I write this on 23rd September 2019, the day of UN Climate Action Summit.
In recent days and weeks, we’ve seen worldwide protests as millions take to the streets to demand action to tackle climate change. Will it fall on deaf ears? Unfortunately it may. And that’s not good enough.
The facts about climate change that we already see are scary. The predictions about the future are horrific. Perhaps some people can justify their inaction by thinking that 2050 seems a really long time away, or that one person changing their behavior can’t possibly make a difference. But I see it differently.
In 2050 my twin daughters will not even be 40 years old — younger than I am today — and they face a future of environmental chaos. We all need to wake up and make change today.
One person can make a difference, and I intend to start right now.
- I pledge to avoid air travel if at all possible, and to fully offset the carbon footprint for every single unavoidable flight.
- I pledge to replace my family’s petrol car with a fully-electric car within 12 months.
- I pledge to replace my petrol motorbike with either an electric one or a bicycle within 12 months.
- I pledge to always use public transport wherever practical.
- I pledge to walk or cycle every journey less than a mile.
- I pledge to reduce my home thermostat to no more than 17.5 degrees.
- I pledge to replace every single light-bulb in my house with an energy-efficient one within 3 months.
- I pledge to only buy electricity from 100% renewable sources.
- I pledge to only by gas from utilities which offset 100% of the carbon.
- I pledge to never buy any electrical device or white good which does not have an excellent energy-efficiency rating, even if it costs more.
- I pledge grow as much food as I can myself to reduce food miles.
- I pledge to eat seasonally and buy food that is grown as close to where I live as possible, even if it costs more.
- I pledge to remove beef from my diet completely and reduce consumption of all other meat.
- I pledge to eat a diet which is at least 85% vegetarian.
- I pledge to never accept a plastic bag at a shop checkout ever again.
- I pledge to buy loose fruit & vegetables instead of ones wrapped in plastic even if it costs more.
- I pledge to always carry a re-usable bag, water bottle & coffee cup at all times.
- I pledge to pack a lunch instead of buying pre-packaged sandwiches if I’m on the go.
- I pledge to use bars of soap instead of bottles of shower gel or shampoo.
- I pledge to only use bamboo toothbrushes and eliminate other single-use toiletries.
- I promise to recycle as much plastic as possible and pick up plastic I see on the street to ensure that it gets into recycling.
- I pledge to teach my daughters (and others!) about the importance of taking care of the climate and living sustainably.
- I pledge to keep learning about how I can reduce my carbon footprint still further.
I’m not making these pledges because someone has asked me to. I’m making them because they are the right thing to do.
What do you pledge?