How can we act on the continuing bad news on the climate crisis? Ideally, to keep within a 1.5 degree rise in global temperature, climate gas emissions should start to go down in the next year or two and be cut globally by 45% by 2030. Even this is not safe, as we are already seeing impacts at the present rise of one degree since pre-industrial times.

Christiana Figueres (ex-head of the IPCC) said that her personal actions include reducing or eliminating meat consumption, be aware where savings are invested and to vote at all levels for political leaders who realise this is a shared responsibility and that we need action right now.

Some of us were thinking about things we can do now that will make a difference and have put together a list with links to further resources.

Take the no-fly pledge for 2020
For alternatives and local journeys see Travel Log Lewes and The Man in Seat Sixty-One.  Think about all those lovely places you’ve not seen that are closer to home.

Change to a renewable energy supplier: see Big Clean Switch

Ecotricity and Good Energy are still ranked by Which? (see their report here) as the best for renewable electricity, and they also supply gas, partly renewable. See more on Home Energy below.

Buy less meat: Reduce your meat intake, even if it’s just for two or three days a week and it can have quite a significant impact on reducing your carbon footprint.  However, it does depend on where your food comes from and how it was produced, both for meat and vegetables.

Don’t waste food: Don’t buy more than you need. Compost if you can (everything can go in a Green Johanna if you have space for one) or use the council’s weekly food waste collection service.

Shop local at markets and independent shops to keep local food supply chains going. From clothes to food, the closer to home these products are made and bought, the less carbon is created with their transportation. Remember:
Lewes Friday Food Market
Lewes Farmers’ Market

Buy less and buy second hand, and try Lewes Repair Cafe to avoid buying new items. Although they are not open yet because of Covid, they welcome enquiries and will pass them on to repairers.

The item about the Repair Shop on the website needs altering a bit to same effect: closed, but welcome email enquiries and will try to help.

Would someone else have a use for this? Recycling is the last step.  Before that there are friends, neighbours, freegle, freecycle, charity shops, Furniture Now! (the latter two will collect large items).

Be aware where your savings are invested – for our local campaign see Divest East Sussex. And consider moving your money to a more ethical provider.

Home energy

Turn it off. Energy conservation is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Leaving your electricals on standby needlessly uses up energy.

Replace old lightbulbs (including CFLs) with LED lights – see LED Lighting: A Beginner’s Guide.  Although this is a bit out of date it gives general guidance.  More can be found here…

Install cheap and effective magnetic-strip secondary glazing – see Jill Goulder’s guide and video

Consider installing a heat pump to reduce home carbon emissions at almost no net cost – for everything you need to know from a local expert who has one see Why don’t we all switch to Heat Pumps?  For a few remaining months there is a government payment that can make this very cost-effective.

If you are on a low income you almost undoubtedly have much lower emissions than wealthier people.  So if some of these actions seem out of reach remember that you probably have a relatively low carbon footprint: for example, most flights are taken by richer frequent flyers. It’s not our fault that it is not always easy or cheap to make changes but it’s a way of voting for what we want to happen.




  1. John Webber

    This is really useful. Even though we do quite a lot of this already there are some other excellent ideas. Thank you

    • Jivan Ron West

      Thanks for compiling such a useful resource for those who want to help avert the climate crisis.
      Regarding energy suppliers, I think it’s somewhat unrealistic for most people to opt for the likes of Ecotricity. For a medium use household (as defined by Ofgem) Ecotricity charge £1,300pa whereas Octopus charge £980……..a saving of £320pa!……for “100 percent renewable electricity and 100 percent carbon neutral gas”

      Plus Octopus have a referral scheme whereby you can earn £50 rewards for every person who switches to them using your referral code.

      Of course for those who can afford to pay a premium in order to be as ‘green’ as possible, then Ecotricity might be the best supplier

  2. Ann Link

    Octopus seem to be one of the best after Good Energy and Ecotricity, and their parent company does own some reneable generation, according to Which?
    I don’t feel I fully understand it all, but it would definitely be worth being a bit more nuanced, perhaps including ones on the list with a flower icon such as Octopus or Co-operative Energy, which now supplies the reasonably priced one LDC recommends, Your Energy Sussex. I don’t fancy Shell Energy though! It’s good to support an independent where possible.
    Perhaps I should update this next time we do a newsletter – thanks.


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