Climate change is on the world’s agenda more than ever, not least because of David Attenborough’s most recent film on Netflix, A Life on Our Planet.
The film is what the 94-year-old broadcaster and nature historian calls his ‘witness statement’ and call to action for humanity to turn around the damage we’ve done to the planet we call home.
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We're running this account because we believe that we can create change and save our planet. It's why we made the film. But we have to do this together. So, who else needs to see it? Is it your mum or dad, a colleague, a business leader, a politician or your neighbour? A Life On Our Planet film is produced by @silverback_films and @wwf_uk
After watching the programme I asked my friend Jess, an ecologist and my go-to source for eco-friendly tips, what five things she thinks we can do as individuals to save the planet. Here’s what she said:
1) Reduce and reuse
A truckload of plastic enters our oceans every single minute according to Greenpeace. If we can reduce the amount we’re using and reuse the plastic that is already out there that’s a great start towards lessening the impact we’re having on the planet.
When it comes to recycling there’s plenty of great projects out there. Boots has just launched a scheme where you can recycle your cosmetic pots and get £5 of points back and Terracycle shows you local points where you can recycle anything from coffee capsules to plastic lids to crisp packets.
You can also make eco-bricks which are bricks made from plastic which can’t be recycled elsewhere. They are used for building things like furniture and playparks which is a great alternative to the plastic going straight into landfill.
2) Eat less meat
The production of meat and dairy accounts for around 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). So reducing the amount of meat and dairy we eat will help lessen the impact we have on the planet.
A few years back I was very much a carnivore but decided to take part in Veganuary. I haven’t eaten meat since and I’d challenge anyone to give it a go for a few weeks and see how you feel. I do still eat a bit of fish and dairy but reducing your consumption of meat is one of the best things you can do for the planet.
What’s more, there are some great new plant-based foods out there now – so even if you just try ‘Meatless Mondays’ or swap a few meals out for plant-based alternatives, you’re making a difference.
3) Less air travel
Taking several flights a year can seriously increase your carbon footprint, so the advice is to reduce the amount you’re travelling by plane. There are obviously greener alternatives such as train and ferry travel, as well as taking staycations here in the UK, but if you do have to take to the skies there are ways to offset your carbon impact.
Find out more about the carbon impact of the way you travel, here.
4) Eat local and seasonal
Eating local and seasonal food is one way to reduce your carbon footprint as your food hasn’t travelled halfway across the world to reach your plate.
And the idea is if you’re eating seasonally this should help save money too; you’re not paying the costs of the travel and there should be an abundance of that food during its growing season. Plus, if it’s fresh it’s got to taste better, right?
5) Spend time in nature and take ownership
Going out and experiencing the natural world is one of the best ways to persuade us to take ownership and look after our planet.
Take the opportunity to get out into nature and remind yourself what is at stake. Take an interest in wildlife, learn about the natural world around us. Go and take part in a beach clean or explore what countryside escapes your local area has to offer.
For more on what you can do to help the planet and turn the tide on climate change, there’s plenty of great information from organisations like the WWF, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace to name just a few.
Find out more about David Attenborough’s film, A Life On Our Planet, here.