Your carbon footprint matters! The effort of every individual is important and does have a huge impact when it comes to lowering carbon emissions in the world. Just think if each and every one of our 7.7 billion world population decided to do something to lower their carbon footprint – what an impact that could have! Currently, there is a lot of focus on how companies, cities and countries lower their carbon emissions or even become CO2-neutral. This is what our tours at Green Bike Tours are all about! These strategies often include major technological changes and optimizations, which truly are big steps in the right direction – but the truth is that this is not enough. To solve our climate crisis, we need every single person in the world to make climate conscious decisions and changes in their own lives.
But how to do that? It can seem incredible overwhelming to make this transformation in your life. Where to start? What is the most important? How much should, and can I do? Luckily, it gets easier and easier to get answers to these questions, and we will take a look at some interesting suggestions.
Start with the (wo)man in the mirror
First, a good way to start is to figure out where you are now and where you want to go. To figure out where you are now, there exist lots of carbon footprint calculators, which make a personal calculation on how much carbon you emit through your daily life, often based on your consumption of energy, food and materials, and how you transport yourself. For example, try one made by WWF UK: https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#/, which is fairly quick and easy to answer (and also give you facts and tips during the quiz). Otherwise, for an average CO2-emission check out the per capita statistics of your own country here: http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org/en/CO2-emissions, (notice that you can shift between different type of CO2-sources, which will result in different carbon footprints).
Then where should you go? This is a bit trickier, as it depends on several factors in the future, but an estimate based on the global carbon budget for a 2℃-scenario future, is around 1.2 t CO2/person/year. This number might come as a chock to you, especially if you live in a rich part of the world. For example, an average Dane emits around 17 t/CO2/year! So, the questions is not whether you should make changes or not – it is a must!
But what can I do?
Then what to do and how to start? For this, we have been inspired by a campaign from Danish Society for Nature Conservation (Danmarks Naturfredningsforening). They have made an option for people to make a non-binding ‘climate agreement’ with yourself – like a New Year’s resolution (but this one we would like you to actually achieve).
You choose at least three goals which you should reach within one year, and they help by guiding you on how to achieve these goals. You can make the resolutions here: https://dn-klimaklogt.yourli.st/?utm_source=DN&utm_medium=hjemmeside&utm_campaign=forside. This though is only in Danish, but since we find these agreements so important, we have translated them here, and we will also spend some time on our Facebook and Instagram the rest of our off-season to give advices for how to reach these important goals! So, these are:
- Cut your data consumption in half!
- Turn your garden into a carbon sink!
- Avoid buying anything from new (only secondhand)!
- Avoid food waste!
- Push for more ambitious climate politics!
- Don’t fly!
- Make your home more climate and energy friendly!
- Make your pension savings green!
- Walk or bike to work!
- Cut your meat consumption in half!
This is so overwhelming – how do I choose?
When choosing your goals then be ambitious but realistic. It is like a diet – you will not drop 10 kg in a week! Likewise, it’s impossible to reach the necessary reductions from one day to another, and you are most likely to succeed if you start with a few changes and then add on to these on the way.
We suggest starting with a few of the easiest changes – the ones which can make a difference without changing your life considerably for example, by changing your lightbulbs to LED and turn of lights and electronics when not needed – just by switching off your Playstation you can save the environment 20 kilo of carbon. Besides that, you also need to choose at least one of the more difficult goals, but make the changes slowly.
The goal could be cutting meat consumption in half. Depending on what your consumptions are now, you could start by having 1-2 days with no meat. As you learn more recipes and get more accustomed with vegetarian dishes, you can push your goal more every other week or every month. After one year you may have made some major changes in your life, and by doing it slowly, it has actually become a solid habit, making it easier for you to continue that way.
Here at Green Bike Tours we do not only communicate about how cities cut their emissions, we also want to inspire to how to make some of these changes as individuals! That is why we will spend the rest of our off-season bringing tips and tricks on our social media channels on how to achieve some of these personal climate agreements!
We would love to hear from you as well if you have any good advices. Besides that, we also seek to inspire for changes on our tours and activities. For example, we have a workshop on how to cook with surplus food to avoid food waste (check out our blog post for this) and on our tour 3 we provide tips for where to eat vegan and shop consciously in Copenhagen! Check out our tours on www.greenbiketours.dk.