January 2022: Teenage Voice
AS the New Year begins, we can no longer ignore the environmental reality we are facing.
Our world is burning. We’re seeing blazing forest fires, rapidly rising temperatures, and floods in front of our eyes.
The long-term effects of global warming will be huge, even on a local level, with some predictions showing that large areas of Clevedon, Weston-super-Mare, and Burnham-On-Sea could be submerged.
In truth, if we don’t act now, these estimates will become reality, and our area as we know it will be lost. However, we can still take action to slow, or even prevent, the impact that climate change will have, on a local, national, and even global scale.
• Switch to a renewable energy provider, many of which will not cost you any more than your current supplier.
• Turn your thermostat to 18°C, if all residents are healthy adults, or, 21°C if children, or older adults are present.
• Put on an extra layer, turn down the heating, and switch off appliances when they aren’t in use.
• Seek energy efficiency advice, for example on installing insulation, draught proofing, LED lighting or solar panels.
• Consider walking or cycling – both of which can have massive physical and mental health benefits, and are great for the environment, though if heading outside just isn’t feasible, utilise public transport.
• Reduce the amount that you fly, especially on domestically. Consider getting the train, or a coach, it can be cheaper and more enjoyable than you think.
• Go electric – Pollution from internal combustion engines can cause huge damage, increasing the risk of dementia, harming unborn babies, and hospitalises thousands per year.
• Try to carshare where possible, it reduces traffic, pollution and can save money (and stress!)
• Grow your own food, even if it’s just some strawberries in the summer. It’s better for the environment, cheaper, and homegrown food always tastes better!
• Reduce food waste, try not to overcook, or keep leftovers in the fridge for the following day.
• Composting is also a great way to reduce your waste and help the environment.
• Reduce consumption of animal products, not necessarily taking up a fully-vegan diet, but making small changes, such as swapping red meat for poultry, or having a meat-free day.
Knowledge is power, and the more we know about what’s happening to our Earth, the more we can do to prevent it.