The climate crisis and how we can reverse it…

  • 7 December 2018
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 6

As 2018 draws to a close, we might be ruminating on resolutions for the New Year. But how about something less on a personal improvement level and more on a planetary level!

Warnings of rising global temperatures has called governments to urgently take action this year. The future of the planet is in our hands, but how can we help keep the overall rise in temperature less than the 1.5 degree target?

🥑 Eat less meat
Environmentalists have argued that living on a plant based diet is the single most impactful thing an individual can do to reduce their effect on the environment. Even more so than reducing plane travel! Even if you’re a meat eater, you can do your bit by limiting the amount of meat you consume - if everyone did this, it would have a huge impact.

🍽Waste less food
Only buying what you need, and using as much of this as you possibly can could reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment by up to 16%.

🚴🏽Change your mode of transport
I think it's fair to say there are too many cars on the road. We don’t need to drive everywhere we go, often we could easily walk, cycle or take public transport.

👖Hang your washing out
Tumble dryers are one of the most expensive and energy consuming household appliances to run. If it's warm and sunny out, or you’ve got the heating on in your house anyway, sling your washing on a clothes line or drying rack.

Any other ideas? I thought this might be food for thought on a Friday eve. Let me know what you think!

5 replies

Userlevel 7
@Nancy_OVO Yes this is a big topic and one where everybody has ideas or different opinions.

In our household we definitely try to not have any food waste, so if we have leftovers for example, we use them up the next day in lunches or make another dinner out of them. We don't have food waste bins in our council area for recycling so do our best to limit food waste.

The tumble dryer is a tricky one! Definitely one we've become more aware of since having Smart Meters installed, but in a household of 4 with a lot of clothes being worn across the week, this is our biggest challenge!

Be great to get more views on this, how practical are some of the examples above, what other ideas do people have to help others adapt to support the planet?

@ITGeek123 @PeterR1947 @Emma_G @BrizzleLass @Bumblebee for example will have suggestions I'm sure.

Lets all try and make resolutions this year that actually mean something and that we can stick too!!

Userlevel 6
Obviously I have my EV so that's one point to me!

Like Nancy we try not to waste food by using up left overs; we have a food caddy which gets recycled for things like peelings, tea bags (and the small amount of stinky stilton that I forgot about at the back of the fridge). However, our local council, despite their election manifesto, are going to levy a £40 p.a. charge for garden waste/food recycling bins next year (the highest in the local area); there is a massive protest in the town so this food waste will unfortunately go into the black bin so that's -1 point I guess for me. However we do recycle glass, tins, paper and cardboard in the other recycling bin that is free (at the moment)

Fuel usage, I don't think the smart meter has helped me save energy as I was already very energy concious but the best saving for me, apart from the PV panels, has been an internet controllable thermostat (mine from Inspire home automation, made in the UK) that enables us to turn down (or off) our heating when we leave home; when I check my daily PIPIT readings I can see the impact that has on gas consumption. Years ago I changed all the lightbulbs to CFL, then to LED, including the "fluorescent" tubes in the garage. I have also insulated the loft to higher than building regs. Tumble dryer usage is a minimum, clothes are line dried most of the year round, sometimes on the clothes line in the garage although towels are always given 10 mins in the tumble dryer to soften them. We changed out ancient dishwasher recently, the new one is rated A++ and only uses only 9 litres of water and 0.93 Kwh for its eco wash although it does take 3hrs 20 mins to complete; we always wait until the DW is bursting at the seams before we wash. More recently I have two Amazon Echo dots that I can use to turn off lights and standby items related to the TV and associated boxes.
Userlevel 7
Badge +1
Like @PeterR1947 I currently own two EV's

In terms of food waste, in my house. I make sure that is not a possibility haha. Although eating less meat has always been something I want to do. As I used to be a vegetarian, I have been trying my best to go back and being one.

My current transport to work is of course Xiaomi M365 Electric Scooter which I absolutely love. I charge it at work so I am not using my electric haha. in terms of hanging clothes outside. I will need to hang a line in my garden. But for the meantime I leave my clothes on the airer and leave it outside if weather is good.

I hope next year I am able to get some sort of Storage battery. Unfortunately, not being eligible for the trial from OVO I guess I will need to see what alternatives are out there. I know Ikea offer a range of stuff.
Userlevel 4
Retrofitting your home is probably the next best thing after eating less/no meat. A well designed and installed combination of insulation and ventilation can dramatically reduce the amount of energy you use for space heating, and you will live in a healthier environment, thus being less of a drain on health services.
My triple glazed bay windows have just been fitted and the internal insulation is going on a couple of walls, I'm looking forward to seeing how much less gas it takes to heat up those rooms. Light bulbs are being replaced by LED ones. New appliances are bought only when the old are well and truly unable to be repaired. The local repair cafe helps me extend the life of many items.
I've reduced my meat consumption to two or three portions a week. But finding it harder to cut down on cheese. And cheese comes from gassy cows:(
I have a big compost bin and I'm lucky enough to get small amounts of cooked food waste taken away weekly by the council.
I've never had a tumble dryer, I dry clothes on a clothes line when I can, and on a clothes horse in the utility room when I can't.
And I'm very much aware of every journey I make in my hybrid car, even if it still accounts for 50% of my travel. Flying is the biggest culprit of all. I've limited myself to one European flight per year for the last 5 years or so and am hoping to travel by train rather than air in 2019 .
Userlevel 6
Such a variety of ideas here, it's great to see everyone is as keen on this as I am!

I thought I'd add my own personal contributions, as the ones above were general suggestions.

I've never learnt how to drive. Initially this was simply down to the cost of lessons, tests and then acquiring a car (not to mention the continuous maintenance and fuel costs thereafter), and I was a bit bitter about the inconvenience. But now, I'm glad I haven't bothered. I think it would have encouraged me to be lazy, and it would just be me in the car which seems uneconomical to put another car on the road. Obviously this is different for families who can economise by filling all the seats! I use public transport for anything that isn't in walking/cycling distance 🚲

Since I was 20 odd I've been on-off vegetarian/vegan. Since the start of 2017 I've stuck to veganism and plan to continue. It was a very different time when I first went vegan in around 2012. I had to go to 3 or 4 different shops to grab all the stuff I needed! Now it's much easier, and there are tons of options. It's really inspiring to hear a number of you are also cutting down 😄

My new years resolution in 2019 is going to be not to buy any new clothes 👚I've watched a few documentaries and done some research this year about the impact of the fashion industry and "fast fashion" on the environment and decided to make a positive change. Not only is it a huge strain on water sources (it takes 1,800 gallons to make a single pair of jeans), but it's also responsible for a huge amount of pollution, not to mention being very wasteful. I might buy second hand clothes, but hopefully the plan is not to buy any!

As @SianiAnni mentioned, I think travel is my biggest downfall though. By the end of this year, I'll have taken 7 flights in 2018, which according to this calculator, equates to 1.48 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. These have all been within Europe, so not long haul. I think this would be the most difficult one for me to cut down on cos I love exploring ✈