There are many stories in the media and online at the moment about the damage that humans are doing to the planet. It is easy to feel that the problems are so overwhelming that there is nothing that an individual can do about them. But if lots of people take individual actions, all those actions add up to make a real change.
So what actions can you take to live a more environmentally friendly life? Where can you find guidance to make these changes? And are there any groups offering support to help you green your life? There is a lot of advice online, on blogs, Facebook groups and Instagram posts. On the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) website (Click here), you can calculate your carbon footprint and then read about ways to make it smaller. Friends of The Earth have advice on greener living (Click here) and also have Planet Protector Packs for children to get involved.
Closer to home, Herefordshire Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019, acknowledging that they need to act on the causes and impacts of climate change. In response they recently launched a project called Greener Footprints. Click here to see the website which lists changes you can make, to make a difference to your carbon emissions. The website has stories from ordinary Herefordians about how they have reduced their carbon footprint and you can share your own ideas on the website for tackling climate change. The top tips: ‘22 Ways to show you care for the environment and nature in 2022’ is a good place to start.
The Council website also gives links to the Great Collaboration (Click here) an interactive web platform developed by Herefordshire Green Network to support and encourage individuals and local communities to reduce their carbon and ecological footprints. The website has a list of Actions that you can take, applicable to everyday life. As you work through the Actions, you will learn about the environmental cost of the day-to-day things we all do, and learn how to reduce your carbon footprint as you go. Each Action shows the monetary cost of taking that action (a lot of them are free and will save you money!) and the potential emissions reduction. The website provides information about what is happening locally in Herefordshire as well the opportunity to delve deeper into each Action.
Some Actions are easy – you may be doing them already and can tick them off straight away. Other Actions are more challenging and you may need help or advice to know how to tackle them. The website helps with this too: there’s a button that you can click, to feedback on why you can’t achieve that Action right now and that data is sent to your local council. This feedback helps the council know where their efforts should be targeted. If your local council has not signed up to The Great Collaboration, ask them to do so.
So this March, resolve to tread more lightly on the earth. There is lots of help available to enable you to do so, and the world will thank you for it.
The article ‘What Can You Do In 2022?’ by Rachel Hickley first appeared in the March issue of Ledbury Focus, published by Grapevine Publications.