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There’s not a phrase in the English language that’s better at making us lose our global boner than climate change. When you mention it, you’re met with either a defeated sigh, a flippant laugh or ‘It’s all bullshit the media feeds us’. Well, yes, Ignorant Ian, it is, if the media is over 97% of published scientists, who all agree that global warming is caused by humans.
The conversation is constantly around the fact that we’re ‘too far gone’. Some of the greatest academic researchers at Stamford, Berkeley, Princeton and the University of Florida have conducted tests showing that the rate of extinction of countless species in the past 115 years is 50 times higher than ever before because of climate change, which means we have a huge task to simply survive the ‘mass extinction’ we’re experiencing which, of course, we caused ourselves.
Just writing all this makes me kind of understand the flippant reaction to talking about climate change… reversing what we’ve done to the world is such a monumental task that we can’t even get our heads around it, and that’s why it’s so hard getting people to discuss it – but hey, it’s the MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE THAT HAS EVER FACED OUR CIVILISATION AND IGNORING IT WILL LITERALLY MEAN THE END OF OUR EXISTENCE, SO LET’S MAYBE CHAT ABOUT SAVING THIS BEAUTIFUL PLANET, YEAH?
Sorry, got a bit hot under the collar there. Probs ’cause the temperature of our planet is rising alarmingly fast.
Last year I was lying in bed in a converted train carriage with my boyfriend (who loves nature more than he loves me), talking about this exact issue and I came to the realisation that hey, I’ll never be a barefoot forest dweller called Tigerlily who makes all her toiletries out of natural substances and produces only an M&M-sized piece of plastic each year (which she then recycles into a beaded necklace).
However, I can enjoy being a lazy bitch, and still make a few easy changes that’ll mean my eco footprint is a teeny bit smaller.
Say no to one night stand plastics
How many times have you grabbed a straw because you’ve got lipstick on, bought bottled water on a night out instead of a glass of tap water, or used a plastic coffee stirrer? Just stop it. Stop it now. We use 500 million straws every – wait for it… DAY. Every day! Guys?!
Have you SEEN the video of the turtle with the straw up its nose?! It’s one of the most heart-wrenching videos of all time. No one even knew a turtle could wince before that video and it’s impossible to remove that image from your head.
Refusing single serve packaging as much as possible just makes sense. No one in the history of the world has been on the piss and messed up their lipstick beyond the point of no return because they didn’t have a straw. Snogging Mike who works in PR will do that for you.
Say no to plastic bags
This is the biggie, the Notorious B.A.G, the pièce de résistance of climate change. They’ve just introduced a 5p charge for plastic bags, but people are still paying to wrap their plastic wrapped food… in more plastic. Thing is, it takes 1,000 years to break down a plastic bag, so if we started realising that a bag’s for life, not just for a Tesco’s meal deal, and said no to plastic bags for a year, we’d save 32 million tons of plastic waste. Thirty two MILLION TONS?
That’s like double the amount of hummus, I eat!! That’s like the weight of eight million elephants! There’s not even that many elephants in the entire world. We’re creating more plastic bag waste than all the elephants in the world weigh. Per year. I just blew my own mind.
Say no to meat for one day a week
Animal agriculture is the No. 1 cause of climate change. There. That’s it. Cold hard fact coming right at your face. It’s the truth. Yes, we love meat, but do we need so much of it that we kill the entire planet? Sorry, but no. We’ve got to the point where the demand for it is so high that we just can’t supply the amount we need without seriously damaging the planet. It takes 440 gallons of water to make one pound of beef, and 260 million acres of forest have been cut down to make space for livestock.
In a perfect world, we’d produce less animals for eating. We’d cuddle them before we killed them and eating plant-based diets would save the planet. But hey, when you’re as hungover as a bag of dicks you just need a bacon sarnie. So, a realistic goal is to have one meatless day a week. It’d make a huge difference.
Around 400 million fewer animals were raised and killed for meat in the US last year because of the rise of vegans and veggies. The only way to stop animal agriculture is eating a little less meat. Supply v Demand. Check out Meat Free Mondays, look at a picture of a piglet and wake up on Monday knowing that I believe in you.
Change your friggin’ light bulbs
Light bulbs were a great idea, sure. But what wasn’t such a bright idea (WAYOOOOOO) was creating something that wastes 95% of its energy on heat and uses only 20% to light up your bedroom so you can successfully pluck your moustache hairs (Only me? Coolies).
Head to B&Q and buy a basket full of energy saving light bulbs. The cost is equivalent to a few bottles of wine and will actually be a good investment. They produce 70% less CO2 and are graded A-G for effectiveness, so try and go for an A light bulb to save the most money, save the most CO2 and save the world.
Turn off your plugs at night
Literally, the simplest thing in the world. Switch off all your plugs before you go to bed or leave the office. It will take approximately 60 seconds of your life, and if all offices turned off their plugs it’d be the equivalent of taking 245,000 cars off the road. In the words of Tesco: Every Little Helps. And the planet really needs your help right now.
Whether it’s meat or light bulbs, plugs or plastic bags, there’s a lot of things a lazy girl can do to save the world. You don’t have to chain yourself to a tree, egg a politician, or whip your ’70s bush out. If everyone made these five changes it would make a real and measurable difference. So, stick this on your fridge and go watch Girls while inhaling a bag of Doritos, but just make sure you’re helping to stop climate change a little, every single day.