The UK is hosting COP26 this year and I’m going to do my bit to make 2021 count for climate: My first step…the car has gone!
It’s a New Year, I’m making the best of it despite the shocking start, and I’m going to make 2021 count for climate. The UK is hosting COP26 global climate talks in Glasgow in November – it’s really time for us to show leadership. So, I’ve gone car free for 2021 – yes, the car has GONE. And with the cash-back from the insurance policy, car tax and car sale, we are buying an electric bike + trailer as a family. It’s also been the perfect excuse for me to treat myself to a decent waterproof jacket from radical and amazing eco-pioneers Patagonia.
What next? Well, there’s a few things on the menu for us to achieve a record-breaking green year as a family….
After joining the Everyday Lock down plastic Survey in 2019 (read a blog about the experience here), we have been more motivated to reduce plastics, but it has been hard to eliminate plastic completely. In 2021 we will be forced to shop local (we have no car!), and we’ll be trying to buy less packaging and in bulk to help avoid plastic.
I’m also thinking about forests. The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. Scaling to 46 years, humans have been here 4 hours, the industrial revolution began 1 minute ago, and in that time we’ve destroyed more than half the world’s forests. We need to plant as many trees as possible, quickly, to keep the earth’s lungs functioning.
I am enormously proud of what we do on climate and environment at Shambala, and the part I part have played with ecolibrium, a live events charity that has balanced over 13 million miles equivalent of travel emissions with climate investments in renewable energy and tree planting; but I want to have ‘direct lived experiences’. I want to feel it, not just think it. So I’m going to record my travel carbon footprint for the entire of 2021 using the new ecolibrium travel app, and measure my energy consumption, and personally plant trees to balance my carbon footprint. I’m going to do this with the kids so that they understand what we are doing.
Here’s a few idea you might find useful too. I expect you are aware of most or all the suggestions already, but if you are like anyone I know, there might be at least one thing you haven’t ticked off the list.
- Divest from banks that support fossil fuel investment and war (most of them) and switch your account to ethical bank like Triodos – it’s so easy with ‘switch’ as it transfers all your direct debits and standing orders automatically – I did it recently. Find out more about Triodos here
- Food production is the biggest impact that humans have on the planet. Reduce (or cut out) meat and dairy – this is probably the single biggest thing you can do. Try to buy organic and local. There’s lot’s of good info about the impacts of diet on the environment on the Shambala website here.
- Use Good Energy as your supplier for renewable energy and gas. Switch information here.
- Buy second hand and ethical wherever possible – there’s almost always an option, and when there isn’t, consider not buying it. Radical!
- Try going plastic-free, or reducing at least. Lost if great ideas for plastic free living on the City to Sea website here
- Use the new ecolibrium travel app to track your travel emissions and balance emissions. Just search ‘ecolibirum’ in App Store or GooglePlay here, and balance with them too.
- Drink climate-friendly beer. Over Christmas I was enjoying Toast Ale’s Chocolate Stout, the first in their series of ales brewed in honour of COP26 in collaboration with fellow B-Corps, released an ethical antidote to Black Friday. Find out more here.
- Listen to inspiring Podcasts – catch up on our ‘best of’ environmental podcast from 2020 here.
- If you happen to need a new jacket (I’m a total outdoor clothing geek, but we really do need good kit for being on festivals site in the UK!), get it from Patagonia. They are truly pioneering, radical company and the kit is proper. Check out their activism here.
If you’re feeling shabby about what you haven’t done, forget it – it’s not useful. Just focus on doing something, however small. Now.
Let’s make 2021 count.