pollution

Habits of compassion at university and beyond

Heading off to university can be exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measure. There are lots of changes to get used to: having more independence, living away from home (maybe for the first time) and coping with your studies. With all of these things comes more responsibility and it certainly took me a little while to learn what this responsibility meant in terms of how I treat the planet and those with whom I share it.

For many people university is the first time that they begin to see what part they have to play in a global society. Once you have left the familiar surroundings of where you were brought up the world starts to seem like a much bigger place. All of our actions have consequences and as we start to take control of our own decisions we are able to choose to have a positive impact with these actions rather than detrimental ones.

This idea of everything we decide to do every single day having an impact on someone’s life somewhere else in the world can be overwhelming.

Or it can be so exciting! What if, as we head off to university and figure out what adulthood means for us, we commit to making a positive statement with our every action. We commit to standing up against modern day slavery, we commit to standing up for our planet and all of those people and animals across the world with whom we share it.

I will admit when I first arrived at university I had no idea about what this responsibility really meant for me. Just coping with all the changes seemed to be enough to deal with. I had never heard of living ‘zero waste’ and I was blind to the devastating effects our consumerist habits were having across the world. I had no idea of the issue of plastic and I certainly didn’t think anything of my rubbish once I had thrown it in the bin.

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Three years on and I am now so aware of how important it is to become aware of our responsibility as global citizens during these crucial years at university so that you can take those principals with you throughout the rest of your life. University is a time for having fun, for sure, for making friends and memories. But it is also a real time of moulding, and how incredible would it be if every university student graduated with a changed heart for the world around them and a sustainable view of consumerism? Our world would have a much better chance if this was the case!

I have been involved in an organisation called Just Love whilst studying and it has been such an integral part of helping me to understand how my actions effect our planet. I learnt about living ‘zero waste’, ended up running a Zero Waste Week and became so much more aware about how I can stand up against modern day slavery in the consumer choices I make. Do check them out – they might have a group running at your university!

So, as you settle in to your new university life or if you are facing final year what can you do to make a positive statement with each of your choices?

Don’t buy any more bottled water. Grab yourself a reusable, preferably metal, bottle and although it might seem pricey to start with it will save you money in the long run and the world will thank you. Check out these great brands: Klean Kanteen, Chillys and One Green Bottle. Watch this space for Glogg bottles too – coming in 2018!

That coffee that keeps you awake during lectures? Don’t let it harm the earth. Make a commitment to choosing Fairtrade and stand up against slavery and poor working conditions. The same goes for tea, chocolate (and many other things besides). If it costs a little more then maybe buy a little less. Standing up for the rights of your global neighbour is much more important. Invest in a reusable coffee cup too, the stats for the disposable type are pretty scary, we throw away 2.5 billion in the UK every year…

Realised you’ve left your warm jumper at home and the weather has turned? Before you make that purchase, think about who made it. Are you causing harm by supporting modern day slavery? Check what the retailer has to say about the supply chain, is it transparent? There are lots of great companies online who are committed to ethical fashion so do have a look – Annie Greenabelle, Thought, Birdsong, Sundried. Again, if they are a little more than you would usually spend on a student budget, just be happy with less. Don’t forget charity shops offer some great bargains too! On the topic of charity shops, I have found nearly all of my kitchen utensils in them. Much better for the environment than buying new and it can be fun to see what you can find – I’ve found cake tins, a colander, and ramekins!

Consumerism is having a detrimental effect on our planet, it’s time to start bucking the trend of materialism. Often it can be tempting when you’re living off a tight budget to just buy the cheapest option but what statement are you making about your attitude towards the planet by doing that?

When it comes to food, an absolute necessity for those hard-working brains, have a look to see what markets your university town boasts. Does it have a bulk shop? Don’t pollute the oceans with pointless plastic packaging, just don’t do it. Vegetables were meant to be free! I have found a great way of cooking cheaply, avoiding food waste and using up leftovers is to make soup. A great winter warmer too! There are thousands of recipes online or just throw whatever you have in your fridge together and enjoy the experimentation!

