This week Sue Vincent offers a number of photos for her #write photo challenge. I have chosen the image of person looking at the sea and am using it as an opportunity to compile a list of things individuals and communities can do on a grass roots level to combat climate change.
“There is no cavalry coming to the rescue, but what happens when ordinary people decide that they are the cavalry? Between the things we can do as individuals, and the things government and business can do to respond to the challenges of our times, lies a great untapped potential. It’s about what you can create with the help of the people who live in your street, your neighbourhood, your town. If enough people do it, it can lead to real impact, to real jobs and real transformation of the places we live, and beyond.” Rob Hopkins – Transition Towns Movement https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jun/15/transition-towns-way-forward
Here’s a list of some of the ideas I have come across. It’s in no particular order but is simply compiled as I remember things I’ve read:-
- Reduce the amount of animal products you consume.
“The researchers found a global shift to a “flexitarian” diet was needed to keep climate change even under 2C, let alone 1.5C. This flexitarian diet means the average world citizen needs to eat 75% less beef, 90% less pork and half the number of eggs, while tripling consumption of beans and pulses and quadrupling nuts and seeds. This would halve emissions from livestock and better management of manure would enable further cuts.https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/10/huge-reduction-in-meat-eating-essential-to-avoid-climate-breakdown
2. Grow Permaculture Food Forests at a community level
Growing food in permaculture style food forests could significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
“According to project Drawdown, food forests can be integrated into some existing agricultural systems and others can be converted or restored to it. If adopted on an additional 46 million acres of land by 2050, from the current 247 million acres, 9.3 gigatons of carbon dioxide could be sequestered. This roughly amounts to China’s total carbon dioxide emissions in 2015.” https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/agriculture/can-permaculture-reverse-climate-change–58729
3. Move towards creating communities that supply their own energy needs through wind and solar power.
” The terms transition town, transition initiative and transition model refer to grassrootcommunity projects that aim to increase self-sufficiency to reduce the potential effects of peak oil,climate destruction, and economic instability. The “Transition Network”, founded in 2006, inspired the creation of many of the projects. A number of the groups are officially registered with the Transition Network. The first initiative to use the name was Transition Town Totnes, located in the United Kingdom. Transition initiatives have been started in locations around the world, with many located in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Australia.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transition_town
4. Plant trees
“Tom Crowther is a climate change ecologist at Swiss university ETH Zurich. Four years ago he found there are about 3 trillion trees already on earth — much higher than NASA’s previous estimate of 400 billion. Now, his team of researchers has calculated there is enough room on the planet for an additional 1.2 trillion — and that planting them would have huge benefits in terms of absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change.”The amount of carbon that we can restore if we plant 1.2 trillion trees, or at least allow those trees to grow, would be way higher than the next best climate change solution,” Crowther told CNN.”https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/17/world/trillion-trees-climate-change-intl-scn/index.html
5. Reduce Food Waste
” Preventing food waste is the most effective way to shrink its impact on the planet. If we avoid producing food that we don’t eat, we can save the land, water, and energy that would have been used to make it. And awareness is a good first step; according to ReFED, educating consumers about food waste could prevent 2.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. ” https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/fight-climate-change-by-preventing-food-waste
These are just some of the ideas I’ve come across. While some require effort on a community level others can be achieved by individuals. We can all work on eating less animal products and reducing the amount of food we waste. The choices we make as individuals can have a global impact. As the anthropologist Margaret Mead said:-
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”