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!

HOW TO MAKE YOUR CLOTHES LAST LONGER


Nowadays clothing has become somewhat disposable. The majority of the clothing produced today are made with poor quality, without longevity in mind and in many cases even planned obsolescence(made to break within a certain time with the intent to create a need for the customers to buy new)

This is a guide of how you can give your clothing a longer life, keeping them looking new for as long as possible.

REPAIR

  • Do it yourself if you have the skills or if its small and can be done by hand. Or you can look for guider or videos online to see how you can fix something yourself even if you haven’t done it before
  • Get a professional to do it. Support your local tailors.
  • Opt for visible repair, partially because you don’t have to worry about the mending looking perfect but it also adds to encourage fixing what’s broken. Let’s make it a trend! #VisibleRepair is a very active hashtag, so you can find a lot of inspiration of what you can do on Pinterest or Instagram.
  • Remove pilling to make your garments look like new again. Rent, borrow or buy a pilling machine, or try using a razor to see if that works.
  • Repair as soon as possible, so it doesn’t get worse and therefor harder to fix.
  • Dye bath when colours are faded instead of buying new
  • Cover stains instead of throwing away if they won’t go away with any tricks. Another version of Visible Mending. Maybe use iron-on-pads or find other creative ways to cover those stains.
  • Snip loose strings and threads as soon as you see them (I know it may be tempting to pull in those loose threads, but that can actually make the problem worse. Snip the thread off as soon as you notice it.)

LAUNDRY

  • Wash less often (Washing adds wear and tear to your clothes. While necessary when clothes are dirty, unnecessary washing shortens the life of your garments.)
  • Always check label guidelines to make sure you are following instructions
  • Liquid laundry detergent wears off the fabric less than a powdered one
  • Wash with colder water
  • Skip the fabric softener/conditioner
  • Hand wash if possible
  • Use a lower spin cycle
  • Wash your garments inside out
  • Air dry (direct sunlight can fade colours) If you have the time, drying in natural sunlight and air is usually best. Dry whites outside and dark colours indoors. 
  • Always wash similar colours to remain the garments colours as long as possible
  • Use delicates bags for your extra sensitive items, like lace underwear

DAY TO DAY

  • Hang or fold correctly (try to fold along the seams of the garment)
  • Airing your clothes can be enough for several uses with natural fibered clothing
  • Use a steamer instead of an iron – or hang garments in shower room when usingth shower or spray with water, hang up & let wrinkles unfold with the help of gravity
  • Spot clean small stains instead of washing the whole garment
  • Invest in good hangers as the thin ones can cause the shoulder parts of your clothing to misshape
  • Store clothes in a dry space
  • Fold your knitwear. The weight of jumpers can cause them to lose their shape.

BUY QUALITY

  • Materials that don’t smell, can me aired out. You can read our guide on materials here:

CLOTHING: Which materials are the best and worst? – A Sustainable Fashion Material Guide

  • Quality that stay in shape and don’t lose colour etc
  • Also holds a better second hand value

Here is a great video giving tips on how you can recognize quality clothing:


For more posts about Fast Fashion check these out:

WHAT IS FAST FASHION?

PLASTIC CLOTHING – Pros, cons and how to deal with micro plastic pollution

CLOTHING: Which materials are the best and worst? – A sustainable fashion material guide

NOT BUYING NEW CLOTHES? Here’s what you can do instead

HOW TO SHOP SUSTAINABLY – When you are living a very busy life


This post was written by our blogger Evelina Utterdahl. You can read more about her here

Introduction of our new blogger, Evelina Utterdahl

My name is Evelina Utterdahl and I will be blogging here at Go Climate Neutral from now on.

I thought an introduction would be suitable so that you know a little bit more about who’s behind the thoughts and words to come.

Picture from Tbilisi, Georgia in June 2018 to where I went from Iran through Armenia, before traveling back towards Europe. All without flying.

Born and raised in the west of Sweden and I travel full time since 2,5 years and basically everything I do has some relation to sustainability and how to fight global warming.

I do talks at events, schools or organisations of which most of them are about sustainable travel, and how to travel without flying.

Social media is also kinda my thing, and I post on my own account @earthwanderess as well as being the coordinator of the international Instagram account for Extinction Rebellion. I also do the instagram for @vihallerosspajorden who started the campaign Flight Free 2020 where I am also part of the board.

You can also expect me to be part of taking care of our Instagram account at @goclimateneutral.

A bit of background of to how I got here. It started off with me traveling a lot and with that experience started writing travel articles for an online site.

While I was aware of airplanes being bad for the environment, I had no comprehension of just how big of an impact it had. I learned the numbers while stumbling over an article and was horrified. I felt so fooled as the whole world was acting as if flying airplanes and traveling across the world for leisure was something that we could do. As if it wasn’t as bad as it actually is.

I decided to quit flying that day.

From the Swedish TV show PLUS in October 2018, where I came on and talked about how to travel sustainably

The realisation of how little information about the severity of the situation we’re in had me needing to dig deeper and find out as much as I possibly could to lower my individual impact as well as use my rather big platform on social media to spread the knowledge I collected.

I am very excited to be able to come here on this platform on Go Climate Neutral, to reach a new audience where I can share all the thoughts and information that I pick up on a daily basis.

I hope you will learn new things and hopefully that my posts will also enable you to start conversations with friends, family and colleagues.

If you have any ideas of topics you’d like me to bring up, or if you have any feedback for my posts please feel free to send me a message at:

[email protected]

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