One final note. Think of all those laptops, tablets, and phones that students must own between them…that’s a lot right! Technology has become disposable too and it’s shocking when you think of where some of the metals come from to make these things. Slavery and conflict are so bound up with the mining for these metals, a lot of which happens in the developing world. Think hard about whether you really need that upgrade: could you grab a second hand deal or even invest in a Fairphone? When your phone really does give up do your research and find out where you can recycle it so the parts can be reused. The planet says thank you.

If you’re interested in reading more about supply chains and the impact on the environment of slavery to show just how much consumer choices do make a difference I would recommend Kevin Bales’ book, ‘Blood and Earth’.

Your university years might well be some of the best in your life (or that could just be a cliché) but one thing is for sure, the habits you make whilst there will stay with you. Let’s make those habits thoroughly earth-loving and compassionate to everyone we share this incredible world with.

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Did you know about these fantastic alternatives to plastic?

We all know that plastic has become a huge problem. We have seen the horrendous images of huge piles of plastic that have been dumped, the plastic that has been caught around marine life after making its way to our oceans, and generic public bins that have been filled with a mix of recyclable plastic and food waste. But it only takes one brisk walk around the local supermarket to see the huge amount of products that use plastic as part of their packaging, whether that be the plastic around vacuum packed toys, or the plastic that surrounds a packet of plum tomatoes. Plastic is everywhere, so how can we prevent this huge problem? The answer is a simple one, we reduce our plastic intake.

The good news is, with an increased awareness of what plastic is doing to our planet, a huge variety of companies and product manufacturers are working hard to use less plastic, and come up with plastic alternatives for every day products.

Why is plastic such a problem?

Although some plastics may seem worse than others, for example, surely the thick, sturdy packaging plastic that protects electrical products is worse than the very thin plastic that holds a pack of peppers, right? Well, although it is of course better to use far less plastic, all plastic is actually made of carbon, together with other materials, that are all heated, broken down and then built up again, to form a plastic resin that can be expertly shaped to fit any desired product packaging. This carbon comes from oil, which is a fossil fuel and is incredibly harmful to our planet.

The resources that plastic is made from are also non-renewable, which means that our current heavy reliance on them as an everyday product is not sustainable. Together with this, the processes that are used to create plastics are also very damaging to our environment, as they produce harmful gases which pollutes our air, land and water.

What does this mean about the future of our planet?

Plastics on earth have become a waste nightmare, mainly because the majority of them do not biodegrade. This means that instead of disintegrating over time, they instead remain intact, often for an infinite amount of years, before they start breaking down into smaller pieces. This is the reason why plastics are such a threat for our wildlife, both on land and in the ocean.

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What are the alternatives?

Although this may sound like a lot of doom and gloom, if we all do a little, by committing to making a few small changes, together we can achieve a lot.

As consciousness increases around the planet’s plastic problem, many companies are coming up with plastic alternatives whilst maintaining the quality of their original products. This means that you can still enjoy the benefits of using the items that you have always liked, without harming the planet. Below are just a few examples of every day products that now have excellent plastic-free alternatives.

Toothbrushes. Everyone uses a toothbrush, and everyone buys a new one after theirs has worn down every few months. So you can imagine just how many toothbrushes have been produced and purchased since the day that they were first invented. This also means that every single plastic toothbrush that has ever been produced is still intact somewhere on the planet; most likely in the ocean. I recently read a statistic which claimed that 1.3 billion toothbrushes are found in the sea every single year. Hearing this shocking statistic really startled me, and I went searching for alternatives immediately. Since that day I have been using toothbrushes made of bamboo, and even got one for each of my family members, who have been converted too! Bamboo toothbrushes are completely biodegradable, meaning that they just break down without harming the planet. And what’s great is that they work just as well as standard plastic toothbrushes, lasting just as long, working just as well and even being cheaper!

Single-use items. If we write down every single item that we use in a typical month, chances are that a lot of these are single-use plastic items that are easily avoidable if we are mindful. Just one example is coffee cups, which are now also being made from bamboo, are reusable, and some coffee shops are even offering discounts on hot drinks if you bring your own cup. These are becoming increasingly popular too, which means that they are being created in a stunning range of creative designs and colours. What’s not to like? As well as this is the plastic knife, fork and spoon that you get with your takeaway lunch. Next time you’re faced with this, ask yourself whether you really need those items that you will simply throw away after one use? Can you get your cutlery from the canteen at work? Or how about keeping a knife and fork from home in your bag to use whenever you need them?

