One Home urges people to make New Year Resolutions that put the planet first
A climate action project is urging people to put the planet at the heart of their New Year Resolutions this year, and go green in 2019.
One Home has developed 10 lifestyle actions which people can take if they are concerned about the impacts of climate change and want to make a difference.
For many, 2018 was a year in which the reality and immediate threat of climate change became clear following extreme weather events in the UK and around the world. An international report commissioned by the United Nations also told us that time is running out for governments, businesses and communities across the globe to take urgent action to avoid climate catastrophe.
Welcoming in a New Year is traditionally a time of hope and leaving behind bad habits so, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the scale of the problem, take action with these simple changes. Talk to your friends and family about climate change. Raising awareness is a critical part of the transition to clean energy and away from fossil fuels. Start a WhatsApp group – it’s much easier to stay motivated when you can share your successes.
- Eat Less red meat. If meat is a big part of your diet, start small and try ‘Meat Free Monday’ or ‘Fish on Friday’. For people wanting to cut meat out entirely, try going Vegetarian or Vegan for a month. Look at Veganuary for recipe ideas.
- Switch to green electricity. Your home will be powered with electricity from sustainable sources, such as wind and solar. It also means you are choosing a form of electricity that has low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The switch takes about 20 minutes, costs you nothing and involves no paperwork or engineer call outs. Find the best deal for you at www.bigcleanswitch.org
- Buy and cook with as much seasonal, local food as possible and minimise those food air miles. Sprout and cabbage-lovers will be happy in January and there are a surprising number of other ingredients that are in season. Go to the BBC Food website for recipes and a seasonal food chart.
- Commit to one community climate action per month. Hold a freecycle event where you can pass on second hand items rather than send them to landfill, share lifts to school or work, offer help to a local community garden.
- Take fewer plane journeys. Be specific so you have a goal to work towards. For example, if you’re planning a trip away at Easter, commit to going by train. Seat61 has some brilliant no-fly holiday ideas.
- Go for a walk, get out in nature, recharge your batteries and explore the British countryside. The Ramblers, Britain’s walking charity, can suggest winter walks near you via their website.
- Make simple changes in your home. Shut curtains from dawn until dusk to retain heat, keep a blanket by the sofa rather than reaching for the thermostat, set your thermostat to 19C. Before you put your Christmas decorations back in the loft, check the insulation depth and, if it’s less than 27cm, top it up. You will really notice the difference to your energy bill.
- Test drive an electric car. Book an appointment at a garage and find out why people love them and why this technology is so much better for the planet and our health thanks to its zero tail pipe emissions and lower carbon footprint.
- Banish disposable plastic water bottles. This is easier than ever now thanks to the Refill app which enables people who are looking for water to find thousands of local businesses, cafes and public spaces where they can refill their reusable bottle for free.
- Make your views heard. Politicians are more likely to act if they know climate change is an important issue for their constituents. Write to your MP about your concerns. Even better, go to them with a specific action you want to see taken. Write to local councillors too on environmental issues to encourage change at local level.
Angela Terry, founder of One Home, said: “There’s a growing awareness of climate change and the urgent action we need to take. People generally want to do something which makes a difference, and the good news is that we can all make changes that have an impact.
“The most important thing is to act now – do whatever you can and talk about climate change with friends and family. Low carbon actions save you money in the long term and make our homes and surroundings more comfortable, so it’s a winning choice for people and planet.
“Use the new year as an opportunity to do things differently, inspire hope and enjoy the benefits of a more sustainable lifestyle along the way.”
The South West has one of the country’s best renewable energy resources, including wind and sun, yet research from 2017 by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology shows that households in the South West emit more carbon emissions than households in any other country in Europe. The region urgently needs to take action to reverse this.
The One Home website provides guides for anyone looking to move towards a low carbon lifestyle. Subjects include how to make your home more energy efficient, a guide on choosing electric cars, information on the carbon emissions of the food we eat and no fly holiday ideas. There is also advice on adapting to the reality of climate change, including keeping your home dry during floods and top tips to help wildlife and plants in your garden thrive despite climate change.
Visit www.onehome.org.uk and follow @OurOneHome on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
Notes to editor
One Home is a project of the Climate Alliance Community Interest Company, which is a not for profit, social enterprise formed in 2017. One Home is supported by companies who support its aim to reduce pollution and help protect our planet. For a list of supporters, go to https://onehome.org.uk/the-directory