What can I do to help fight climate change?

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. Click on each button above for some ideas.

Why individual action?

Individual action, alongside corporate and policy changes, is an essential aspect of helping Devon achieve net-zero carbon. “Everyone is going to have to be involved,” says Debra Roberts, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the group tasked with the report. Furthermore, the IPPC says we are going to need “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society to deal with climate change”.

Two people cycling co-bikes in Exeter
Co-Bikes electric bike in Exeter

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.

Furthermore, we are all heavily dependent on social influence and the practises of those around us. Why not adopt some sustainable practises 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 fly less because of this. 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 below.

Graph showing annual carbon savings of different actions.
Graph showing annual carbon savings of different actions.

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.