9 things you can do about the climate emergency

Many people ask, what can I do personally about climate change? And how does this fit into the bigger picture? Using your voice as a consumer, a customer, a voter and an active citizen, will lead to changes on a much grander scale.

1. Make your voice heard by those in power

Politicians are not mind-readers and whichever party you voted for in the last general election, our MP represents all of us. It’s up to us to contact our politicians and tell them what we think is important. A short letter or email is fine!

Contact: Mike Amesbury, 100 River Walk, Shopping City, Runcorn, WA7 2BX. Telephone: 01928 620061

Email: mike.amesbury.mp@parliament.uk

Ruth says, “I make my voice heard by signing petitions, such as those sent by `Friends of the Earth` and the `Cheshire Wildlife Trust` and by writing to our MP.

2. Eat less meat and dairy

For most of us, shifting to a more plant-based diet and reducing meat intake is probably the single biggest action we can take to reduce our impact on the environment. Save the planet, one meal at a time.

Helen and her family now avoid eating meat and dairy products. 

She says that “oat milk tastes great on cereal”.

3. Cut back on flying - or don`t fly at all!

Did you know that one transatlantic flight could generate more carbon than eating meat for a whole year? Search “Flight Free UK” for more info.

4. Walk or cycle more

Many local journeys do not need a car. Leaving it at home means fewer carbon emissions, less pollution and it's a good way of getting more exercise.

Sian says, “one of my actions has been to leave the car at home for journeys under 1 km, that’s about a 10 minute walk.”

5. Reduce your energy use, and bills

Small changes like turning off lights, replacing bulbs with LEDs and not overfilling your kettle will help you use less energy, cutting your carbon footprint and your bills. There is lots of advice and support available to make your home more energy efficient. 

Chris and Christine both recommend the Carbon Co-op, a not-for-profit organisation working to promote and assist homeowners with retrofits to improve their comfort and carbon performance.

6. Respect and protect green spaces

Green spaces such as woodland, parks and gardens are important. They absorb carbon dioxide, filter pollution and support the ecosystem that we all rely on.

7. Invest your money wisely

Find out where your money goes. Voice your concerns about responsible investment by writing to your bank or pension provider, and ask to opt out of funds investing in fossil fuels.

8. Cut consumption – and waste

Everything we buy has a carbon footprint, which includes its production, shipping and use. The best way to reduce waste is to not buy in the first place!

Sian says, “I have been buying second hand when I can, which means I can afford to buy better quality when I really need to buy something new.”

9. Talk about the changes you make

As you make these positive changes to reduce your environmental impact, share your experience with your family, friends, customers and clients. Don’t lose friends over it, Instead, talk positively, and be honest about the ups and downs.

Helen says, “We are saving both carbon and money by buying less, wasting as little as we can and reducing our car use. We talk to our children about it too, which I also think is important.”

These 9 things you can do about climate change have been adapted from the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London. ​