And of course a major item is the plastic water bottle, of which 20,000 are currently being bought every second! I believe that in today’s world, there is just no need to buy single-use plastic bottles when there are so many great alternatives that come in sturdy material that can last years. And finally, single-use plastic bags. The 5p law in shops has been great for reducing our use of single-use carriers, but there is still a long way to go to eradicate plastic bags all together. With so many great canvas designs for fold-up bags that fit in any pocket, there’s no excuse to ever use a plastic bag again.

Plastic cotton buds. Perhaps not as obvious as other major plastic pollutants, cotton buds are a huge problem. I recently saw a very striking and thought provoking image which showed a beautiful little seahorse, with its tail wrapped around a plastic cotton bud. Whilst cotton buds are another common item, the alternative is really simple. You can now purchase cotton buds that look exactly the same, except the plastic part is made of paper.

Plastic wrapped vegetables. For me, there’s something fulfilling about going to a greengrocers and choosing my own vegetables, as opposed to picking up a multipack of pre-selected greens. Perhaps that feeling is just me being a little weird, but regardless, there is no real need for vegetables to be wrapped in the amount of plastic that they are. From a consumer’s point of view, it doesn’t even work out cheaper to buy multipacks, and by being selective, it means that it is a lot easier to only select the amount of fruit or vegetables that you know you will eat.

As you can see, there are many alternatives to everyday items that do not contain plastic, but work just as well. With all of the information that we now have available, together with the shocking images displaying the damage that our excessive plastic use is doing to our planet, now is the time to step up and make a change. If every single person changes just a few things in their daily plastic buying habits, it will have a huge impact on the future of our Earth.

What are you going to do?

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Are you ready for Zero Waste Week?

Every year the UK produces over 200 million tonnes of waste. With less than half of this figure being successfully recycled, we are still seeing an alarming amount of waste going into landfill, incinerators and even our oceans.

Single-use plastics are fast becoming one of the planet’s deadliest pollutants, remaining in our environment for between 400-1000 years. Instead of biodegrading, these plastics break down into smaller and smaller particles – especially in the ocean where they are subject to friction, salt and UV rays. Plastics then cause havoc at every level of the food-chain with even the tiniest micro-plastics being consumed by plankton. Plastic doesn’t just find it’s way into the food-chain from the bottom however, as countless larger animals also accidentally consume larger pieces. It’s worryingly easy to find stories online of whales discovered with stomachs full of plastic – from the beached whale in Spain who died from ingesting plastic waste, to the 13 sperm whales found dead in Germany with a variety of plastic items in each of their stomachs. Of course, it’s not just whales who suffer, as marine debris has been documented to affect more than 267 species worldwide, including turtles, dolphins, birds, fish, sea lions and many more.

Now take into account the tens of millions of barrels of oil used to produce these damaging plastic items in the first place, and we’ve got a serious environmental problem on our hands.

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We all know that recycling is a great way to minimise our impact on the environment, but there is a growing argument that emphasis needs to be put on reducing the amount of waste created in the first place. By making a few simple changes in our daily lives – such as not using plastic bags, plastic water bottles or other single use items – we can have a huge impact on the health of our planet and it’s inhabitants.

This is where Zero Waste Week comes in. Started in 2008 by Rachelle Strauss, Zero Waste Week is a grassroots campaign aimed at raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste and empowering participants to reduce waste in their daily lives. As well as helping householders and businesses audit their waste and recycle appropriate items, the campaign also seeks to encourage people to ditch single-use items, or to re-use them in creative ways.

Now in it’s tenth year the Zero Waste Week campaign is hugely popular all over the world, and for good reason. As more and more consumers are waking up to the damage caused by plastics and other non-recyclable materials, there is a growing desire to do more, and use less. Whilst many retailers are slow to warm-up to this trend, there are at least some forward thinking businesses who are shunning the unnecessary plastic wrapping and going greener for the environment.

Zero Waste Week runs from the 4th to the 8th of September, but it’s not about making changes for just one week. It’s about looking at what we waste – be it plastics, food, clothing or household items – and making positive lifestyle changes for the sake of the planet.

