Today marks World Environment Day. A day that really should be every day.
The environment has reached the news yet again, there’s a lot of political differences, but I’m sure everyone can agree that actions from us humans has already damaged the environment. Whether that is taking trees from almost all of our natural rainforests. Digging up land to reach fossil fuels, which are also running out! Polluting seas with rubbish and oil spills, killing the marine life that lives there. Many animals have become extinct due to what we have done in the past, that is not to be questioned. That is a fact. The ice caps are melting – fact. The ozone has been breached meaning we have reduced ozone’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation-absorbing capacity. This has been caused by aerosol cans and other gases.
We could go on for WEEKS. But that is just a few, we haven’t even mentioned the amount of greenhouse gases we have produced from our cars and fumes from factories which is causing global warming. In fact, I’m sure many will agree that the scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Sea levels have risen as well as the global temperature and oceans.
The way forward is mainly using renewable energy sources. Which countries such as Germany have been doing so well, putting most of us to shame! In fact, over 80% of Germany’s power was generated from renewable sources very recently. If they can do it, ALL of us should be able to follow their lead.
The Paris agreement has been the first good step for countries to help decrease climate change. It is currently a very hot topic as Trump has dropped out, it seems he cannot commit to being more environmentally friendly. The aim of the agreement is to reduce all emissions from countries to a big bat zero. So far the way forward has been a reduction of emission policies. The more you pollute the more you spend. Trump – who has been very open about his view of climate change being a ‘hoax’ clearly was thinking of these extra pennies. India signed the agreement in 2012 and what was an economy that relied on coal is now adopting solar energy very successfully and have cancelled planned coal power projects.
Our point here is, we can fix the cracks with very simple things. One of the biggest being voting for a leader who will put the environment and animals first. The Green Party being a very obvious choice, but to those who live in the UK, we sadly live in a world where you only really have two choices. Labour or Conservative.
We are not going to be telling you who to vote for, that is your choice entirely. So here are the facts:
Labour: Labour have promised to sign the Paris Agreement. And plan to ensure a fair transition to low carbon. They have said they will defend and extend the current environmental policy with the EU after Brexit. They call climate change one of the greatest challenge of the 21st century. They have in the past passed the climate change act. They also promise to mobilise communities to plant 64 million native broadleaf trees in 10 years. Fund decarbonisation strategies for energy-intensive industry, support mayors and councils to drive the sift to a new low carbon economy, promote the growth of over 200 ‘local energy companies’ within the next parliament Support the development of 1,000 community energy co-operativesnsulate 4 million homes, build 1 million new carbon neutral homes – including half a million council houses Set a minimum ‘B and C’ energy efficiency standard for all rented housing, protect people from fuel poverty through support with bills, 65% renewable electricity by 2030, aiming for 85% as technology improves and diffuses. Deliver investment and industrial strategy to create over 300,000 renewables jobs throughout the country along the whole supply chain, halve air pollution deaths by 2030 by promoting a shift to electric and hydrogen buses and cars; a network of low-emission zones; and to cycling with safe cycle lanes and hire schemes in every town and city. End polluting energy: Take action now to keep 80% of fossil fuels in the ground globally, phase out coal power stations by the early 2020s. Ban fracking, Fully implement all EU environmental protections, Introduce a long-term plan to begin the recovery of nature including regulations in farming and fishing, and the use of pesticides. End the pay-to-pollute approach.
Conservative – Scrapping support for onshore wind, Solar subsidies to be axed too, Selling off the green investment bank, Watering down the incentive to buy a greener car ( all cars pay the same £140 annual fee, meaning greener cars are now no cheaper), supporting Fracking, No more zero carbon homes and will work with overseas territory governments to create a blue belt of marine protection.
It sounds like we are purposely mentioning no policies from the Tories because we are being biased. But we just read the entire 88 page manifesto and they only mentioned two points on the environment (briefly as well, may we add) that they will try and look after some sea life and that they support fracking (which is not even environmentally friendly.)
So, we won’t tell you who to vote for. Just look at the manifestos and make your own mind up.
Anyway. To the point of this blog post, which is to be helpful! We thought it best to list a few things YOU can do, to be more environmentally friendly!
1) Cut down on meat.
This isn’t a lie that veggies are spreading. Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, water and causes immense animal suffering. 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. Where as the production of plants takes far less energy, land and supplies.
2) Start a Compost heap
3) Slow down when you drive!
4) Driving at 50mph uses 25% less fuel than driving at 70mph.
5) Recycle more.
6) Turn off the lights
7) Shop online rather than at the shops.
8) Take food home from restaurants
9) Invest in a re-usable cup for both water and coffee
In fact most coffee shops are more than happy to use your own cups, and they even knock off money sometimes!
10) Re-use containers for food and try and purchase food that is not packaged.
Loose fruits are great! And not just plastic containers can be reused but even a peanut butter jar can be reused as a holder for fairy lights!
11) Take shorter showers
12) Insulate your home!
13) Buy rechargeable batteries
14) Purchase used furniture.
So that’s our list of some things you can do to make a positive change! But depending on where you live, campaigning may be so important! Or voting people into power that you can trust to support your hopes for the environment.
We hope that this post was helpful to you! Even the little changes make a huge difference. And if you think you could never do enough on your own so there is no point… IF everyone made a change, we would have nothing to worry about.