In recent years, it’s become increasingly clear the damaging influence we humans are having on our planet. Through our actions, the world is warming and climates are changing. From rising sea levels and forest fires to increasingly erratic weather phenomena, the way we live is changing the Earth.
Governments around the world are resolved to reduce global emissions, but they can’t do it alone. We all have a part to play if we’re to slow (and, hopefully, eventually reverse) the rate of change in our environment. Here are just a few ways we can all make small changes that will combine to make a big overall contribution towards the goal of a net-zero future.
The concept of net-zero explained
In simple terms, we’ll achieve net-zero when we find a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases we produce and the amount we remove from the atmosphere. It’s unlikely we’ll ever reach a point where we don’t produce harmful emissions but, so long as we also find ways to take them away, we’ll stop suffocating the planet with our output. Right now, it seems a long way off – but that’s only if you don’t consider the contribution we could all make. Tiny changes in lifestyle will result in massive changes to our environment. As the saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a first step,” – we all have a part to play in that journey.
Key steps we can all take towards a net-zero future
Living a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle needn’t involve huge sacrifices. Certainly, it will require small changes, but most are just sensible adaptations to lifestyle – and many will even save you money:
Recycle more: Increasing recycling and repurposing is key to our future, to stop stripping the world of its resources and start taking a more proactive and responsible attitude towards our planet. The way we live now is unsustainable and we currently use more of the Earth’s resources than it can produce. Earth Overshoot Day is a symbolic annual date which accurately pinpoints the exact day when the amount we take out of our world exceeds what it can produce in the same year. In 1970, overshoot occurred on December 29th. By 2019, the data had alarmingly jumped forward to July 29th.
Reduce your use of water: It takes vast amounts of power to treat, pump and heat water so reducing the amount you use could lead to huge emissions reductions. Cutting water waste at home will decrease your carbon footprint but don’t forget the impact less water usage in the workplace could also contribute. Companies like utilitybidder.co.uk can help find ways to reduce your firm’s use of water – and will also help you find the best deals from suppliers.
Use less energy: Our energy demands are putting intolerable, untenable pressures on the environment. Experts suggest reducing our power consumption is the single most-effective way to reduce emissions. In the digital age, smart devices can help monitor how much energy you use in the home and in the workplace – and can even be set to automatically turn off devices to reduce energy consumption. Using less energy won’t just save the environment – it’ll also save you considerable money.