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Climate change and sustainability

Individuals and communities

Climate change may appear to be a difficult issue over which individuals have little control. Individual and community actions, however, can make a significant difference.

Actions you can take as an individual or as a community

Eat local and grow your own food

Purchasing food from supermarkets can be harmful to our health due to the added chemicals on these foods, as well as harmful to the environment due to the large amount of greenhouse gas emissions created by the transportation of these foods from abroad. So, if you have a garden, shared green space or a space in your community that could be turned into an allotment, you can try growing your own vegetables or get together with neighbours to see if you can arrange a scheme with a local farmer.

Choose sustainable commute

Many of our daily trips can be made without driving. Taking the bus instead, when available and feasible, could significantly reduce your carbon footprint. If possible, cycling or walking can be even healthier, less expensive and better for the environment.

Community energy scheme

Hundreds of communities across the country have already established their own locally owned energy schemes based on their landscape, making use of village hall roofs, windy hills and old weirs to generate low carbon from their landscape. Many organisations throughout the country, including the UK government, provide support for community energy. Community energy schemes can help the community save money on energy, help the environment by generating renewable energy and diversify the energy system.

Energy efficiency at home

Some easy steps by homeowners/individuals can cut your energy bills as well as help the planet in reducing greenhouse gas emission, such as:

  • switching to green tariff provider energy suppliers
  • purchasing energy-efficient home appliances or LED light bulbs (LEDs use 75% less energy than incandescent lighting and last much longer)
  • unplug devices and turn off switches when not in use and/or leaving the home
  • wash clothes and keep the thermostat at a lower temperature if possible

Grow greens

Planting trees may not be attainable for everyone due to a lack of space or limited information about the appropriate species. However, individuals can still contribute to greener spaces where possible by participating in community tree planting or voluntary tree-planting projects or by growing hedges for people who own gardens.

Follow the Rs

Almost everything we buy, from new clothes to computers and everything in between, contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions that are choking our atmosphere. The "three Rs"— reduce, reuse and recycle — help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from new-product manufacturing. Reducing, reusing and recycling waste helps save landfill space by keeping useful materials out.

Last modified on 27 July 2023

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