What can I do?
Individual Top Tips
If you’re wondering what you can do about climate change and nature loss, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Hover over each panel below for some ideas.
First, calculate your personal carbon footprint:
Simply answer a few quick questions about your lifestyle, diet and transport habits to find your footprint. Follow the link below. For reference the average person in the UK had a carbon footprint of 5.48 tonnes in 2019.
We are using the carbon calculator designed by Carbon Savvy, a not-for-profit organisation challenging us to know our carbon footprint and take steps to reduce it!
Why individual action?
Individual action, alongside corporate activity and policy changes, is an essential aspect of helping Devon achieve net-zero carbon.
Because change is needed
“Everyone is going to have to be involved,” says Debra Roberts, co-chair of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Furthermore, the IPPC says we are going to need “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society to deal with climate change”.
We deserve better as citizens
Of course, climate change cannot be solved by individuals changing their driving or buying habits alone. Other changes, bigger, system-wide changes are of course required. But as individuals, you can exercise your right both as citizens and as consumers. For example, you can put pressure on the government and on companies to initiate the system-wide changes that are needed.
Because we can inspire others
We are all heavily dependent on social influence and the practices of those around us. Why not adopt some sustainable practices and see who around you also starts to change? As Greta says, our actions are important not because they have a material effect on climate change, but because of the message they send to others. In a survey by The Conversation, half of the respondents who knew someone who has given up flying because of climate change said they subsequently fly less. So, if people need cues from their peers to change their behaviour, then why not be that individual and lead by example?
Which actions have the biggest impact?
Different actions have different levels of impact regarding the reduction of your individual carbon footprint. A study by Wynes & Nicholas (2017) highlighted some of the most impactful changes an individual can make which is summarised in the infographic.
This study identifies the actions which have the greatest impact on reducing individuals’ greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst everyone may not be able to adopt these changes completely, reducing car usage, reducing air travel, eating more plant-based foods, buying green energy and having fewer children are some of the most impactful changes that you can make to reduce your carbon footprint.