5 climate tips to reduce your carbon footprint

We give you five relatively simple tips on what you can do to reduce your climate footprint.

1. Can you choose green electricity?  Check if your provider has a green electricity plan for you! Either on their website or by calling them. This can reduce your emissions significantly! In the EU, your electricity provider is obliged to let you know the energy source (referred to as electricity disclosure).

2. Cut the meat in favour of a more plant-based diet. This can reduce your diet’s footprint by 50%. For more info read our “Meat eater’s non-dogmatic guide to becoming more vegetarian” and “How to reduce your carbon footprint from food”. Find vegan and vegetarian food inspiration at Sweet Green Vegan, Green Kitchen Stories, Plant-Based RD and A Vegan’s Paradise.

3. Skip the car – take the bike. In average an car in the US emits 5,4 tonnes a year while biking has no carbon footprint at all.

4. Take a free digital quick coursethe Climate Leader – to understand how you best take climate action.

5. Carbon offset your lifestyle with us and help accelerate the transition to renewable energy around the world.

How much do I need to reduce my climate footprint to contribute to the Paris Agreement and the important 1.5 degree goal?

According to the study 1.5 degree lifestyles (2018), globally, in the year 2030, we can emit maximally 2.5 tonnes CO2eq/person to have a chance of managing the decisive 1.5 degree target. In 2040, we will be able to emit maximally 1.4 tonnes CO2eq/person, and in 2050 – a maximum of only 0.7 tonnes CO2eq/person. Read more about this here.

Currently, the average American emits nearly 20 tonnes CO2eq per year.
Source: http://css.umich.edu/factsheets/us-environmental-footprint-factsheet

Climate tips to save the planet

How can we live climate-friendly lives in 2020?

Live a climate-friendly life.

What is the most important action one can take for the climate in 2020? Well, different actions have different effects. Try to think big. If it feels awkward to go out in the streets and demonstrate or contact politicians, take a digital course in climate action instead to get an understanding for what the most important thing you can do is.

Become an active citizen and put pressure on systems, rules and norms to change. You can do this by:

  • Think BIG! Take a free digital quick course – the Climate Leader – in how you can influence at a system level.
  • Influence your tenant owners’ association. Ask them for example to install solar panels and chargers for electric vehicles, improve insulation to lower your energy consumption, change into renewable electricity and introduce sharing services like carsharing. In addition to having a lower climate footprint, it also makes your apartment block more attractive and resilient for the future.
  • Put pressure on your workplace, your university or school. Ask if they have a climate-smart travel policy in place, if they can introduce a veggie first policy and advise them on calculating their climate footprint. We have developed a tool for that here.
  • Demonstrate – join us, FridaysforFuture, Extinction Rebellion or a friend during the next climate strike  if you feel a bit new and lonely in this type of context.
  • Support End Ecocide to make large-scale environmental degradation a crime. Fracking is one example that could potentially count as ecocide. Sign petitions, make a donation so that small island nations can afford to have representatives in place at international climate negotiations or get involved in the movement locally.
  • Contact your political party and demand that they adopt a policy in line with the Paris Agreement.
  • Carbon offset your lifestyle and help accelerate the transition to renewable energy around the world.

Become a conscious consumer. Reduce your own climate footprint and gain better knowledge of which area you should focus on. What makes the biggest difference for the climate – replacing the car with a bike for distances under 3 km or recycling every single package? Below we list what has the greatest climate impact for an individual.

  • Think half. Do half of the things that have the biggest carbon footprint in your life – eat half as much red meat, fly half as many times, buy half of the apparel and footwear you normally buy and use your car half as much. Or, focus twice as much on of what has a low climate footprint. Maximize your cycling, your train holidays and your vegan eating (tips – try Veganuary). Choose ONE area to focus on and it is more likely that it will happen.
  • Become a circulator instead of a consumer. Start using sharing services for stuff and transportation.
  • Check out the performance of your financial institutions at FairFinanceGuide and use your influence to demand change. Financial institutions like banks and insurance companies can use your money to facilitate the destruction of our planet by investing in for example coal companies. Ask them to stop doing that!
  • Work less and enjoy life!

