Code Red For Humanity - that is the warning from the UN in its most recent report on the climate crisis.
While undeniably alarming, we are not without agency to address this crisis and avoid catastrophe.
With time of the essence, it’s important for us as individuals to engage with the actions that will have the biggest impact: individual actions that will contribute towards important systemic change.
Co-Founder and environmentalist Ross highlights seven easily achievable actions that will help us all effectively engage with the movement towards a more sustainable future.
Carbon emissions (CO2) are the main driver of the climate crisis and the cause of our rapidly warming planet. Everything we do has related emissions and its absolutely essential that we, as a society, reduce these to prevent further warming so our planet can continue to support us.
So how can we reduce our emissions?
Move Our Money
Our bank and pensions may seem like a random place to start, but moving our money is one of the most powerful actions we can take against the climate crisis.
Large, emission-intensive, and hugely destructive projects like coal mines and oil pipelines are funded by banks and pension funds. Our money is being used by our bank and our pension funds to financially back these projects.
The emissions from these large projects far, far surpass our personal emissions, so we can be as sustainable as humanly possible in our day to day lives, but if our bank accounts and pension funds don’t align with our environmental ethos, all of our good work is for nothing.
The worst offender funding the climate crisis in Europe is Barclays, who have provided more than 85 billion pounds of finance to fossil fuel companies and high-carbon projects since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015.
More and more money is moving away from banks and pension funds that support projects destroying our planet: you can be part of that movement. You can find out how your bank is using your money at SwitchIt Money.
There are plenty of alternatives that are not investing in a dirty future – check out Nationwide, Starling, Co-operative Bank and Bristol-based Trodios to begin banking on a better future.
Green Our Wardrobes
The fashion industry is the second most environmentally damaging industry behind only the fossil fuel industry. The widespread adoption of synthetic fibres and the mass-production of cheap garments has led to horrifying levels of waste, emissions, and environmental damage. We go into detail on the fashion crisis here.
To reduce the impact our personal fashion choices have on the environment, we like to keep it simple: choose natural over synthetic, look after your clothes, avoid fast fashion, buy less and buy better.
Find out how to begin your journey to a sustainable wardrobe here.
Meat Free Mondays
Our diets account for a large proportion of our personal emission footprint and the majority come from meat consumption.
The meat industry is one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis. Not only do the animals we eat produce significant emissions while alive as they feed and digest, huge areas of forest are cleared to house them and grow food for them.
It is widely reported that current levels of meat consumption are incompatible with climate targets. Reducing our societal meat consumption is therefore so important.
It doesn’t have to be a complete cut: starting with a dedicated veggie day per-week is a great way to begin. What’s more, your meat-free day(s) will give you an excuse to try all the amazing veggie eateries that are popping up
How we get from A to B also has a big impact on our personal emissions footprint and so choosing public transport, or better yet, hopping on your bike, is the way forward.
Cycling has so many benefits for your health and the planet – and is super fun. The introduction of bike-sharing apps like Lime Bike and MoBike has made it easier than ever to nip about the city on two wheels.
For longer distances, we need to consider alternatives to flying. This may mean extending your travel time by taking the longer, but less stressful, option of the train. Without the hassle of airport baggage weight restrictions and the like, travelling by train is an increasingly popular option for those wanting to enjoy the journey as part of their trip. Trains are easier to work on as well which turns potentially wasted travel time into productive working time.
How we heat and power our homes has a big impact on our emissions footprint. Traditional utility companies are becoming greener in how they produce their energy which is great, however, it has never been easier to find a dedicated renewable energy supplier committed to wind, hydro-electric, and solar energy.
Head over to Big Clean Switch to switch your supplier in just a few clicks. Some renewable providers like Octopus are cheaper than the big six - kinder on the planet and your purse.
Trees are amazing and we love them. They take pollutants from the air and release oxygen, cool our cities and provide homes to wildlife. Despite being the perfect antidote to the climate crisis, trees are being chopped down around the world for palm oil, to house and feed livestock, for mining, and for other unsustainable projects.
Britain was once covered in trees but now has the third-lowest percentage of forest cover in Europe (behind Iceland and the Netherlands).
Cashmere Circle needs and wants to change this and that is why we are committed to planting trees and sustaining biodiversity in vulnerable econsystems across the world with our partner, TreeApp.
Politicians are either going to lead us to a green future or to further environmental crisis. Speak to your MP about what they’re doing for the climate crisis and pressure them to commit to greener policies like reduced subsidies for fossil fuel companies and ending new oil exploration.
If they’re unwilling to budge – vote them out.
Coconut bowls and metal straws will of course help the planet, but we need to direct our energy towards the 'big lever' actions that will contribute to systemic change. We must move our money, get political, switch our energy suppliers, green our wardrobes, eat less meat, embrace the train, and plant loads of trees while we’re at it.
It has never been more important to choose the sustainable option than now and thankfully, with the introduction of the amazing websites, guides, and planet-friendly options highlighted above, following through with these tips has never been easier.
Let us know how you’re going green!