The way you live your life has an impact on the resources of God’s Earth.
We can help you make informed choices.
When we believe in transformation at the local and personal level, we are laying the sure foundations for change at the national and international level.Rowan Williams, Chair of Christian Aid & former Archbishop of Canterbury
How to start?
The foot you eat
At harvest time Christians often remember with thanks those who labour to produce the food on which we depend. But we often don’t go on to think about the way in which the food we eat impacts on the lives of humans, animals and the earth.What is the impact of the food you eat?
Food production, packaging and transportation consumes energy and results in carbon emissions which threaten to raise the average global surface temperature.
It has been suggested that our food is responsible for 20% of the UK’s entire carbon footprint.
But not all foods are equal.
You can reduce your carbon footprint by:
- Eating seasonally
- Eating locally
- Limiting the amount of meat in your diet
Farming is becoming more intensive.
Choosing animal products from higher welfare systems is an important recognition of their status as fellow creatures of God.
Not everything is about food miles.
Sustainable forms of export agriculture contribute to the economic and social development of poor producers.
Fairtrade for example, exports products around the world. But they require their producers to make environmental protection part of farm management.
An estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans each year.
Many come from single-use plastic packaging.
There are a number of organisations working to change our attitudes to plastics:
Fuel efficient driving cuts costs and reduces wear and tear on your car.
If you need a new car, compare their carbon emissions. Take a look at hybrid and electric cars. They are fast becoming a practical alternative.
Cut down on car use. Plan your journeys and try car sharing or a car club.
Try not to use a plane for journeys under 1000 km.
Or encourage them to cycle or take the bus.
Organise a walking bus for other children in your community.
Don't drive to the office or fly to that conference, if you can arrange to complete your presentation electronically or via video conferencing.
- Plan your trip
Get timetables and route-maps for your journey. Or try the free online databases that calculate the best route for you.
- Encourage change
If you don't use public transport because the service doesn't work for you, then get it changed:
- Write letters to your local newspaper and MP
- Comment on the online stories that address travel
- Join a public transport advocacy group
- And meet with your local government representative
Waste and recycling
The amount of waste we recycle has increased. But we are still behind some of our EU neighbours, some of whom recycle over 70% of their waste.
There is still a lot of recyclable waste that ends up in our landfills.
So how can you reduce waste?
Think of it as a waste hierarchy. And find tips to take action.
As well as basic paper, plastic and glass recycling, think of ways to reduce and re-use your household or church waste:
- Food waste
- Textile waste
- Energy waste
- Water waste
- Advertise a church or household item
- Set up a repair café
Charities are doing a lot of work to change the traditional “make, use, dispose” model.
We should try and keep resources in use as long as possible. Get the maximum value out of them. Then recover and regenerate the products and materials.
Your energy use
If we each save a little energy at home, together we can have a huge impact on the UK’s carbon footprint.
Our top ten tips:
- Turn your thermostat down by 1ºC. It could cut your heating bills by up to 10 % and save you money.
- Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat shouldn't need to be set higher than 60ºC/140ºF.
- Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.
- Always turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Don't leave appliances on standby. And remember not to leave them charging unnecessarily.
- If you're not filling up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher, use the half-load or economy programme.
- Only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you're using an electric kettle).
- Fix leaking taps and make sure they’re fully turned off! A dripping tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough water to fill half your bath.
- Replace your light bulbs with LEDs. They will reduce costs and last up to 12 times longer than ordinary light bulbs.
For more advice, visit: