Our actions make a difference
We can use our choices – and our voices – to show we care for our global neighbours living in poverty who are hit hardest by climate change. By making more sustainable everyday choices, we show we value what God has given us and send a signal to world leaders that we want them to act.
To limit the worst effects of the climate emergency, we need to see a huge cut in global emissions by 2030 – aiming for ‘net zero’ by 2050. We can all play our part by reducing our own climate emissions. Every action matters!
Ten ways to reduce your carbon emissions now
Reducing your carbon footprint doesn't need to be complicated: the most important thing is taking the next step! Think about changes you could make to your travel, home, diet, finance and buying habits. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:
- Fly less, or not at all. If you still have to fly, could you commit to taking fewer work flights, not flying for holidays, or not flying within 500 miles of your home?
- Drive less – and enjoy the fresh air. Cut out one car journey a week, and walk or cycle for shorter journeys. Consider making a long-term plan to get an electric vehicle.
Home and diet
- Switch to renewable energy – and use less. Start by ensuring your electricity is from renewable sources. Tearfund's Big Clean Switch platform can help. Look for ways to reduce your energy use, such as insulating your home.
- Eat more plant-based meals. Eating less meat and dairy will cut your carbon footprint (and will probably be better for your health too!) Why not try Meat-Free Monday, going vegan one day a week, or buying more locally sourced produce?
- Cut food waste. Plan your meals, get creative with leftovers and assign a shelf in your fridge for food that needs to be eaten quickly.
- Switch your bank and pension. Have you ever thought about what your bank or pension provider does with your money? Many invest it in expanding the fossil fuel industry. Learn more with ECCR about ‘greening your money’ by switching banks or pension funds.
- Use your spending power. Look for labels such as Fairtrade, Living Wage employer or the Fair Tax Mark, and opt for ethical businesses, co-operatives and B Corps to use your spending power to build a fairer world.
- Donate for climate action. Tearfund’s worldwide network of partners and local churches are delivering practical solutions to the climate crisis – from tree-planting to projects tackling the waste crisis. You can help these solutions reach those most impacted by climate change, by making a donation today.
Less is more
- Buy less and cherish more. Review your buying habits by choosing to buy fewer but better-quality items that will last. Buying less, repairing instead of replacing, and living more simply could also save you money.
- Reduce your rubbish. Switch to a reusable coffee cup, carry a reusable water bottle, use soap and shampoo bars, and buy fruit and veg loose. Or go a step further and find your local refill shop.
For more ways to put your faith into action to tackle the injustice of the climate crisis, visit our climate campaigning page. And if you'd like to take your church on a journey to explore these and other lifestyle actions, why not take on Let's Change the Climate - a Tearfund climate challenge perfect for congregations looking to take small steps towards climate action. You can also download a copy of this guide to share with your church.