As the oft-mentioned 2050 approaches, bringing with it a raft of terrifying environmental predictions, it’s time for significant improvements to be made. Inactivity will only make things worse, and waiting for businesses or governments to lead the way will not bring positive change soon enough. It’s therefore up to each and every one of us to do what we can to reduce the amount of waste entering our environment, and to control what materials we are using in our homes.

Get Involved

Joining Zero Waste Week is a great way to kick-start your journey into a less wasteful lifestyle. Simply click here to sign up to the Zero Waste Week community, and get daily newsletters throughout the week itself, as well as a free e-book and regular updates and tips throughout the year.

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Plastic pollution: what is it doing to our oceans?

As I settled down to watch the new Netflix documentary ‘Chasing Coral’, the follow up to ‘Chasing Ice’ I was feeling a little apprehensive about what I would learn. I knew one thing for sure, I was very excited to see the acclaimed camera skills, stunning colours of the ocean, and fascinating sea creatures, but what I would discover underneath all that was the very visual realisation of what is happening beneath the ocean, a place that not many of us fully understand.

Whilst the main reason behind the dramatic devastation of the corals in the documentary was due to coral bleaching caused by climate change, another key influence that is destroying our oceans is plastic. And I believe that reducing our plastic consumption is something that each of us can do very easily, which can make a huge impact. So that is what I am going to discuss today.

Like most people, I knew that plastic is rapidly damaging our planet, I knew that we do not use the planet’s natural resources sustainably enough, and I knew that there are many alternatives to plastic that we are not utilising. But until recently I did not fully understand the full extent of the damage that using so much plastic is doing to our planet. And the major factor that makes plastic pollution so damaging is the fact that it simply does not break down, and actually takes thousands of years for the smallest plastic product to decay.

What is plastic pollution?

When many of us think about the word ‘pollution’ we often envisage gas, fumes and smoke; the type of things that are caused by air pollution from excessive use of fossil fuels. But in fact, pollution is officially defined as “the introduction of harmful substances or products into the environment.” This leads us to understand that not only can an accumulation of any given product become pollution, but also that volumes of plastic have become so high on our planet that they are severely damaging our planet.

The recent news that an estimated 38 million pieces of plastic were discovered on an island almost entirely untouched by humans was a serious wake up call. Henderson Island is a tiny, uninhabited island located in the eastern South Pacific, and despite being one of the world’s most remote places, it was recently found to contain 99.8% pollution plastic, which equals to almost 18 tonnes.

Whilst scientists thought that the fact that this island is located in such a remote part of the world would safeguard it from plastic pollution, sadly this was not the case. Although no people live on the island, it is home to many creatures that are essential to the ecosystem, but are seriously affected by the plastic that has washed up in their home. Hundreds of crabs were found to be living in discarded plastic items such as bottle caps, and even a doll’s head.

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What is plastic doing to our wildlife?

Currently, plastic pollution statistics state that one rubbish truck full of plastic is being dumped into the ocean every single minute. On top of this, when plastic is taken to rubbish dumps and landfill sites, the pollutants that are in the plastics eventually get released into the surrounding earth, which over time affects both wildlife and ground water leading to the ocean for many years.

While we have all seen photos of various fish in the ocean being tangled in plastic rubbish, what we don’t often realise is that every single life in the ocean is affected by plastic pollution. Tiny organisms such as plankton are ingesting plastic, which poisons their system. This then results in a knock-on effect for all of the sea-life that rely on plankton for their own source of food, and so forth down the food chain, even up to the fish that we are consuming each day.

How does this affect us?

Each one of us is dependent on the health of the sea. Our oceans control the weather, climate, and are a source of life in itself. The huge body of water that covers 71% of our planet is what makes our planet unique within the universe. On top of this, our oceans contain 97% of the Earth’s water that is crucial for our survival, as well as being the main source of food for millions of people around the world.  On our planet, just our reefs alone are a source of income for over 500 million people.

What can we do about it?

