2022 is going to be the year of the Citizen. The year when Citizens begin to understand both their accountability and also their personal power.
While we are being told individuals can't impact climate change, we'll realise that individuals are the only thing that can impact climate change. That our voices deserve to be heard. That businesses need to stop treating Citizens as Consumers. And treat us like Citizens. With rights. And Citizens also need to invest in themselves. Show up. Act.
Hands down, there is nothing that works harder for the environment than a person simply buying less. Think about the system - every product you don't buy knocks out an entire supply chain - of the product, its packaging, its transport, it's storage. And all of the processes that surround it's payment. That's a pile of stuff.
Right now, the number one rule for all of us is to understand emissions and do whatever we can to reduce them. This does not mean counting emissions, at least not at first. It means understanding emissions and knowing what creates the most emissions in your life for the least reason. Before starting to count emissions, stop doing things you don't need to do. The stuff that adds zero value to your life. Leave it on the shelf. Vote for a better planet by not buying things that unnecessarily use resources and create waste. Once you've sorted this piece, then calculate your carbon footprint.
Understanding emissions gives you the best chance of understanding emissions greenwashing - and making more balanced decisions in the face of crazy business claims.
Let's start with a baseline of what you have. Keep it. There is no point in getting a more eco version of something you already have because while the new thing is better, the old one still exists. Cars, electronics, furniture. Anything really.
This is a very tricky and controversial convo. When you have kids, you sign up to trash the planet, even if you are the most diligent and eco conscious parent. Clothing, nappies, support structures, transport from birth to 17 is highly carbon intensive. Increasing numbers of couples are not having kids or reducing the number they have. Bottom line - if you do have kids, educate them well with a high level of awareness for climate action. Offset their carbon and teach them to do the same. They are our potential solution path.
Explore your own back yard and visit far horizons way less than we once would have. Turn those long haul holidays back into special treats and when you do them, work them as hard as you can. Stay longer when you get where you are going and minimise air travel as much as you can.
Synthetics are plastic. Every synthetic. Polyester, Nylon, Lycra. All of it. Some of it may be recycled - like your lycra, if it's made from econyl. The problem with plastic fashion is that it sheds microplastics - in the wash, into the air, into your lungs and body. It doesn't biodegrade and isn't recyclable, unless it's econyl, which needs to go to the right facility. Wear as much natural fibre as you can.
Around a third of all internet traffic is reported to be porn. Setting aside the societal issues created by porn, the energy footprint of all that traffic is massive. As reported in The Atlantic, according to Nathan Ensmenger, a professor at Indiana University, the world's most popular streamer, Pornhub, used 5.967 million kWh in 2016. Five years one, with two of those in COVID lockdowns, that is likely to be around 7 million.
One of the easiest things to grow - and something every household can do - grow your own herbs. From the nutrients, through the positive energy live plants give, to the money you save and the waste you never have (including zero packaging), diy herbs is a no brainer, must do.
Practivism is activism in disguise. It's hard to imagine how anyone isn't an activist for some kind of cause. It's simply a question of how loudly you shout about and act on your cause. Being a practivist for a safer planet is simply about living your daily lifestyle choices thoughtfully. Being aware of the impact of your footprint and acting accordingly. Understanding circularity, emissions, farming impacts, food choices, transport impacts - both miles and weights, energy.
Unless your pets are working pets (like chickens or goats), your pets create a rather large hoofprint. Pets consume around 20 percent of the world's fish and meat. That might sound like a lot, but there are close to a billion cats and dogs in the world and they are hungry! While for many people it's not practical to keep chickens, if you can, do. They are fantastic scrap eaters and they provide you with rather excellent food in return.