My closest friends know I am passionate about reversing global warming. But until now I haven’t written about this topic on the blog. Partly because I wanted to learn as much as possible about the subject before putting my thoughts out there and partly because it’s such a big issue, it’s hard to know where to start!
Below is a post I started writing at 2am while travelling in Tokyo a few months ago. I was reading ‘Uninhabitable Earth’ by David Wallace-Wells which had a deep and lasting effect on my thinking. While there is still so much to learn, I am excited to start sharing some of this knowledge with you.
Positive change is always possible. But it’s up to us to make it happen.
According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we have until 2030 to reduce global carbon emissions by 50% to have any chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. If we go any higher, some really bad shit starts to happen.
The entire fate of the world lies in the hands of our generation.
At 2 degrees of global warming, several hundred million more people are susceptible to climate-related risks and poverty. They’ll need somewhere to go when their countries are too hot to live in.
A million people leaving Syria caused a massive refugee situation in Europe. What will happen when 100 million people are displaced by climate change?
Global warming can feel like an overwhelming problem
It’s fair to ask, will personal changes really help? Aren’t we screwed unless governments choose to act? What difference can one person make?
The key point to remember is that governments are reactive, not proactive. They will make policy changes if the population demands them loudly enough.
Every day you make choices with your wallet, your actions and your conversations. If enough of us commit to meaningful personal changes, then change as a society and as a country is inevitable.
There are always bad things happening around the world. Why is this any different?
Climate change is actually something you can help. You can’t do much to stop mass shootings in America but you can fight global warming.
You can help. Right now. Today.
50 ways you can help reverse global warming… (31 of them are free)
Wall/fridge checklist coming soon.
How many can you tick off already? How many more can you achieve today?
You may not agree with all of these suggestions and that’s totally ok too. The goal is to focus on what you can do, not what you object to.
- Listen to the song ‘We love the earth’. My kid loves this jam (search for the clean version if you don’t like swearing).
- Sign a climate petition.
- Use the ‘Ecosia’ search engine. Get this free browser extension and plant trees with every search. Make it your default search engine and make sure you get the app on your phone too! According to Ecosia, approximately 45 searches results in a new tree being planted.
- Switch to a 100% renewable electricity company.
- Buy these jandals.
- Start a compost bin at home. Note: The easiest way to make this a regular family habit is to have a small compost bin in your kitchen and then empty it into your bigger outdoor bin once every few days. This way you aren’t running outside every 5 minutes with a banana peel.
- Make your veggie shopping plastic-free. Tip: take your grapes out of those crappy plastic bags and leave the bag at the supermarket to show you don’t want it.
- Buy locally grown food – take notice of where fruit comes from – check stickers/labels.
- Visit a beach and ponder how sad it would be for it to disappear.
- Watch Cowspiracy (a documentary available on Netflix).
- Follow 350.org on Facebook.
- Read an article about climate change. Understand the issue.
- Have a red meat-free day.
- Have a dairy-free day.
- Donate to Cool Earth.
- Encourage others to eat less red meat and dairy. Buy someone an almond or coconut milk flat white.
- Commit to making the next car you buy an electric one (or at least a hybrid). Click here to search for electric cars on trademe.
- Start the process of switching to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels.
- Bike instead of drive somewhere.
- Become a member of the Green Party (cost: $30). This helps them get more funding. Free alternative: join their email list.
- Visit a vegan restaurant (and if you live in Wellington, come to the Vegan Market).
- Attend a demonstration in your town or the nearest city. Example: Extinction rebellion meets outside Wellington parliament buildings every Friday from 12 – 2pm.
- Write to your local Member of Parliament. Click here for an example.
- Read the book, ‘Uninhabitable Earth’ by David Wallace-Wells.
- Talk to family and friends about climate change.
- Commit to doing meat-free Mondays.
- Ride public transport to work or an event when you normally would have driven.
- Walk somewhere local when you normally would have driven (like school, kindergarten, or a local shop).
- Vote for Green candidates at the next local or national election.
- Challenge someone who says it’s a myth or that climate change is just the world ‘running its natural course’.
- Plant a tree.
- Donate to solaraid.
- Donate a tree via an organisation like trees that count.
- Gift a tree to a friend or family member when you normally would have bought a gift wrapped in plastic.
- Carpool to work one day.
- Bake your own bread – a great way to avoid single-use plastic packaging.
- Shop at Bin Inn or somewhere like the Hopper home eco shop.
- Don’t buy water in plastic bottles. You could install a home water filter instead.
- Buy second-hand furniture – avoid packaging and lower your carbon footprint.
- Shop at a second-hand store (for clothing, homewares etc).
- Encourage your office to buy recycled paper. It’s about the same price and works just as well.
- Turn off lights around your home or work to save power.
- Suggest a regular weekly ‘car-free day’ at work.
- Watch Before the Flood.
- Carry reusable bags in your car at all times.
- Install draught stoppers.
- Grow your own veggies/plant some spinach.
- Pick up rubbish at a beach.
- Workout your impact – Calculate your ecological footprint and personal overshoot day.
- Share this post!
What you can do about climate change (Ministry for the Environment)