Changes to our climate are irreversible. These have been brought about by over two hundred years of man-made damage to our environment. Years of burning fossil fuels, using harmful gasses and deforestation have put our world in a very vulnerable position. Scientists have even estimated that by the end of the 21st century, temperatures in the United Kingdom are set to rise to forty degrees Celsius.
Climate change affects everything in our lives, from where we get our food, to how much we pay for insurance. It is estimated that the effects of climate change will cost insurance companies hundreds of billions of pounds each year.
There are certain actions we can all take to help prevent further damage made to our environment. Read on to find out what you can do.
Make your Home more Energy efficient
The Government’s new Green Deal Home Improvement scheme allows you access to grant funding to improve your home’s efficiency. Forty percent of a home’s heat is lost through exterior walls and through the loft. Now you will be able to have access to loan money to help combat this problem.
Depending on what is recommended, you can opt for over forty different insulation measures, including cavity insulation and under floor heating.
The loan is paid back via the energy bills, and is attached to the home rather than the person who applied for the loan.
If you don’t own your home, your landlord will need to apply for a Green Deal assessor to come round and make recommendations.
You don’t even have to spend any money to make your home energy efficient. Simply closing doors to keep the heat in, and turning off appliances at the plug, will all go towards cost and energy savings for your home.
Consider Greener Travel options
If you live close to work, you could decide to save money, energy and get fit, by walking to your office. Even if you can’t manage it every day of the week, choosing to walk to work one day is better than none at all!
Would any of your colleagues consider a car share? This is a really great option to share the cost of parking and have a driving companion for your daily journey.
Even parking a little further away from your workplace, so you can walk the rest, is a step in the right direction. If everyone in the United Kingdom drove five miles less a week, they would jointly save over one billion pounds and three billion tonnes of CO2.
Not only is it great for your local economy, but buying local produce is a sure-fire way to combat fuel emissions.
Ten per cent of car journeys are made for food shopping. Even if it’s just for buying one or two items. It is also estimated that twenty-five per cent of lorries on motorways are transporting food items. One of the reasons for this is the change in our buying habits. We are no longer shopping in our local high street for food items. Instead, we are choosing to go to out-of-town supermarkets to purchase all of our items (and many of them are non-food) from under one roof.
Next time you are considering a food shop, write a list of items you want, and see how many you can source from your high street or local market.
Buying fruit and vegetables that are in season is often cheaper, and will taste better than produce that has travelled from across the world.
It may cost a little bit more money to buy food at your local farmers’ market. However, consider the quality of food you are buying, how you are supporting the local economy and doing your bit for the planet as well.
Always Recycle where you can
Landfill space is not infinite. Think carefully when you next throw something away. Could it be recycled? Or even better, could it be upcycled? An empty jam jar could be painted to create a garden tea light holder. Old clothing could be torn to make rags for cleaning.
Making new material from recycled sources uses less energy than if the source was brand new. Making paper from recycled pulp is more energy efficient than if it was made from wood. Less harmful emissions are released into the environment, making recycling a great way to make a positive impact on the planet.
As of 2015, larger supermarkets across the United Kingdom will be able to charge 5p per plastic bag. This new charge is expected to cause a seventy-five per cent reduction in plastic bag waste as people opt to bring their own bags.
You can purchase bags for life that are small enough to be kept in your handbag. These are great for unexpected shopping trips! The next time a cashier offers you a plastic bag, you can explain how you are doing your part for climate change by bringing your own bags.
If every individual on the planet took some responsibility for their impact on the environment, we would be well on our way to securing the future of our planet.
As advances in science change the way we are able to predict what our future environment might be like, and the costs we might pay, it is never too late to start making small changes to the way we live our lives today.
Gabriella Johnson is the Marketing Executive for Innasol an Essex based company which is dedicated to offering the most efficient and advanced renewable energy systems to the UK.