Examples of Ways People Already Live a Low Carbon Lifestyle

Berlin

As the climate crisis continues there are many ways that we all can try to slow it down. The biggest changes need to happen at the political level enforcing sustainable practices, in the meantime there are things you can do as an individual. The easiest thing to do is buy less and switch to low-carbon transit; however, there is even more options ahead of you. If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration then the Guardian has you covered! They recently ran an article looking at some peopel who have already converted to a low-carbon lifestyle.

All our vegetables are seasonal, grown either in our garden or on a local organic farm. My meals are 80% vegan, and 20% vegetarian. Vegan food is delicious – it’s a cuisine.

I try to reuse and repair my belongings. I use the money I save to spend more on products I do buy. My clothes are either secondhand or organic. I have a Fairphone – it’s designed so that the individual parts can be easily replaced when they break. I don’t buy wrapping paper, I reuse an old duvet cover I cut up into squares.

In total, we’ve reduced our home’s carbon emissions by 93%. I’ve enjoyed making all these changes – they’ve been fun – and I feel part of a big movement. I want to be able to say to the next generation: I tried to prevent runaway climate change. If I didn’t, I would feel I was committing a wrong.”

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From Fast Fashion to Sustainable Style

Fast fashion relies on mass production and mass consumption in order to survive. The fashion industry as a whole requires a lot of energy, water, and logistics to function in its current form, which means the days of current fast fashion will have to come to an end. People are catching on that disposable clothing isn’t good for the environment or for your bank account. To circumvent fast fashion consumers are turning to vintage stores for clothing and some new styles that come out of combining old fabrics into new styles.

Clothes come and go at the Basingstoke home of Sarah Fewell, too. In fact, so many parcels come and go that she knows her postman by his first name (Jay). Fewell has always loved cutting up old clothes, sticking on studs, even at 14 when most of her friends were into Hollister. But now she has turned her passion for preloved clothes into a sustainable version of fast fashion.
Fewell runs a shop called Identity Party on the website Depop, which since being established in 2011 has offered its 10 million users a blend of eBay-style trading with Instagram-style posting.Her brand is “a lot of 80s, 90s, quite bohemian, grungy”. She especially loves “selling things with animals on, a good old ugly jumper and anything by St Michael.”

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Further Greening Your Green Practices

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Seeing so many “green” products on store shelves can be confusing as you might not know what the right decision is. Over at The Guardian they’ve written up a handy guide to help you and it basically comes down to take a moment and think about lifecycles of products. Their article is also filled with neat tidbits like half of us half reusable bags but we don’t all use them regularly, so even just using that bag more can be a simple step to help the planet.

Of course, the best thing you can do when it comes to consumption is to just buy/use less stuff.

The breakdown on compostable packaging
Naively, you might think that the compostable-plastic takeaway tub you ate your lunch from is easily compostable and that, if you dropped it into a food waste bin, in a few months some keen gardener will be scattering it on their allotment. That is highly unlikely. These plant-based, PLA-plastic products need to be industrially composted in specific units that are so scarce in Britain, most compostable packaging is burned or goes to landfill.

In fact, put that compostable salad tub in a food waste bin and you actually create a problem. Food waste is composted by anaerobic digestion to produce biogas and fertiliser, but, first, any packaging has to be removed. “Compostable products have no gas value,” says a spokesperson for waste recycler ReFood. “Drivers check customers’ bins when they collect. If there is a lot of packaging, then they won’t be able to accept the waste, but this doesn’t happen very often.”

In its initial production, compostable packaging is more eco-friendly than traditional plastic packaging, but, at the moment, it is no silver bullet.

Solution: at lunch, rather than a takeaway from the works canteen or a local cafe, sit in and eat off a plate using metal cutlery. It is far greener. “Until the waste infrastructure is in place, telling people packaging is 100% compostable is, at best, problematic and, at worst, greenwash,” says the Carbon Trust’s Jamie Plotnek.

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An App That Rewards You for Riding a Bike

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Biko rewards cyclists with free stuff just for riding their bike! Rewards include small things like coffee to very expensive consumer items. The idea of rewarding cyclist for not killing the environment using cars isn’t new, Stockholm basically pays cyclists. When it comes to using Biko please consider that they collect marketing data from your mobile (contacts, location, and anything else that can track you). It’s just good to see that more and more people consider rewarding cyclists to be a good thing.

Biko, a free mobile app that launched in Bogota, Colombia, in 2015, has launched in Toronto today (May 10). The app tracks a user’s movements through GPS to earn digital rewards, which can be traded in for actual rewards such as discounts and freebies from local businesses. For every kilometre travelled, users earn one Biko point.

“Incentivizing cycling through rewards can help reduce Toronto’s carbon emissions, and we have the data to prove it,” says Emilio Pombo, the cofounder of Biko. “Our users have collectively reduced carbon emissions by 2,608 tonnes globally.”

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New bank Account Morally Monitors Your Purchases

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money

Aspiration financial firm is a B-corporatoin that wants to help people “vote with their wallets”. It’s incredibly hard for individuals to stay up to date on the damage that large organizations do despite that a lot of people care. Consumers want to punish companies for some of their actions from United kicking people off airplanes to Shell lying about climate change. This means there’s an opportunity for Aspiration to help people divert money from companies that make the world worse, and the company is growing as a result.

Called Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), the program analyzes not one, but thousands of data points to generate two scores for companies: The “People” score gauges how well companies treat their employees and communities, and the “Planet” score assesses companies’ sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Every time an Aspiration customer swipes the debit card associated with their account to make a payment toward a company, that company’s Planet and People scores are funneled into the customer’s personalized AIM score, which reflects the positive (or negative) impact of where they shop.

“People have been hungering for this exact kind of information,” Cherny says. “We see this in our customers, we see this in all these surveys that are coming out about how younger people especially, but consumers overall, are thinking about how a company behaves and how its products are created as they make decisions on where to buy. But until now, they haven’t really had the information to be able to do so.”

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