2018 saw the media and public turn its attention to the environment. At RECONO.me we think 2019 is the year for change. We’re sharing our little black book of big green contacts to help you make lasting changes to your environment.
Intense flash floods, crop-withering droughts, unrelenting wildfires and town-ravaging superstorms. These are not scenes from a Hollywood disaster film, but just some of the newsflashes we saw throughout 2018. For decades we’ve known human actions would cause very real climate change – change that is, today, reaching a critical point and can no longer be ignored. We are within 0.5 degrees of a temperature threshold that climate experts are warning will cause significant and widespread changes to the world as we know it.
According to an unprecedented report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) we are now at the stage where “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society are needed” if we are to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming. We’re talking the kind of warming that completely destroys the world’s coral reefs, melts the entire arctic ice sheet and ensures island communities disappear under rising tides.
Psychologists have come up with the term “statistical numbing” to describe our decreasing empathy when faced with widespread tragedy. There’s no doubt we feel helpless when confronted with a problem of this scale. The fossil fuel industry’s clout remains strong, and policy makers have preferred incremental action over any binding roadmap that brings us closer toward a society that manages not to burn fossil fuels. A transition will not happen overnight.
The science on the dangers of excessive emissions is conclusive. Lesser known is that in the early 80’s policy makers nearly reached a far-reaching global action plan. We must again work to bridge the gap between science and policy.
Faced with these stark warnings, governments and brands both small and large are taking positive steps to adopt sustainable practices. The EU has implemented a Circular Economy Package, a step in the right direction. In 2019, 170 countries will begin the phase out of HFCs, a common refrigerant with 9000 times the warming power of CO2, found in fridges and air conditioning units. Consumer goods giant Unilever has promised to source all of its materials sustainably by 2020, cut single use plastic in the UK by 2025 and be carbon positive by 2030. At last September’s Global Climate Action Summit, car manufacturers from around the world pledged to invest more in electric energy.
At RECONO.me we’re all about solutions. While saving the planet sounds like a big ask, we’ve put together a list of high impact actions you can take that will make a difference, not just to the planet but to your wellbeing and your bank balance too. From adjusting our diets to rethinking the way we dispose of our rubbish, here’s how you can shrink your carbon footprint, reduce waste and even save some pennies in the process.