Climate Action - My Personal Effort
During 2021, I set out to run at least 3.5 miles every day of the year. 3.5 miles is in reference to the 350ppm, the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere that countless scientists, climate experts, and governments officials agree is the ‘safe’ level that we must get below as soon as possible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
My intent was to set a daily physical goal and use that as the motivation to learn and do more around the climate crisis, and hopefully even use the running to raise awareness among friends, family and anyone who followed along on social media.
As it turns out, the running has been the easier bit – obviously there have been some hard days and more than a few days where I’ve wanted to put my feet up and not move, but I’ve managed to keep moving.
Talking about climate change and sharing my learnings have been a little more challenging. However, below are areas that I’ve chosen to focus on and hope to do more around that in the coming months:
I’m no expert on climate change, so I know that I must keep reading and learning and consider a range of sources. Frankly, the amount of content is overwhelming, but I’ve found great books, articles, websites and podcasts that have helped me. In particular, listening to audio books as I run become a 2-in-1 deal and I’ve managed to clear some of the backlog of books I wanted to read.
In the Uninhabitable Earth, author David Wallace-Wells, says “we won’t get there through the dietary choices of individuals, but through policy changes. Eating organic is nice, but if your goal is to save the climate your vote is much more important.”
I’ve taken time to engage politically, writing to my local Member of Parliament, the Prime Minister and members of his government on issues that I felt are important. I also voted in the London elections on 6th of May, taking time to review the climate policies of candidates and parties.
I support charities that I think are doing great work in raising awareness, running campaigns and local events to reduce the impact of climate change. We are Possible and Protect Our Winters UK also do work that focus on areas that are personally important to me. There are many other organisations that do great work, but I believe finding organisations that share your goals is vital in deciding who you want to support.
Over the year I’ve worked to reduce my plastic consumption, reduce my waste and reduce my carbon footprint. I very rarely drive, so that’s an easy step and travel has been limited because of COVID, but under normal circumstances I typically do one long-haul flight every 2-4 weeks for work. Once that restarts, I’ll look at offsets, although I typically travel economy and select direct flights.
Food waste is an area we are working to cut back on, and removing as much single-use plastic as we can from our home. Certainly, more areas to work on though, and we will keep looking to do that!
I’ll share more on my actions in the coming weeks, but I’d love to hear of other ways that individuals can make a difference. What do you do?