Four easy(ish) ways to help save the world

One step at a time: UK carbon emissions from farming have fallen by 3% since 2012.

How much difference can one person make? It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the mammoth task of rescuing our planet, but there are some simple changes we can all practise.

1/ Say goodbye to burgers. In May, a report concluded that giving up meat and dairy is “the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth”. The farming industry produces around a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gases, which drive global warming.

If you want to go a step further, grow your own vegetables at home. This could help cut down on plastic.

2/ Get on your bike. In the UK, road transport makes up 26% of greenhouse gas emissions. Half of all road trips are under three miles — a distance most people could comfortably cycle in 20 minutes with zero damage to the environment.

3/ Rein in your shopping habit. The rise of cheap clothing is an environmental disaster. Microfibers from synthetic fabrics clog the oceans. Overall, the fashion industry produces as much greenhouse gas as the whole of Russia.

Rather than tossing old clothes in the bin, donate them to your local charity shop so they do not end up in a landfill.

4/ Spread the word! Whether it is signing a petition or sharing an article about global warming, there are lots of ways you can show you care and extend your impact by changing minds along the way.

But how much difference can one person make?

Reduce, reuse, recycle

It’s a losing battle, say some. Scientists have been telling us about the terrifying impact of climate change for years now and it hasn’t made a difference. There’s no reason to believe the majority of people will suddenly change. Faced with this apathy, one individual will have no effect at all.

Don’t be so pessimistic, respond others. Yes, the actions of one person may seem vanishingly small, but if everyone saw that as a reason to give up then there wouldn’t be much good in the world at all. Besides, your actions might get others thinking about their own choices.

You Decide

  1. Can one person make a difference?

Activities

  1. Can you think of any other ways you could help the environment in your own life? Make a list of three more and discuss your answers as a class. See how many different ways you can come up with.

Some People Say...

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

President John F. Kennedy

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
The temperature of the Earth is rising almost twice as fast now as it was 50 years ago, and the only way scientists can explain this acceleration is through greenhouse gases emitted by humans.
What do we not know?
Whether we will do enough to slow climate change, and what exactly will happen if we do not.

Word Watch

Greenhouse gases
Gases that contribute to the “greenhouse effect” by trapping the sun’s warmth in the Earth’s lower atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas by far, followed by methane and nitrous oxide.
Microfibers
Tiny pieces of plastic that come from synthetic fabrics like polyester.
Apathy
Showing a lack of interest of concern.