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Helping Your Community Cut Carbon Emissions

By: Kate Simpson BA, MA - Updated: 28 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Carbon Emissions Climate Change Global

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. It is an almost impossibly large issue to grasp, and it is one that will shape the face of government policy for many years to come.

Many people are put off taking any action on climate change simply because they presume there is nothing they can do. But by mobilising your community to minimise its carbon emissions, you can help to reduce the impact of climate change – and make your community a nicer place to live in the process.

Why do we need to cut carbon emissions?

It is now generally accepted that man-made greenhouse gases are the cause of many of the current and long-term symptoms of climate change.

Some scientists disagree on the degree to which human actions are impacting on the planet, but there now seems little doubt that we are amongst the main causes of global warming. Many people think that there is nothing that they can do to help, or that it is now too late to reverse the impact of climate change. In reality, though, by taking action like cutting our carbon emissions, we can all help to protect the planet.

How can we reduce emissions?

There is a huge range of things your community can do to reduce its carbon emissions. Many of these are so simple that they get overlooked.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to raise awareness. Consider ways that you can inform members of your community not just about the impact of climate change, but about the things that they can do to help. Put up posters, arrange meetings, set up a website; all of these things can be achieved very easily and at low cost.

On a practical level, you should think about ‘easy wins’ – the simple things you can do that have the biggest potential impact. One of the biggest causes of carbon emissions is food transport. You can therefore significantly reduce your community’s carbon footprint by setting up an allotment space in which people can grow their own fruit and vegetables. Alternatively, you could encourage people to use window boxes in their own homes.

If your area does not have sufficient recycling facilities, you might also consider pressuring your council to make them better. Recycling facilities are gradually being rolled out across the country, but some councils are flagging. By making representations to them, you can help to speed up the process. In the meantime, you might consider arranging a rota of people who are willing to take trips to your local recycling bank, with everybody else’s recycling. By reducing the number of people travelling, you can increase the impact of your recycling.

Climate change is a vast issue, and it is one from which many people shy away. But we all need to take action on this problem if we are to create a safe world in which we and our children can live. You can do your bit by encouraging your community to cut its carbon emissions.

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