A while ago I joined the Climate Change Collective group created by Michelle and Jamie. It is a group of like-minded bloggers sharing our thoughts on environmental and climate-related topics. Each month, a member of the collective uploads a post with a different theme related to climate change. Last November, I shared how climate change impacts animals.
We are meant to share our thoughts following each member’s post. I haven’t been very good at this part, and have fallen behind.
The truth is, I started to block out that climate change was happening because it scared me so much. It seems silly to say that because I started my blog to raise awareness of environmental issues. Climate change in particular. I began to focus more on nature and wildlife which I love writing about, but it is also easier than writing about climate change. So many tragedies have already come due to climate change, and that number is constantly increasing.
Recently I have been reading a book called ‘The Future We Choose’ by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. My sister gave it to me a few years ago, but because I was studying Environmental Science, I found it hard to read about all these negative impacts as well. I wish I had read the book sooner because it really spoke to me. As the title says, it talks about the future we choose and shows the two examples. The first example is if the planet warms to more than 3 degrees Celsius, and the second is if it warms to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The book was published at the start of 2020, and now 3 years later the planet is already at 1.3 degrees Celsius. That terrifies me. In the book, the 1.5-degree scenario was obviously much better than the 3-degree one but there were still issues. The planet has warmed so rapidly that I do not see how we will stay at 1.5 unless something drastic happens. The 3 degrees scenario was absolutely awful and I encourage everyone to read the book, even if it is just that chapter you read!
Why am I telling you this? Because we need to do something.
That has been known for decades and yet we are just sitting here. I am no longer sitting here and doing nothing, I want to get actively involved. However scary the thought is now, it could become a reality unless we do something.
Since I have not replied or shared my thoughts on the other members of the group, I am going to do this now and I encourage you to read their full posts as well ♡.
How Our Need to Shop is Ruining Our Planet by A Sustainably Simple Life
In December 2022, Alison shared this post and I definitely think that buying gifts is one thing that we all need to look at. I’ve been reading about the types of gifts you should give someone. I can’t find the exact source but they are:
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
- Something to experience
I’m not sure about something to wear, as you would have to know the person really well to get their style and size correct. However, the other 4 I love. Over the last year, I have really made an effort to gift experiences rather than a thing that the recipient may not want or need. I gave my sister a pottery painting voucher and my friend an afternoon tea voucher for us. Not only is this a more sustainable gift, but you can spend time with your friend/family member and create a nice memory.
How You Can Reduce Your Energy Consumption by Crisbie Coach
The next month’s post was by Cristiana from Crisbie Coach. She shared how you can reduce your energy consumption and save money. She brought up the point that 75% of energy is used by homes across the EU is for heating and cooling. That’s quite a remarkable percentage, because some of the time it can be done naturally.
One of the most obvious ways to reduce your energy consumption is by only boiling the amount of water you need. There is no benefit to boiling more, as you will have to do it again later. This is also one of the easiest things to do! For more ways specifically about heating and cooling, I would recommend reading Cristiana’s post.
If you are looking for some general ways, take a look at my post on saving energy from 2021.
Residential solar panels by A Sustainably Simple Life
In the next Climate Change Collective post, Krista shares her family’s solar panel usage. I found this post particularly interesting because my parents have just had solar panels installed onto our roof. We have 14 solar panels, and so far it has been really interesting. I’m not entirely sure about the specifics of everything, I am certain that we will save money on our bills. Once the initial bill is offset!
I strongly think that solar panels should be put on all new built houses. Currently there is no law in the UK that new builds must include solar panels but they should incorporate ‘energy saving measures‘. Although solar panels are not cheap, they are 80% down in cost since 2010 so now is the time to invest. To reach the goal of net zero by 2050, we really need to be prioritising clean and renewable energy.
There are different environmental credientials that new builds can get. Each building has something called a SAP rating (Standard Assessment Procedure). The higher the rating, the more energy efficient the building is. If it is over 100, the build is exporting leftover energy to the grid and has no energy costs. There’s also a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) score. This is similar to the SAP rating, and to get a good score it needs to have implemented carbon efficient designs.
Related post: 5 significant sustainable lifestyle changes to make
Reducing the Environmental Cost of Experiences by Boomer Eco Crusader
I found Michelle’s post really interesting because I would say that experiences are more eco-friendly than an object. However, there is definitely more to consider in that respect. As she shared in her post, experiences do all have a lasting effect such as the travel to get to a place. Or when going to a concert or the theatre, there is so much litter left behind.
