If you’re considering buying an electric vehicle (EV), the chances are you already know that switching to a cleaner form of transport is a good idea for people and planet, but there is plenty more that we can do to help stop runaway global warming.
Angela Terry, environmental scientist and founder of climate action website One Home, outlines the most important actions to take.
“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” This quote from Anna Lappe, author and sustainable food expert, is one of my favourites as it drives home the point that we, as consumers, need to take our purchasing decisions seriously.
It is very encouraging to see the popularity of EVs grow – sales of alternatively fuelled cars such as electric and plug-in hybrids grew by 23% in August compared to the same period in 2017. I believe these vehicles will revolutionise our transport system in the coming years and play a vital role in bringing global carbon emissions right down.
For many of us, climate change is a big concern but there are many other pressures on our time. Understanding what we, as individuals, can do to help tackle it is important. One Home aims to cut through this and give people clear practical guidance on climate action and greener lifestyle choices.
Are you ready to take the next steps on your low-carbon journey? We have put together five climate actions that get right to the heart of fixing the world’s biggest problem. So, if you genuinely wish to act, choosing one or two of these is a great start. And there are so many benefits to a low carbon lifestyle that you will discover along the way – it costs less, contributes to a better quality of life and it’s healthier too.
1. Electric cars
Top of the list is switching to an electric vehicle. People are mainly put off buying EVs because of outdated myths about the industry. The most important thing to remember is that an EV is cheaper to run than a diesel or petrol car. The added bonus is there are no tail-pipe emissions so the quality of the air we breathe improves and they are quieter with faster acceleration.
2. Warm, cosy homes
Secondly, insulate your home and cut out drafts. This simple low-cost action will mean your home is more comfortable in winter and summer, heating bills are lower and you reduce your carbon emissions every year. Insulation has the biggest impact on energy conservation at home. Measures that can make a big difference include wall insulation, topping up your loft insulation to 27cm, draft proofing windows and doors, using a smart thermostat set at 19C and installing thermal curtains.
3. Go vegetarian (for a day)
Thirdly, eat more greens or to put it another way, eat less meat. Cutting back on red meat and dairy in particular is better for carbon emissions. If turning vegan or vegetarian seems a step too far, try ‘meat free Monday’ which is just one day a week where you choose to eat a plant-based diet.
4. No fly holidays
Visit Great Britain. Choose amazing holiday experiences and enjoy all the benefits of flight-free trips – no queues, germs or jetlag. A family of four driving from Bristol to Cornwall produces 92 kg of CO2 for a return trip versus 2,720kg for a flight from London to Orlando, Florida.
5. Solar power
Switch to a green electricity supplier or add solar power to your home. Generating electricity from the sun is free if you install solar panels on your roof. Solar panels cost around £5,000 and can pay back within ten years if you use a lot of power at home. Solar power subsidies close for new registration in April 2019 so now is the time to act.
Small changes can make a big difference. What we decide to do today and every day counts in the fight against climate change so let’s make these changes and know that they make a real difference. As well as reducing global warming you’ll experience better quality travel, lower energy bills and a warmer home.
One Home is the UK’s only one stop shop on climate change covering both mitigation measures and adaptation. Follow OneHome on Twitter and Facebook for updates, and share your climate actions by using the #OneHome hashtag.
For more information, visit the OneHome website.