Level three

Things you can do THIS YEAR

Pledge not to fly for a year, and talk about it…

“Flying is amazing. You get in a machine with loads of other people, their luggage, toilets, food and films and then GO IN THE SKY and travel thousands of miles to parts of the world our ancestors only dreamt of. But doing something that amazing also uses up an enormous amount of energy. Moreover, because emissions from planes are released high in the atmosphere, they do more damage than carbon released from ground level.
It would take eight return trips from London to Berlin on the train to clock up the carbon associated with just one return flight to the German capital. Avoiding a return transatlantic flight saves more carbon than the average Briton choosing to live car-free for an entire year. On current trends, aviation will account for a quarter of the UK’s entire carbon emissions by 2050. And here’s the clincher, while we can swap solar panels for power stations and electric vehicles for diesels, there’s just no such thing as a fossil-fuel free domestic aeroplane.
You might well find this one pretty easy. Over half of the British population don’t fly at all in any given year, and only 15% of us take three or more flights. Globally, only 5% of the world’s population have ever flown. But if your family are thinking about where to go on holiday this year, and you’re not talking about visiting family who live somewhere you can only really realistically get to on a plane, why not choose a destination you can take a train or boat to?
And does it matter what one person’s holiday choices are? Apparently so. Research shows that if our peers have reduced flying for environmental reasons, we are more likely to make the same change ourselves. We’re also more willing to support action by government to fairly manage overall demand for flying, in line with climate science. It’s one of those things that goes viral fast. In Sweden, inspired by Greta Thunberg, a whole “flygskam” (flight shame) movement is building as people shift from planes to trains. So simply by pick a low-carb holiday, you’ll be helping others shift their behaviour too.” Alice Bell

Change your bank…

Most mainstream banks are heavily invested in the fossil fuel industry, basically meaning that they are supporting the big oil and gas companies and funding new projects by companies like BP and Shell. If you or your family bank with Barclays for example, your money is going directly to the fossil fuel companies.

Consider switching (or persuading your family) to Triodos – “one of the most sustainable banks in the world. We make money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change.”

And if you or whoever runs your bank accounts thinks it’s too much hassle to change, you can use this excellent FREE Current Account Switch Service.

Get your house insulated

If it isn’t already, this is THE BEST way to use less energy, save money and stay warm in the winter! Most people can get grants to cover the costs of this. Find out how much you can get here.