Many people are under the illusion that because plastic is everywhere, we cannot avoid using it. And whilst there are currently no alternatives to some essential products that we use, there are many small and simple changes that we can all put in place to make a huge difference. Some examples of these are:

  • Use foldable cloth bags when you go shopping instead of disposable plastic ones
  • Don’t purchase items that come with lots of unnecessary plastic packaging
  • Ditch the disposable water bottles and instead purchase a refillable one
  • Be smart, and think ahead. When you decide to get lunch out, ask yourself whether you really need the plastic knife, fork and spoon that they hand out to you. Instead, can you use cutlery from your work canteen or bring in your own?
  • Recycle everything that you can. Look up the type of plastics that your local council allow you to recycle and make sure you stick to it
  • Purchase biodegradable products whenever you can. There are currently many every day items with these sustainable alternatives on the market, from cutlery to toothbrushes.

It is essential that we urgently reduce our plastic consumption, because as Underwater Photographer and founder of The Ocean Agency, Richard Vevers, stated in Chasing Coral, “Without a healthy ocean we do not have a healthy planet”.

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Going greener: everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. Despite what some climate change deniers may say, experts in the field state that this trend is accelerating.

Global warming caused by climate change is the biggest threat our planet and population faces at this time. Already we are witnessing the early stages of what could be an unimaginable future for our planet if not dealt with today.

Even some of the more optimistic scientific predictions show a sharp increase in global temperature in the coming decades. The results of which will lead to a range of catastrophes including widespread flooding, species extinction, droughts and famine to name a few.

There’s no doubt that the most significant changes must come from policy makers, and that means we must continually apply pressure on politicians to make greener choices. Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement has already been widely condemned, and should hopefully demonstrate to any world leader that going backwards on climate change is unacceptable.

With so much control being in the hands of the few, is there anything that we can do as individuals to help curb emissions and global warming? Thankfully there is. By making a few changes to our everyday lives, we as a population have the power to do our share of good for the planet.

Around the home

An environmentally friendly lifestyle really does begin at home. Some of the most simple things can have a huge impact on your carbon footprint. It’s therefore vital to make conscious decisions around your house.

Replace any regular incandescent light bulbs with energy saving light bulbs. These tend to use up to 80% less energy. The same consideration should be given to purchasing new appliances too; look for labels showing the A+++ rating. This means the appliance is not only better for the environment, but should be cheaper to run than a less energy efficient model. And make sure you don’t leave those appliances in standby mode. On average UK households spend £30 a year powering appliances left in standby mode.

When it comes to your central heating, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a programmable thermostat installed. This makes it easier for you to control the temperature of your home, and thus saves you money whilst also being better for the environment. You can also turn your thermostat down just two degrees in the winter to save a huge amount of carbon dioxide emissions. If you’ve still got a hot water tank then make sure the insulation is in good condition or consider re-insulating it.

Speaking of hot water, if possible try to use it less often. Heating water uses a lot of energy, so it’s best to only use it when really necessary. Try turning down your washing machine to 30 degrees, and only use it when you have a full load of washing. Install a low-flow shower head to not only save on hot water but to save water in general. Take showers instead of baths to really maximise your water saving efforts.

Powering your home

Burning fossil fuels to create energy for our homes and commercial buildings is the leading contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Everybody knows that in an ideal world we would all have solar panels or wind turbines installed on our properties; but the reality is that it’s often difficult and expensive to do so.

However, in most areas of the country it is possible to switch to a greener energy provider. Sites such as Green Electricity Marketplace allow users to find providers offering energy created using a number of environmentally friendly techniques, and often at a cheaper rate than a standard provider.

It’s not just getting green energy into your home that’s important though – it’s making sure your home is equipped to make the most of it. Swapping old single glazed windows for energy efficient double glazing is a great way to help the planet and save some money. This one does require some investment and it isn’t cheap, but can reduce energy loss by between 50% and 70%. If it really is more than you can afford, then installing secondary glass panels or even heavy lined curtains can make a difference.

It’s also important to consider how much energy is lost through the walls and roof of your property. In an uninsulated home, a quarter of all heat is lost through the roof of the property. The Energy Saving Trust says that “insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills. Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years and it should pay for itself many times over”. In fact, you may not have to pay for the insulation at all, as a number of energy providers offer this service for free.

