Scientists are agreed that the last time there was this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 3 million years ago. We need to drastically cut our carbon emissions to reduce the impact of climate change. Businesses and governments will need to make the biggest changes. But we all have a role to play and there are things that individuals can do to live a net zero lifestyle.
Lots of our daily activities like driving a car, heating our homes, or even eating a burger emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. But carbon can also be absorbed by the earth through grass, peatlands and the ocean.
Global leaders want to stop the earth from warming by 2 degrees so they are aiming to reach net zero by around 2050. That will mean we will be putting as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as we take out. So how can we all do our bit to help the world become carbon neutral?
Here are some tips from environmental activists and from us at Vegan Green Bee on how we can all have an impact by making changes, be they large or small.
SOLID SHAMPOO BARS SAVE MONEY AND REDUCE PLASTIC USE
1. Think about changing to a plant-based diet and using more eco-friendly products. Trying #veganuary is a good start with your diet as one quarter of global emissions come from food, in particular from farmed livestock such as cows and sheep due to the methane gas they produce. Try to shop locally and avoid imported foods – use fruit and vegetables that are in season. There are plenty of fruit and veg box providers out there that deliver and as a family we have personally swapped to shopping this way since the pandemic.
Swap what you use on a daily basis, for example your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one. Plastic toothbrushes take around 400 years to break down in landfill and release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Swapping to a bamboo toothbrush cuts plastic waste in the ocean reducing the harmful effects on marine life. Bamboo is compostable and biodegradable if it goes into landfill.
Use a solid shampoo bar such as our Handmade Lemongrass Essential Oil or our Handmade Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil Shampoo Bars instead of shampoo from a plastic bottle – it saves you money too as it lasts twice as long as its liquid equivalent.
2. Look at your energy supplier. Switch to a renewable energy provider that uses solar or wind power. Gas and coal still represent up to 60 percent of global energy supply, however the share of renewables is almost 27 percent and growing. Go onto https://www.moneysupermarket.com/gas-and-electricity/green-energy/ to find out how you could switch to a renewable supplier.
3. Switch your bank to one that doesn’t invest your money in fossil fuels. According to EthicalNet the UK’s big five banks (Barclays, HSBC, RBS/Natwest, Lloyds and Santander) have a history of supporting fossil fuels. A report by GoFossilFree.org asked these banks about their relation to fossil fuels and they either did not disclose the information, refused to show their policies or openly support fracking. Instead check out the following banks: Starling, Triodos, The Cooperative Bank, Charity Bank, Monzo, Atom Bank and Revolut.
BURN THAT TYRE!
4. Consider leaving your car at home and walk or cycle to work – both super low impact on the environment and great for your health. Cutting out flights is the biggest win for the planet – during the pandemic the use of air travel has dropped by an incredible 66 percent.
5. Think of other small things you can do. Repair torn or damaged clothes with a quick stitch of your needle and thread. Send what you don’t wear to charity shops or sell them on Depop https://www.depop.com/ and donate the money to charity.
Depending on which country we live in our carbon footprints are different. But we all have a role to play in combatting climate change. Make 2021 the year to contribute in a meaningful way be it via small or large changes and #bealittlemoreveganeveryday