As 2022 begins my thoughts (like many) have turned to New Year’s resolutions. Making a resolve to help tackle climate change can be a bit daunting to say the least. However, I believe we should take the advice David Attenborough gave to world leaders a COP26 and be ‘motivated by hope rather than fear’. His quote re working together really resonated with me:
‘If working apart we are forces powerful enough to destabilise our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it’
I firmly believe in the power of consumers and voters to push change. Progress often isn’t at the speed we would hope but we need to take more people along with us as we try to make positive change. As a little lockdown project I started investigating new ways I could help tackle climate change. So here are a few ways I thought I would share.
Switch to toothpaste tablets
Personally I always need my first New Year’s resolution to be a small thing (I love ticking off a list). Wherever you sit on the fluoride/ no fluoride debate there are now toothpaste tablets widely available, in a number of flavours. Each year 1.5 billion plastic toothpaste tubes end up in our landfills, and oceans (not to mention the energy used on production of the plastics). In my experience try a few brands but it’s definitely possible to find some that taste good are not too crumbly and I for one won’t be going back.
Move to a green energy supplier and get Smart!
It’s widely stated it only takes 5 minutes to switch energy supplier. Who doesn’t like a NY resolution that only takes 5 minutes! Friends of the Earth say:
‘Every person choosing a green tariff adds to the movement for more renewables.’
You could also get a smart meter, most providers are offering these for free. Smart energy GB says:
‘From the moment your smart meter is installed, you are helping to reduce our carbon emissions as a nation. Smart meters help to create a smart energy system. With a truly smart energy system we can better match supply with demand, and integrate more renewable energy sources such as wind and solar into the system.’
The energy saving trust offers impartial advice to help reduce usage.
Investigate nappy libraries
If you or a family member has recently welcomed a little bundle of joy nappy libraries are well worth investigating. I know from experience that the sleep deprivation means getting your head round the myriad of reusable nappy options may well be a step too far. Nappy libraries normally run by volunteers give you the simple advice you need and let you try out nappies on your little one to get a fit that you can rely on. You can also claim £30 back on your first cloth nappy purchase with Essex County Council.
Switch your pension/ investments
We are getting to the big stuff now. Research on behalf of Make My Money Matter found redirecting your pension wealth could have 21 times the impact on your carbon emissions than going vegetarian or giving up flying, says campaign director, David Hayman. Not everyone can move their pension but you could change your investment or bank, this BBC article discusses the issue.
Join us at Epping Forest Climate Action Group
Yes, of course we had to add this in. We are working together to get councils, schools and other community groups to declare climate emergencies and take action in Epping Forest. We would love to meet you in 2022. (We promise not to ask how many of your other New Year’s resolutions you have managed to tick off ;-))