Sunday, September 29, 2013

Model a new future-to help the planet.

I read the summary of the latest International Panel on Climate Change report. Scary stuff!
Here is a readable summary from the newly crowd-funded Climate Council

I believe that now is the time for us all to start putting the story into action in our lives. We have to begin modelling a new future for the planet, one which is not so carbon-heavy and so damaging.

There are easy steps which we in the carbon heavy world economies like Australia could take right now:

1. Use the car less, use public transport more.  It makes sense to share the drive with others going the same way -if your city has a safe reliable public transport system you are ahead of the game. I live in Perth, where the public transport is a bit crowded and could be more frequent, but is still EMINENTLY reliable and usable.  My DH and I have been using lots of public transport to get around since we stopped working full time. It is cheap and easy, and you get to read while 'getting there!".

2. Use your legs -walking or riding -to get around. Free exercise in the open air! I have a lovely little 'nanna trolley' which is the envy of most of the people in my suburb -it helps me swap short distance car rides for a nice stroll to the local shop. I also have access to a good pair of shoes, and a nice paved lucky is that?

3. Repair, re-use, re-cycle. Every manufactured thing we own has cost the earth something to make -if we can repair it or find a new use for it, that saves the energy it would take to make it again. Mind you  there are plenty of barriers to repairing things.  Our old clothes line broke and despite the manufacturer offering parts on their website, we were unable to get any replacement parts after three months of trying.  Bad customer service and bad for the planet!

4. Eat local foods.  Do think about where you food comes from, and how much carbon it took to get it to you. Oranges from California are available in our shops when they are out of season in the southern hemisphere, for example. I don't think we can afford to keep on doing this unless those Californian growers can find carbon friendly transport options. I choose to buy local fruit and vegetables in season, and to grow as much of my own food as possible.

5. Work on reducing food waste.  The UN says 
  • Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.
  • Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change.
There is a British site which helps people to learn to 'love food hate waste"  -with lots of great ideas and recipes for getting started.

Want more inspiration? The simple living institute has a great free book with stories of real people from around the world living more simply. Get yours here.

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