Recycling

Recycling household waste is arguably one of the easiest things a person can do to help the planet, and yet many people still fail to do it. On average more than 65% of all household waste is recyclable, yet in the UK we only manage to send around 44% of it to recycling plants. In fact, in 2015 the amount of household waste being recycled dropped from 44.8% the previous year to 43.9%. 

Recycling really couldn’t be easier and is an incredibly effective way of saving energy. For example, one recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours. And 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.

Remember to re-use those shopping bags too. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency: “Worldwide, as many as one trillion plastic bags are used each year and less than 5 percent of plastic is recycled. In the United States, according to the EPA, we use over 380 billion plastic bags and wraps yearly, requiring 12 million barrels of oil to create.”

It’s not just packaging that can be recycled though. Much of the waste that goes into landfill in this country is food waste, which can be recycled just as effectively as non-organic waste. If you have the room in your garden then why not start a compost pile, which is an effective and environmentally friendly way of disposing of a lot of your scraps and peelings. Not everything you throw out of your kitchen should be composted, but what you can compost you should. If you aren’t able to compost at home, many local councils now provide food bins which are collected weekly and taken to be used in anaerobic digestion to create electricity.

Food

What we eat has a far bigger impact on the planet than many might realise. Animal agriculture, for example, is a leading cause of climate change and a greater contributor to greenhouse gas emissions that the entire travel sector combined. A report released by the United Nations in 2010 outlined the need for our population to move to a meat and dairy-free diet for the sake of the planet.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), global agriculture—dominated by livestock production and the grains grown to support it—accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) finds that “18% of global greenhouse gas emissions is directly attributable to livestock production”. Whichever figure you decide to trust, the evidence is clear; continued consumption of animal products is not environmentally viable.

It’s not just the amount of carbon dioxide produced by animal agriculture that’s the problem though. Globally we raise approximately 60 billion animals for food each year. This creates a serious problem with the amount of methane produced by the livestock. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has shown that animal agriculture is globally the single largest source of methane emissions and that, pound for pound, methane is more than 25 times as effective as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere.

The 2014 documentary Cowspiracy built on this, revealing that “Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years”.

According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): “Chatham House, an international affairs think tank, has called for a carbon tax on meat to help combat climate change. Of course, eating vegan foods rather than animal-based ones is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint. A University of Chicago study even showed that you can reduce your carbon footprint more effectively by going vegan than by switching from a conventional car to a hybrid.”

Whilst switching to a plant-based diet is certainly the best way to combat climate change, it’s also important that you monitor where your vegetables are coming from. Ensuring the majority of fruit and vegetables you buy are locally grown means you can rest assured that your diet is not having a negative effect on the planet. By also eating as seasonally as possible, you can avoid the energy used shipping out of season produce to your area.

Transport

The transport sector may not be the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, but it certainly is up there. Despite some truly pioneering inventors working on creating the vehicles that will carry us all in the future, the reality today is that we are still largely dependant on fossil fuels when it comes to running our cars, buses and planes.

It goes without saying that it’s better for the environment for people to car pool or use public transport. The fewer vehicles there are on the road, the less greenhouse gases are pumped into the atmosphere each day. So if you can share, do share.

If you do need to be on the road in your own car, then you can still do your bit for the planet. For many of us, switching to a hybrid or electric car is too expensive to consider, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on making your daily commute more eco-friendly. By making sure your tyres are fully inflated, and that you’re not carrying any additional weight, you can reduce fuel consumption. Also, properly filled tyres last longer which means less of them end up in landfill.

It’s also important to make sure your engine is properly maintained so that it is using fuel efficiently. And if you can make do without the air conditioning being on, you’ll be saving even more fuel.

Whatever changes you make to ensure your vehicle is running efficiently, you are obviously still going to be contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, but this can be offset through a service offered on a number of websites. According to World Land Trust: “Carbon offsetting is a process whereby an individual or company takes action to prevent the release of emissions elsewhere, or secures the absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide as part of a wider approach to measure, reduce and then offset emissions through impactful conservation projects.”

Conclusion

It goes without saying that many of the most powerful ways to tackle climate change are also the easiest. You can start making these changes right now, and begin having a more beneficial impact on the health of our planet. Without all of us making changes to the way we live, there really isn’t a lot to look forward to. But if we work together and all do our bit, then just maybe we can leave our children a safer, healthier world.

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