Climate-friendly Christmas gifts

Foto: @helenashållbara
Can you celebrate Christmas and stop climate change at the same time? Absolutely! Here we list our best tips on climate-friendly Christmas presents. Reducing the number of Christmas gifts, giving a climate-friendly experience or together agreeing on that all gifts are bought second hand this year is a great way to reduce the climate footprint of this celebration. 1. A Go Climate Neutral gift card Give your loved ones a couple of climate-neutral months. Try out our climate offset gift cards. 2. The card playing game Climate Call Does a trip by air across the Atlantic have a greater climate impact than eating a steak a day for a year? Players of Climate Call get to learn how the climate is affected by our everyday life. The game is guaranteed to lead to lively discussion!  3. A novel by Maja Lunde A book can make it easier to understand the consequences of climate change and why it’s important that we act now instead of some other day. 4. A subscription to a vegetarian food magazine A lot of inspiration and recipes for the person who wants to eat less meat. 5. Vegetarian cooking class Check your nearest vegan restaurant if they offer courses, many of them do. 6. A vegetarian food box Give away a subscription to a vegetarian or plant-based food box 7. Buy something old or choose something from home that you haven’t used for a while Make an agreement that this year’s Christmas gift exchange consists of second hand presents. The climate footprint of such a gift is almost zero.

5 best tips for a climate-friendly home renovation

Fossil free colors.

Milla Qviberg, founder of ekorummet.se and writer in the Swedish eco-magazine Kloka Hem, shares her best tips for remodeling a home with the smallest climate footprint possible.

The absolute best tip is to do as little as possible. That is, do not renovate or replace furniture just for the sake of it. According to a report by the Swedish Nature Conservation Association, furniture consumption in Sweden has increased by more than 50% since 2005. Stated in the report, the exchange of furniture – like a new sofa or a new kitchen – has a big negative impact on the environment.

If you still really fancy a remake, keep the following in mind:

1. Think long-term and sustainable
Choose colors and materials that are relevant over time. Think classic instead of latest trends. Go for solid wood floors that can be grinded several times. Don’t go for untreated wallpaper in rooms with strong sunlight to avoid a sun bleached and worn out look. Maintain the materials properly so that they last for a long time.

2. Use natural materials that age beautifully
Clay, stone and solid wood ages well. There are natural, fossil free colors that are biodegradable, such as Auro wall paint and Leino’s ceiling and wall paint.

3. Think reface instead of replace
Change the appearance of the floor by grinding it down and go for a new surface treatment. Give the kitchen cabinets a face lift with new color or consider just replacing the doors and drawers-fronts while keeping the kitchen frames. If, however, the kitchen needs to be replaced, check out eco-labeled kitchens that are popping up on the market.

4. Use functional design
In addition to being decorative, interior design can also fill important features such as air-purifying, sound-absorbing, etc. Choose plants with air-purifying features. Go for wall decorations in sustainable materials that are both beautiful and sound absorbing (for example Lomakka.se).

5. Go all in for reuse
There are loads of tips and inspiration on new design for your old drawer, bookshelf or just about anything. Check out Pinterest and Instagram and search for “hacks” or “IKEA hacks”. Have fun!

IKEA hacks och DYI
Image: http://livethemma.ikea.se/kategori/gor-det-sjalv

Our best beach reads!

Here are our best summer beach reads if you want to change the world or at least understand it a bit better! What is your best tip?

Henrik
Factfulness – Hans Rosling. 2018.
“…Factfulness is a new thinking habit that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to challenges and opportunities of the future.”
No one is too small to make a difference – Greta Thunberg. 2019.
“Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.”

Kalle ⇒ Drawdown, the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming – Paul Hawken. 2017.
New York Times bestseller. This book describes the 100 solutions that makes the biggest difference for climate change.

Cissi ⇒ The history of bees – Maja Lunde. 2015.
A novel that deals with the high-level topic of species extinction in a captivating and easy-to-read format.

Evelina
How bad are bananas, Mike Berners-Lee, 2011
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, David Wallace-Wells, 2019
⇒ Cradle to Cradle, William McDonough, 2009
⇒ This is not a drill, Extinction Rebellion, 2019

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