The benefits of leading a more climate positive lifestyle are numerous. In fact, it may be the most important change any of us can make to our lives.
Here’s our top ten, but we’re sure there are loads more!
Since the 19th century, the average global temperature has risen by 1C. This is down to the emission of greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane. It’s predicted that at current rates we’ll have reached our carbon budget by 2035. This means the global temperatures will exceed the 2C warming limit set by scientists and the consequences for humanity and the natural world will be severe.
Global warming has been linked with the increased likelihood and intensity of extreme weather such as droughts and hurricanes. For example, the wildfires that ravaged Australia at the beginning of 2020 were 30 per cent more likely as a result of record warmth and dryness.
It’s been estimated that since 1970 a staggering 60% of wild animal and plant species have been wiped out. This can be attributed to increased pressure on natural habitats from human consumption and climate change. As well as being desperately sad, preserving biodiversity is important for our own continued survival as a species.
Oceans act as natural carbon sinks, absorbing huge amounts of CO2 and keeping our planet stable. However, the process has an acidifying effect which is harmful to marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, that support ocean life and protect coastlines from waves.
The effects of global warming, namely extreme weather events and decreased biodiversity, will majorly disrupt food production. Problems include extreme weather harming livestock and crops, water scarcity, wildfires, more pests and fewer pollinators.
Recycling and using less water and energy are climate positive activities with the added benefit that they also preserve natural resources and the habitats from which they’re extracted.
Unfortunately, the people that will be worst affected by climate change are those in developing countries. This has lead experts coining the term “climate apartheid” to describe the disparity between those who can pay to escape heat, hunger and catastrophe, and those who can’t. It’s up those with the power to make a change to do so in order to save the lives of those less fortunate.
Living a more climate positive lifestyle will also positively impact your personal finances. Consuming less and being more energy-efficient will save you money in the short term and, further to that, avoiding the negative consequences of climate change will ensure economic prosperity in the longer term too.
Climate positive activities such as active travel (cycling, walking etc) have the added benefit of boosting personal fitness and also improving air quality for everyone. What’s more, it’s generally thought that moving away from mindless consumption, learning to live with less and appreciating what we have is beneficial for mental health too.
Everyone who changes their lifestyle to be more climate positive is basically a superhero because they’re helping toward creating a more healthy, sustainable and prosperous planet for all life. You go guys!