A Changing World - What can I do?


Climate Change – what can I do?

Wildfires are getting angrier and more ferocious.  Many of us will have been horrified by events in the Amazon this summer.  Indonesia, Greece, and Siberia have all suffered too.  Australia is seeing some of the most ferocious wildfires in its history.  In one area of Australia, it's estimated that half of the koala population have been killed by wildfires.

Flooding is destroying the lives of more and more people and animals.

Wildfires aren’t new, nor is flooding.  If you look at the Amazon, there always are wildfires.  But this year, there 85% more wildfires than usual.

Our climate has always changed, of course it has – and it’s changing faster now than ever before.  Human activities are disturbing and destroying nature.  The creation of the HS2 railway in the UK will destroy ancient woodland.  It cannot be replaced.   This is all devastating our natural world.  So what can each of us do to help?

There are plenty of possible actions we can all take. 

The problem is that they aren’t always practical or possible for each of us to carry out.  Some people can easily reduce the car journeys they do and walk or take public transport or cycle instead.  But for others, it’s impossible, perhaps because of where they live and where they need to get to or because of their own personal situation. 

And the choice of things you can do can be utterly overwhelming – you ask yourself, where do I start?  

So here’s a plan to help you decide what you could do and what action you will take, something that will work for you and your life, and not because it’s "on a list".

What are you doing now?

Work out what you are doing that takes impacts on the planet and you'll be better placed to work out how you can lessen that impact.

So start investigating your own lifestyle and your own daily habits.  What are you doing NOW that impacts on the planet?  Look at a footprint calculator and find out what your footprint is.  Calculators may cover things such as your lifestyle, your home and garden, your travel around every year etc. 

What actions COULD you take?

Many carbon calculators will give you suggestions of how you can lessen your impact.  At this point you could:

  • Pick things from their list and identify what you’re going to do from it
  • Think about other ways you can change the situation which will work for you
  • Research other ways to reduce your impact and then come up with your own list of possibilities e.g. walk, take the bus or offer a car share service with other people from my village to the station. 

Remember ideas such as car sharing may not work every day – but if it works once or twice a week, that’s got to be better than nothing.

Live Green from the National Trust for Scotland
Live Green
52 Steps for a more Sustainable Life
from the National Trust for Scotland

What actions WILL you take?

  • Identify which actions are you going to commit to.  What are you most likely to stick to?  What other benefits could there be to you personally to committing to a change?  Who else will benefit? 
  • Get started and take action straight away
  • And if you fall of doing it (i.e. forget to do it), don’t berate yourself.  It takes 21 days to change a habit, and there are bound to be lapses.  Forgive yourself and just try again. 

Getting others on board…

You don’t have to bang the climate change drum and annoy people who don’t believe in it and/or don’t care.  Be the change you want to see in the world, as Gandhi said. 

Do something for a cause you believe in, and it can give you a purpose in life that gives you an extra spring in your step during the day, or when you get up in the morning.  And that will produce a change in you and your self-belief that you are empowering yourself to take action.  It’s that change in you may well inspire others to take action. 

Give yourself the power of action.   Drive change.

Give your garden wildlife attracting flowers and plants

Give your garden wildlife attracting flowers and plants
You don't need a big garden to make a difference.