How can I save the planet?
In recent years we have seen individuals become increasingly motivated to reduce their impact on the planet in an effort to combat climate change. However, despite these heightened efforts, there is still a significant amount of room for improvement.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has revealed a harsh reality in its latest report announcing that Earth will reach temperature rise of about 1.5℃ in around a decade. The IPCC recommends the best way to currently help in the fight against climate change is limiting any form of global warming.
The challenges facing our planet may seem intimidating, but we all have a role to play. So, what can you do today that will have a positive impact on tomorrow? Here are a few of our top suggestions…
Reduce your waste
Resource waste and landfill has a large bearing on the environment, resulting in a great threat to flora and fauna. In 2018, it was estimated the UK generated 43.9 million tonnes of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste. Although the UK recycling rate has seen an increase, jumping from 11% to 44% between 2000 and 2020, there is still much to be done.
Choosing products with minimal packaging, buying reusable items and containers, not buying plastic water bottles, meal planning, composting, and repurposing materials are just some of the ways you can begin to reduce your waste at home. Our small individual contributions can go a long way to meeting the government’s target to recycle 65% of municipal waste and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill to 10% by 2035.
Travel more sustainably
A report from 2019 highlighted that transport became the largest greenhouse gas emitting sector within the UK, overtaking energy as the highest emitting industry. By choosing a more sustainable way to travel, you can significantly lower your environmental impact.
Only driving when necessary, choosing a train over a plane, holidaying closer to home, taking more eco-friendly travel routes rather than the quickest routes, and putting more effort into walking or cycling to your destination can all make a positive impact. In fact, if cycling’s popularity in Britain increased six-fold (equivalent to returning to 1940s levels), a net reduction of 7.7-million tons of CO2 annually could be made, equivalent to 6% of the UK’s transport emissions.
Volunteer for the planet
Non-government organisations are always seeking out volunteers and workers to help with environmental efforts. Conservations, nature reserves and parks are great places to give back, gain knowledge and educate others on the importance of our environment and the small changes they can make. In England, there are currently 225 National Nature Reserve’s that you can help out at with a total area of over 98,600 hectares.
Share your voice
Often dubbed the ‘Green Generation’, Millennials and Gen Z are more connected to and concerned about environmental issues more than any generation previous. A Deloitte survey found that just over four in 10 millennials and Gen Z’s agree that we have already hit the point of no return when it comes to the environment and that it’s too late to repair the damage. It is therefore vital that the voices of these individuals are heard so that we can act now to allay these fears.
Contacting your local MP and the brands you use on a daily basis to raise your environmental concerns can be the conduit for positive change. Look for local groups, campaigns and projects to get involved with, or you could set up an Eco Club for your school, uni or local community to raise awareness. It may feel like your voice isn’t being heard, but by standing up and making a difference you can encourage others to do the same.
By contributing to some of the efforts mentioned in this article you can make a positive impact on our planet. Taking the fight to climate change is an ongoing battle, and there are many fantastic charities that are doing just that on a daily basis. The Toucan app offers options to donate to a number of charities that have been set-up to help save the planet. By setting up a recurring donation, or even just a one-off, you can help restore nature and reduce your impact on global warming.