Extinction Rebellion begins at home
PUBLISHED: 08:15 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:39 02 November 2019
As demonstrations ramp up in support of more government action on climate change, Sue Jackman of Extinction Rebellion Seaton and Axe Valley shares a few thoughts on changes nearer to home.
'The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it' Robert Swann OBE
Despite our Prime Minister's disparaging remarks about Extinction Rebellion being made up of 'uncooperative crusties', those of us deeply concerned about climate change actually come from all walks of life and all age groups with very different sets of skills, experiences and expertise. But one thing we all share is a deep conviction that this complex, delicately balanced world of ours is fast heading towards extinction; not extinction caused by the natural cycles of nature as some still claim, but by the damage inflicted by human beings on our planet.
Many of our local councils have taken the situation seriously and have declared a state of climate emergency; they have begun the work of establishing their carbon footprint with the ultimate aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 but they need our help.
Here are just a few simple ideas to start thinking about
1. Avoid flying and reduce driving - walk, cycle or use public transport whenever possible. Aim for local holidays rather than going abroad.
2. Reduce your meat and dairy consumption because most livestock is fed on imported grains, and intensive meat and dairy production uses large quantities of water. Move towards a more plant based diet.
3. Help plant trees and insect-friendly plants in public places and in your own garden to help soak up carbon and promote biodiversity. Find alternatives to chemical pest control, peat based composts and plastic pots.
4. Buy local produce (not just local shops!) to reduce the carbon footprint of what you eat. Grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs whenever possible and eat what is in season; prepare fresh food and cut down on processed foods.
5. Cut down on food waste - we waste millions of tonnes of food each year, a lot of it being food that has been flown around the world to reach our tables. Compost kitchen waste whenever possible.
6. Re-use, reduce, refill, recycle - in that order!
Making these changes should not lull us into a false sense of security that 'we have done our bit for the environment' and all will be well. But they can be an important part of the solution as long as at the same time we remain focused on the bigger issues and demand action from our decision makers, as Extinction Rebellion are doing over the next two weeks.