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4 Easy New Years Resolutions That Have The Biggest Impact On Climate Change

We all know that making changes to our convenient lifestyle will have an impact on climate change. But how much of an impact will you have by adopting change?

Seth Wynes & Kimberly Nicholas produced an interesting graph that shows the personal choices we make, and what impact that will ultimately have on climate change.

 

Source: Seth Wynes/Kimberly Nicholas, Environmental Research Letters, 2017

 

Let’s start with some high impact options.

Eat Plant-Based

Yes, you have heard this time and time again, but you may not know how much of an impact you have when you cut animal products from your diet. According to the UN Food and Agriculture, in 2014, approximately 50 billion chickens are killed each year alone. With the total number increases substantially when you add in Cattle, Pigs, Sheep, Turkeys and other living creatures. This type of Agribusiness is responsible for deforestation, fires, and greenhouse emissions that affect our planet.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Per Calorie

Emissions intensity kgCO2EQ per 200kcal

Source: “Meat: The Future Series. Alternative Proteins”, World Economic Forum 2019, page 11

 

With the number of alternative products on the market increasing on a monthly basis, there has never been an easier time to swap out animal products for plant-based. Generally, you won’t even know the difference, as you can see in our recent blind taste test with the new Domino’s Pizza plant-based meat. It really just comes down to choice, and whether you are willing to make that choice.

We suggest to start small and make it fun and exciting, discovering vegetables or alternatives you haven’t eaten before. Try meat-free Mondays, or Veganuary, and then move closer and closer to a plant-based solution for the long term.

 

Move Your Money

Believe it or not, where you hold your money indirectly impacts our environment. Australia’s big four banks still invest heavily in fossil fuels. This will only change when we make renewables more attractive. In 2017 it’s estimated that approx $7 Billion was invested in fossil fuels, which was more than three times what went into renewables. Moving to a more sustainable banking institute will show how much this means to Australian’s. Letting our money dictate the future and not our politicians.

Change the way you travel

Ditching the car and switching to public transport (bus, tram, train) or getting on your bicycle or walking is another great way to impact your overall output. You can even look into carpooling with work colleagues or people who work in nearby buildings. Use Uber pool at all times, as you are not only saving on cost but saving a small part of the environment at the same time.

Now let’s talk about long travel, a paper published in Environmental Research Letters in 2017 calculated you could save 1.6 tonnes CO2-equivalent for every return journey across the Atlantic. Granted this is in America, but cutting down on travel within Australia by means of video conferencing for work will have a dramatic impact as you can see in the table above.

 

Buy Less and Buy Smart

The price of fashion should be reflective of the quality and how the staff is treated. If your new t-shirt costs less than your smashed avocado, it’s likely that the staff are not being paid well and it will fall apart after a few washes.  Buying cheap clothes over and over again will be less cost-effective and when you get rid of those items, it will end up in landfill to have another life.

The part we often overlook with fast fashion is production. The amount of units required on a global scale to fuel our need for wardrobe changes is having an effect on emissions. Let’s think about the life cycle of garments, from growing crops, harvest, transportation, manufacturing and more transportation to get to the stores. This does not even factor in your own cost of driving to the store, and eventually, the trash being picked up to take it to landfill.

We suggest to stock up slowly on labels that are changing their practices to be more conscious and be an ambassador for change with what you wear.

Want to learn more about ethical fashion? Read 5 Facts About Ethical Fashion here.

 

 

 

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