March 2021

Limiting Climate Change – how can we help?

This is the last Green Tip of the Month in this series. The Ilkley u3a Environment Forum have been supplying a Green Tip every month for a year and now it’s time for a rest. In this last issue, we are taking an overview and looking at the actions we can all take that will have the most impact in limiting the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

While world leaders are making commitments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, what can we, as individuals, do to help?  It might feel that one small change won’t make much difference, but there are so many of us that change will happen if we all work together.

There are many measures we can take - and they are all important – but it makes sense to target the changes that have the biggest impact. What would be on your list of the 5 activities that would most reduce your carbon footprint?

In a study carried out in the US in 2019, people were given a list of 10 actions, all of which reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. They were asked to choose the 3 actions they thought to be most effective. The results were surprising. Almost half of the people listed ‘recycling’ as their first choice. Only 11% chose ‘having one fewer child’ – when, in fact, this would have the greatest impact and far outstrips all the others! Well, that is no longer an option for us, so let’s look at the next most important actions

Key actions to limit climate change.

There are many other actions we can take, but the ones above have the most impact.

Recycling, of course, is very important and something we should do, but the issue is complex. The key here is to reduce the production and use of plastics drastically, but then responsibly reuse and recycle what plastic is made.

Our guiding motto should be to cut all waste:  *REDUCE * REUSE * RECYCLE*

Below are links to three websites. You can use the WWF questionnaire to get an idea of your carbon footprint.  The Soil Association site gives more advice on measures you can take to reduce your footprint. Finally, if you haven’t already done so, consider joining Climate Action Ilkley - or at least look at their website which is full of useful information.

Soil Association. ’10 ways to cut your climate footprint’


Gwen Pilling

Ilkley u3a Environment Forum

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