I think that the main things to consider are the travel, whether you will buy something and how you will leave the place. Public transport is a great thing, and I have made use of the train a lot recently but sometimes driving can be easier and cheaper. If I go to an attraction that has a gift shop, I always buy something which probably isn’t the most environmentally-friendly thing to do! But I will never leave litter behind.
Returning to Past Habits by Smelly Socks and Garden Peas
The next installment of the Climate Change Collective is about the past sustainable habits that previous generations did. Smell mentions in her post that older generations were more environmentally friendly because it was more economic to reuse, mend, recycle etc. They did these things to save money, and that is something that the following generations did not carry on. We have kept the economy going just fine, but we are not doing it in a sustainable way.
When my granny died and we sorted through her stuff, we found so many duplicates of everything which she kept to save money. She was not a hoarder, but anything useful she did keep. We are still using up baking paper which she had kept.
I remember being at a pub with my other granny and she didn’t finish all her meal. So instead of letting food go to waste, she wrapped it up in a napkin and put it in her handbag for later. She did this with every meal, but this one was half a jacket potato with prawn mayonnaise! More than a little bit messy, I will never forget that.
The older generation were not wasteful, and we need to return to these past habits.
How Green Spaces Help Our Planet by A Sustainably Simple Life
Krista shares the importance of green spaces and how they help our planet. I feel privelidged to live somewhere that has a good amount of green space. As the population grows there seems to be less and less green space available. There is always a new housing development plan waiting to get approved. More often than not, it is built on a field.
In the summer, my family and I were driving on the motorway and I saw so many butterflies. They were fluttering about on the wildflowers which were along the side of the road. In the UK, most motorway sides are just grass. And that is obviously much better than being concrete, but I think it would be really amazing if there were wildflowers there instead.
Continue reading: Climate Change Collective update
The Benefits of Active Travel by Midlife On Earth
Tim from Midlife On Earth talks about whether active travel could save you and the planet. In the 21st century, we are very car obsessed. Some people even own more than one car (per person, not household)! Travelling by car not only reduces your physical health where you could be walking. But it also emits a lot of greenhouse gases, which as we know, are very damaging to the planet.
So why do we drive instead of walking, cycling or running? It’s more convenient. It gets you from A to B much quicker. Cycling nowadays is so dangerous because there are so many cars about. Tim rightly points out that we could email our MP, and that is something I will consider doing. I don’t even own a bike anymore because I feel so unsafe on the roads.
If you don’t want to walk or cycle, you could use public transport instead. This, once again, is often more expensive than driving. I have just started at a new university and there isn’t a very good bus route. I tried one route on the way there but the bus was late, so I ended up taking a different one and walking the rest of the way. On the way back, the bus never turned up so I had to ask my dad to pick me up. It is no secret that the public transport in the UK is not good enough. I think I will just walk next time!
I recently downloaded an app called Cashwalk where you can earn coins for walking. Once you reach 2500 coins, you can cash out a £5 voucher, I’m going to go with PayPal. I feel a bit silly for sharing this because I should want to walk, but at the same time, you can get paid for something you are already doing! If you want to join, you can get 100 coins by using my code DE1E1.
Warmer Weather – What’s Not To Like by JamieAdStories
This past summer, it feels like there was disaster after disaster. Everytime the news was on, there was a new devastation in the world. In the past few years there has been a clear increase. I remember in January 2020, my geography class was discussing the recent Australian wildfires. And now there are more wildfires and floods than I can count, and they are all so frequent.
The warmer weather we have had in the summer is so worrying. The previous summer was so hot and dry which has had a bad effect on this summer. The Small Tortoiseshell and Comma butterflies have not been seen often enough. These are garden butterflies that used to be common. I go on plenty of walks and outings to see butterflies and I have only seen 3 Small Tortoishell butterflies in the summer.
In Jamie’s post, he shares some brilliant ideas of what the government should be doing. Make sure you go over to his blog post, I think they are genius and someone should take him up on them!
Debunking Myths About Climate Change by Transatlantic Notes
The final installment of the Climate Change collective, as of now, is by Molly. There are lots of climate change myths that are always flying around the internet. In my opinion, I do not understand how anyone could doubt climate change. And if you are reading this post, I hope you are not one of these people!
Molly’s post has reminded me that something you need to be careful of is misinformation spreading. Before you share anything, you must fact check! A lot of companies seem like they are on the right track, but greenwashing is something that can be used to sway you. Using the colour green is a particular favourite for companies that are not environmentally conscious.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the Climate Change Collective which I will be uploading in October.