How can an individual make a difference?

You see the endless drastic news of how climate change is going to affect everyone but you can’t see how anything you do can make a difference. Well there is and everyone has to start somewhere. Here are some things:

Invest your savings responsibly. Environmental Social Governance (ESG) fund managers have become the Gods in today’s society deciding which companies do and don’t get investment. If companies don’t have a sustainability strategy in place or they are not reporting their carbon emissions then there are risks these days that they won’t find investment. This area is only going to grow and it’s forcing companies to sort out their approach. Put your money into these greener funds. Look at Clim8 as a starting point.

Start a conversation where you work. Everyone starts somewhere. You may not have an enormous voice but I bet your company has a bigger one. Work out who is in charge of your company strategy. It is best to start with an area you are passionate about e.g. marketing or supply chain. Find out what ways the impact could be reduced in that area and present those ideas to those in charge. Facts and figures help enormously especially if you can prove your competitors are already doing it.

Change your energy bill to a renewable one. It may cost an extra £2 per month but your house will no longer be relying on fossil fuels to run it. If you want to go one step further, change your gas boiler to an electric one. The more people that sign up to this, the quicker we will be able to remove fossil fuels from our homes.

Rethink the way you go on holiday. Everyone deserves a holiday and whilst I don’t think flying half way around the world every few months is a good thing to do for the climate, I appreciate that people have family elsewhere. There are now schemes in place that allow individuals to offset the carbon from their travel whether that’s through replanting trees in vulnerable areas or investing in social programs that reduce carbon elsewhere e.g. investing in technology that allows families in developing countries to cook off electric stoves rather than cutting down trees and burning wood. The cost will vary depending on how far you are going but expect something in the region of £150 if you are travelling to Australia from the UK.

Plastic tea bags no more. Only drink loose leaf tea, PG tips, Pukka or Clipper – these are the only real brands that have plastic free compostable tea bags that can either be put in food waste or compost afterwards. Unilever acquired Pukka so they could use the tea bag knowledge acquired by Pukka and transfer the technology across to PG Tips.

Use the eco setting. Washing machines have many settings but the only one you should really be using is the eco wash. It may seem odd that often the eco setting takes much longer in duration. Heating up the water in a washing machine is what really uses up electricity and money. Eco washes use less electricity and water so they use lower temperatures. In order to get the same effects of a wash with a higher temperature and more water, they need to run for a lot longer.