11.01.19

6 Easy Ways You Can Help Tackle Climate Change

Laura Wells

I currently have a sweat moustache that has dripped a perfectly round bead of H2O onto the space bar of my laptop.

It’s the hottest day this early in the season in at least two decades, and boy am I feeling it! But my sweat moustache is not so much funny as it is ironic, because I am about to type how you, the everyday person can be a total environmental legend.

How you can help conserve our planet, your health and our future from the impacts of one of the most looming and important scenarios of our time, Climate Change.  – and you don’t need to be labeled a ‘Greenie’ (which to me is the pinnacle of cool) to do it.

how to take climate action

In early October the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) released their landmark report. Urgent and unprecedented action is needed to reach the Paris agreement of keeping global warming to a maximum of 1.5C. Even at this temperature, we will still experience significant drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for millions of people.

It will affect everyone, everywhere.

99% of corals will be lost, crop yields will be down due to loss of pollinator insects and loss of 50% of plant habitat. No more smashed avo. Fish catch will drop significantly, which is a major source of protein for at least 1 billion people already. Sea level rise and affect even more people- there will be millions of environmental refugees.

This is not a drill, it is not a debate, climate change is happening, it is affecting you right now, even if you may not recognise it.   

So, without getting too science-y, I’m going to give you some simple ways in which you can reduce your overall footprint. Things you can do each and every day to make a difference at an individual or household level. Empower you to set the example for others and be the change trendsetter. It’s not hard, it just comes down to how much you value your own health and that of those around you.  

We can’t win a healthy climate future if we aren’t playing the game.

1. Get educated

Actually read those articles about climate change and environment and what is going on. Don’t just scroll past in a hurry to see what the Kardashian’s are wearing (or not wearing usually).  These articles are important to your future, the more you know, the more you will value our planet and what you can do to help out! Also, your conversations with people will be so much more interesting and stimulating, and you’ll find you will connect with people who think the same way on a whole other level. It’s really powerful and very fulfilling.

2. Use your voice

I don’t expect you to be preaching about climate change and the end of the world at train stations. Your voice can be heard in a multitude of ways, mainly that in the form of voting. You need to vote for the people and parties that emulate your thoughts and what you want for the future. You can’t win a game you’re aren’t playing, so if you expect a government to be in power that is working for you, then you need to spend some time researching who that is.

Did you know you can also vote with your wallet? Each time you purchase an item or support a store or organisation you are essentially voting for them to stay in business. So, think ethically, think sustainably- where do they source their product from? Who makes it? This goes for over-consumption as well. Do you really need that $10 t-shirt just because its $10?

Another vital way your voice can be heard is through signing petitions. Yes, I know people trying to get you to sign things on your way to the coffee shop can be super annoying, but if you spend 2 minutes extra adding your name to the tally to help get something tabled in Parliament and actually heard by our leaders. Alternatively, it’s always good to be signing those online petitions too!

3. Diversification

Let me get all adult with you. Your superannuation and your bank are probably funding fossil fuel ventures that significantly contribute to a majority of CO2 entering our atmosphere. Aussies have around 2 Trillion dollars in Super, and about 50% is thought to be supporting polluting companies.  But you have the power to change that. Look for a super fund (Future Super is the best) that does not in any way support the fossil fuel industry. Know your money is doing the best thing possible!

4. Moooooooooooove over meat

Yes, it is true, agriculture is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gas due to deforestation for animal grazing, and all the burps and farts let out by cattle!  I don’t expect you to go hardcore vegan or vegetarian overnight, but I do recommend cutting back on your meat and poultry intake. It’s not hard to do, I actually turned vegetarian, and I was one of the biggest meat eaters I knew. Become a flexitarian if you can’t cut the flesh out altogether. It makes a massive difference to your carbon footprint!

5. BYO: I love a good BYO

I BYO everything: coffee cups, cutlery, shopping bags, straws, takeaway containers, water bottles and of course, my wine! Cutting back on our single-use plastic habit is key to keeping our oceans healthy, our bodies healthy (yes there are a lot of chemicals in those plastics) and also keeping those fossil fuels in the ground where they belong. Ditch your plastic habit and set an example for your mates and family. The turtles and the whales will thank you a lot!

6.  Out with the old, in with the old?

Yes, that’s right, reuse and repurpose. So much energy, resources, fossil fuels, and environmental impacts go into producing clothes, textiles, white goods, phones, computers, etc. Let’s start valuing things, not for what they cost, but for how and what they are produced from. Mend your clothes, fix broken items, give things a new life, get creative, and if all else fails, dispose of it properly and recycle where possible.

These are just 6 easy ways to start your adventure to reducing your emissions.

There are plenty more out there, but if you start with these, you will be making a considerable impact and once mastered you can kick off on the next emissions reduction adventures.

Just remember that each time you do one of these things you are subconsciously setting an example for the people around you to learn and do the same. It becomes infectious, and you will start challenging yourself to do even more.

The future is something we all have a hand in creating, so help us all the create a gosh dang masterpiece for the next generations.

Laura Wells

Laura Wells is an Environmentalist, presenter and one of Australia’s top plus size models. Holding degrees in both Biology and Law, qualifications in Environmental management systems and currently studying a Diploma of Paramedical Science; Laura’s passion for the environment, love for the ocean and interest in facilitating climate change action has led her to become a positive role model, advocate and ambassador for change.