What Can I Do About Climate Change?
This is a question that we often hear. Climate change can be a confusing topic as there’s so much you can do. We’ve broken it down for you, starting with the Green Run – actions for you and going up the POW Mountain to the Black Run and influencing banks.
Click on a run below to get started and Protect Our Winters!
We can all make changes in our lives to reduce our carbon footprint, the green run covers the things you can do in your own life to make a difference
We often don’t think about how our food comes. Strawberries don’t grow in the UK in December, we have to fly them in. Switch your diet and eat seasonal food (This BBC table is a great guide) and eating locally produced food instead of imported products.
Avoid "Fast Fashion"
Our consumer lifestyle is great for a big wardrobe but not for a healthy planet. Avoid “Fast Fashion” and clothes you’ll only wear once and repair clothes rather than throwing them out for a small defect; you’ll save your wallet and the planet!
Reforestation is the only way to remove carbon from the atmosphere, clean the air and mitigate climate change. We’ve partnered with Mossy Earth to create the POW Membership, which plants 2 trees every month to help reduce your carbon footprint. You can also offset individual trips or get a personal footprint calculation. Visit their website to get started!
There are lots of ways to save energy at home, from switching off lights and appliances to using low energy bulbs. You can also save both money and energy by unpluging devices when they’re not in use. It’s been calculated that so-called “vampire devices” use $19Billion of electricity per year!
Wherever you can, using public transport is an easy way to reduce carbon emissions. Avoiding flying where possible and taking ski holidays in Europe rather than North America or Japan has a lower carbon footprint. You can also consider taking the snow train to the alps instead of flying to cut emissions.
Meat has a huge carbon footprint. It takes 18.2Kg of CO2 and 22,000 litres of water to produce 500g of beef. You don’t have to go vegetarian/vegan overnight, but reducing your meat consumption has a big effect.
Green spaces are one of the best things you can do for the environment. If you have the space, creating a garden and planting trees will help absorb some of our CO2, as well as reducing local air temperatures, compared to concrete or brick.
The easiest thing to do is switch to a renewable energy supplier. Not only is it good for the planet but you can save hundreds of pounds a year! Check out the Big Clean Switch and find out how much you can save!
We all have a choice when it comes to who we buy from. If you’re looking for new gear, make sure you check out our Eco-Friendly Kit blog for some fantastic companies with a strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
One third of all food purchased in the UK currently goes to waste, with most of it ending up in a landfill. By only purchasing the food you need, not only do we reduce waste, but we also need to import less from overseas, reducing our carbon footprint.
Use a washing line or clothes rack instead to dry clothes. Tumble dryers use five times as much electricity as washing machines, so there’s a big saving to be made. If your boiler is more than 15 years old, replace it: the carbon saving in the long run will be more than the cost of the new boiler and you can reduce your gas bill by 1/3!
The blue is all about influencing others. Once you’ve looked at your own footprint and reduced it where you can it’s time to get your friends and family on board. There are lots of ways you can encourage others to look at their carbon footprint, here are just a few to get you started.
Host a Film Screening
Once you’ve watched ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and ‘Chasing Ice’, share them with your friends. Host a film screening or mini film festival and combine it with the latest Warren Miller or MSP film to hammer in the message of what we’re fighting for.
Organise local group holidays
You don’t have to go all the way to Japan or North America to get amazing conditions. Winter in Europe isn’t dead yet and you’ll save tonnes of CO2 by not flying half way around the world to get your fix of the white stuff.
Use Video Conferencing
Suggest to your work that you use video conferencing rather than employees travelling between locations for meetings. Not only will it save on the travel, it also saves on the employee’s travel time making everyone more productive!
Talk about the Green Run
Tell other people about the changes you’ve made, whether that’s how much you’ve saved by switching to a green energy provider or how easy it actually is to live on a flexitarian / vegetarian / vegan diet. Once others see how easy it is to start they’ll be eager to get on board.
Write to your MP
Get political and write to your MP to tell them how much climate change matters to you. They won’t make changes unless we tell them it matters and if we all get involved we can make a difference.
If your work is too far off a public transport route for you to commute, ask around the office and find people coming from the same area who you can carpool with. Not only do you immediately halve your carbon emissions, you halve your cost of commuting and the more you share with the better it is.
Companies have the power to make changes at scale. More and more, customers are choosing to do business with companies who have a strong sense of corporate social responsibility and good environmental policies.
Become a POW Partner
Encourage your company to become a POW UK corporate sponsor. We work with companies at all levels and budgets to address the climate crisis. Find out more on our corporate partners page.
Become Carbon Literate
Run Carbon Literacy training for key people or become a fully carbon literate organisation so you can develop a effective sustainability and CSR policies.
Quiz Your Staff
Present to or survey staff on climate change, understand their level of knowledge and concern about climate change and then run seminars or lunchtime presentations to educate them.
Get Your Club Involved
If you’re part of a university club, outdoor sports group or company team you can get involved with the POW UK Winter Guardians programme and start influencing those around you.
This is the steepest and most challenging of the runs, influencing money.
Engage with your bank
Find out what their sustainability policy is – Who do they lend to and, more importantly, who don’t they lend to? Do they have funds specifically for environmentally friendly companies? If so, can you move your money into them? Funds are starting to divest fossil fuel assets but the more noise we make, the faster this will happen
Watch this video from Aviva to understand how your pension fund can make a difference and how you can influence it.
Engage with your employer
Engage with your employer on pension investment policy – aim to move to climate aware funds with active stewardship. We’re working with share action to encourage pension funds to invest sustainably.
Find out more about shareaction here.