaster, through man made technology (like nuclear weapons) - displaying the minutes and seconds left before midnight, when disaster strikes. The climate crisis is a small part of the calculations made.
The climate clock uses a similar approach, but, focuses only on the climate crisis - which is the biggest and most urgent existential threat we face.
"The Climate Clock is a countdown to the biggest man-made disaster we face - but also a measure by which we can track our progress - moving from fossil to renewable energy. It shows we have no time to lose - the clock is ticking…" Dale Vince, OBE.