Since the Industrial Revolution humans have been spewing vast amounts of carbon (and other fossil fuels) into the atmosphere. Over time global emission rates have exponentially increased, despite science proving it will end in disaster for all living beings should we continue. If things don’t change immediately, we will soon reach a tipping point. Meaning that no matter what action we take, parts of the Earth’s systems will experience abrupt or irreversible change. Which is why achieving carbon neutrality is essential to the future of our planet. And we all have a part to play; from micro changes at the individual level, to macro changes by the world’s largest organisations (100 of which, by the way, are accountable for 71% of the world’s carbon emissions to date).
Taking #LittleGreenSteps towards carbon neutrality will contribute towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action.
Carbon neutral is a term meaning that any carbon you emit is balanced out by your carbon savings elsewhere. Meaning there’s no net release of carbon into the atmosphere. This can be achieved via several methods, including carbon offsetting.
In 2016 the world reached global consensus to address the issue of climate change, resulting in The Paris Agreement. It agreed that collective action must be taken to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees that of pre-industrial levels. And that a concerted effort must be made to limit it to 1.5 degrees.
A further report by the UN IPCC states that in order to hit this target, we must reach net-zero carbon emissions (i.e. be carbon neutral) by 2050. If we fail to do so, the catastrophic consequences of climate change will be unavoidable and there will be no turning back.
It’s easy to believe that reducing carbon emissions lies solely on the shoulders of the biggest emitters (fossil fuel companies and governments propping them up, we’re looking at you). While we must hold them accountable, lobby for change, and use the voting power we do have to shift the needle, it will all take time.
In the meantime, we should all aim to track, reduce, and offset our personal carbon footprint.
From the products you buy and the flights you take, to your morning commute and your mobile phone usage. It all adds up. But reducing your carbon footprint is easier than you might think. You could consider things like taking public transport over a taxi. Switching your electricity to a green provider. Or adopting a more plant-based diet. Small changes to your lifestyle can collectively make a big difference.
Once you have started on the journey towards reducing your carbon footprint, you can then offset your emissions. The best way to do this is to plant trees through a reputable organisation.
Here are some easy to implement ideas that will help reduce your carbon footprint.
– Make the switch to a more plant-based diet (and don’t feel guilty if going vegetarian or vegan is a step too far for now. You can still try things like Meat Free Mondays, or generally cutting back throughout the week).
– Walk more
– Cycle more
– Take the stairs instead of the lift
– Eat more locally grown produce
– Plant a tree (or two, or three, or four…)
– Take the train instead of flying or driving
– Fly less
– Don’t buy fast fashion
– Support and only buy from environmentally friendly brands. Next time you need to buy or source anything, search our conscious brand directory.
– Switch to a green energy provider
– Turn plug sockets off when not in use
– Turn lights off
– Turn the aircon off
– Plant even more trees
– Grow your own food
– Line dry your clothes
– Vote for green policies
– Write to your MP and demand that greener energy sources (like wind and solar) are added to the energy grid in your local area.