‘It’s the only world we’ve got. We are now standing at a crossroads in history… It’s up to us.’ Greta Thunberg
We can all initiate small changes to make the world a healthier place. Low Waste Whitchurch is a collection of people, who aim to encourage ourselves and others to combat climate change and support green, sustainable and low waste initiatives. We want to inspire ourselves and local people, businesses, schools, opinions formers and local government to take action to make Whitchurch carbon neutral by 2030.
Would you like to get involved? Have you got any good ideas or skills to share such as communications, graphic design, event management, care of the environment, linkages with local schools and businesses? Or experience in tree-planting, promoting biodiversity, green transport, waste management or green energy? Passionate about the earth? Get in contact and join us!
Do I need to act now?… Yes!
The IPCC is the leading world body for assessing the science related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks, and possible response options. According to an IPCC report released in October 2018:
“human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. (high confidence)”
“Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C.”
“Pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems (high confidence). These systems transitions are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms of speed, and imply deep emissions reductions in all sectors, a wide portfolio of mitigation options and a significant upscaling of investments in those options (medium confidence).”
“Limiting the risks from global warming of 1.5°C in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication implies system transitions that can be enabled by an increase of adaptation and mitigation investments, policy instruments, the acceleration of technological innovation and behaviour changes (high confidence).”
The challenge of escaping catastrophic climate breakdown compels “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”, that means policy, governance, politics, education, science, technology, business, health care, services etc, as well as individual people in everyday life, just like our community in Whitchurch. We need to act now!
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein
‘We’re on track to be throwing away a trillion plastic bottles a year by 2021. That’s enough to stretch to the Moon and back, every year!’ Jess French
What can I do?
Refuse/reduce packaging: Avoid packaging when shopping where possible i.e. buying a fruit and veg box, milk in glass bottles, bread from the bakery, bar soap.
Try plant based meals: Try vegan and vegetarian meals to reduce meat to reduce carbon footprint.
Shop second hand: To simultaneously save energy and resources involved in making new items and prevent second hand items being thrown away to landfill or incineration.
Save energy: Use energy efficient bulbs, turn lights off, switch to an energy supplier supporting renewable energy and seek out energy efficient appliances.
Green travel: Use bikes, walking or public transport where possible. Consider investing in an electric vehicle.
Reduce food waste: Try and eat all the food you buy by getting creative with cooking leftovers, planning before you buy and good food storage.
Switch disposable items to reusable alternatives: E.g. hemp shopping bag, reusable coffee cup, handkerchief, washable cloth wipe, washable make up wipe, reusable straw, stainless steel razor…
Take it to your place of work and social networks: Take your green initiatives and way of thinking to your place of work to promote change. Behaviour change psychology indicates it is difficult to influence behaviour change by simply asking for change or providing information. The research shows that people are more likely to make changes if their friends/social groups are doing it or if it’s made really easy. It’s not really easy yet, cue evidence based policy setting and governance. However if we can make green changes the norm in our social and work circles, that has some power to influence change.
“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.” Dr Suess