The recent UN report describing the earth on the edge of a catastrophic no return climate emergency has left many people thinking and wondering what we can all do better. When UN Secretary Generial Antonio Guterres referred to the report as a "Code red for humanity" it seems to the average person that there is no going back in terms of the climate, and it is only big government decisions that can reverse the ever worsening climate situation. However this is not entirely true, there are everyday things that we can all do.
Here are some easy day to day easy steps to make a difference:
1) Buy Local
When shopping for food try shopping at a local store, or if there isn't one check the country of origin in the supermarket. This is often on the front of packaging, especially on fruit and vegetables. The environmental costs of, for example transporting asparagus from Peru, is extremely damaging to the environment Especially when it freely grows in the UK and Europe at certain times of the year. If its out of season maybe you can pick a different vegetable to replace it with. This isn't just for food either, although that is a big contributor to climate change, consider all of your purchases and think how much diesel has been used by that enormous shipping tanker transporting your product from China.
2) Switch the lights off
Seems so very simple, but its amazing how many people will pointlessly light hallways and rooms that nobody is in for hours. Although in recent years governments have tried to transition away from dirty coal and oil burning power plants there is still a long way to go. It easier nowadays with movement sensor lighting or automation via Amazon Alexa, or Philips Hue lighting. So think of it this way, every time you leave a unnecessary light on, there is some coal burning away somewhere in the country to power it.
3) Minimise paper use
One of the few good things to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic was the introduction of apps, and QR codes as a daily process for people. Although occasionally annoying and hopefully unneeded in the near future for basic day to day things like shops and pubs, the use of such technology and its benefits to the enviroment cannot be ignored. Hopefully gone are the days of printed tickets for football matches, airplanes etc. Paper is a contributor to climate change. Trees absorb CO2, a major greenhouse gas, and when they are cut down and then processed using energy such as petrol and electricity it has a double negative impact on the climate.
4) Repair clothes, don't replace (where possible)
Fast fashion is becoming a major problem worldwide and this has a in turn a big impact on the environment. Cheap clothes that are made not to last and are then simply thrown away after being produced in awful conditions and then shipped across the world in heavily polluting ships. Clothes are of course essential and we certainly would say you should consider wearing them still! However the considerations could be made for the good of the environment. Could that pair of ripped jeans be repaired? Maybe if you need that new dress you could go to a retro second hand store? Or potentially you could borrow off a friend, and not only help the environment but also save money.
The elephant in the room. We have a love affair for our meat, and its a personal choice whether you eat it or not and at no point would we be the people to tell you not too. This subject is one of the most derisive and controversial, pitting vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters into a ongoing battle. One thing that cannot be ignored though is that meat is a huge contributor to climate change and if we didn't eat meat there would be less CO2 and methane. There is however controversy, with many scientists pointing out that clearing large areas of land for growing vegetables for the worlds population could also cause similar issues. Its a difficult subject, but there are simple changes to make. If you are having a steak do you really need it be imported from Japan, or Brazil? Could it be bought from a British local farmer, where transport costs and animal welfare are better? Cows product a lot of methane, could your chilli con carne not have red meat in it and maybe have more beans or more enviromentally friendly chicken or turkey mince? Ultimately its down to personal choice, but small changes by everyone could make a big difference overall.
At Hype Design we are trying to become more eco-friendly. But we certainly aren't perfect. As a small business we have to consider the cost implications of changes. Are customers prepared to pay more for products if it comes in eco-friendly packaging? The honest answer is mostly no, not currently. We are trying everyday to find cost effective solutions that benefit the environment, provide a good service for the customer and also enable us to turn a profit, but its not easy. The one thing we would say is please bare with us, and your feedback and input is always appreciated.
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