Actions to become a zero carbon city
We need every resident and organisation in the city to take urgent action to help us play our full part on climate change. The below list is draft but begins to set out the actions that we all need to take, at home, at school, college, university and at work. This list will be further developed during 2019 but you don’t need to wait until then to make a start – act now!
1. Awareness, education and Carbon Literacy. Learn more about climate change at home, school, in your neighbourhood and at work. The Carbon literacy project has great resources to get you started www.carbonliteracy.com
2. Existing buildings and renewable energy: whether its your home or your workplace, there’s help available to lower your bills and energy use. Homes: https://applyforleap.org.uk Business: http://www.greengrowth.org.uk/Switch to renewable energy: https://bigcleanswitch.org/gm/
3. Transport. Walk or cycle as many journeys as you can including the school run, take the bus, tram and train instead of the car. When you can switch to an electric car. Could you make that meeting a video call instead? https://cleanairgm.com/what-you-can-do
4. Flying. Aviation is the fastest growing source of CO2 emissions. Could you take the train instead, have a video call instead of a meeting face to face, and holiday in the beautiful UK? Ask your employer about Climate Perks – a campaign that works with climate conscious employers to offer paid ‘journey days’ to staff who travel on holiday by train, coach or boat instead of flying. https://www.climateperks.com/. If you have to fly try and offset your CO2 emissions.
5. The things you buy and throw away. Everything we buy (clothes, phones, laptops, food, furniture) has a carbon footprint. If you really need it ask yourself – can I get it second-hand? Is it made from environmentally friendly materials and can it be reused, and if not recycled at the end of its life? https://recycleforgreatermanchester.com/how-do-i-wasteless/
6. Food. There are lots of ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the food we eat. Try eating more plant based foods, eating less meat and dairy, growing your own fruit and veg, and wasting less food by planning meals for the week before you shop. Try and buy Fairtrade, source local produce and buy more sustainable foods if you can. https://feedinggtrmcr.org.uk/
7. Green and blue spaces. More and better quality green spaces help cities to adapt to a changing climate, and have proven benefits for physical and mental health as well as supporting wildlife and biodiversity. My Wild City (https://www.lancswt.org.uk/mywildcity) gives tips on what you can do to help.
8. Construction and new developments. Developers can get ahead of competitors by signing up to the Green Building Council’s new programme in the UK to transition to a net zero carbon built environment at https://www.ukgbc.org/ukgbc-work/advancing-netzero/. In your neighbourhood you can comment on current planning applications and ask the developer to go zero carbon https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/info/200074/planning/5865/planning_perm...
9. Measuring and reporting your CO2 emissions. You can’t reduce your CO2 emissions if you don’t know what they are. At home via https://footprint.wwf.org.uk Your organisation via www.cdp.net/en/companies-discloser
10. Where you invest and save your money. Ethical investments make money and do good. Invest in community energy through projects such as Greater Manchester Community Renewables solar schools programme www.gmcr.org.uk
11. Inspiring and influencing others to act:
- Talk about the inspirational actions you are taking to help tackle climate change and challenge others to act too.
- Use your consumer power to demand change from shops, supply chains.
- Ask your workplace to commit to be zero carbon by 2038 www.manchesterclimate.com/content/commitment-act
- Got a specific question or proposal for your local councillor or MP? Write to them at https://www.writetothem.com/