In its regular columns, Climate Action Stokesley and Villages looks at lifestyle changes for 2023 which could have an impact in the fight against climate change.

January is often a time when we stop and reflect on our priorities and make New Year’s resolutions. More and more people are looking at their lifestyle and making changes to reduce their carbon footprint helping address the climate and nature emergencies we face.

The UK’s independent Climate Change Committee suggests the following actions that individuals can take play their part in reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero.

The way you travel

  • Choose to walk and cycle or take public transport in preference to a car
  • Make your next car an electric one
  • Minimise flying, especially long-haul, where possible

In your home

  • Improve the energy efficiency of your home (or ask your landlord to) through draught-proofing, improved insulation, choosing LED light-bulbs and appliances with high efficiency ratings
  • Set thermostats no higher than 19°C and the water temperature in heating systems no higher than 55°C
  • Consider switching to a low-carbon heating system such as a heat pump, especially if you live off the gas grid; if you are on the gas grid consider a hybrid system
  • Reduce the risk of overheating in the summer with thick curtains or blinds.
  • Install water and smart energy meters to manage water and energy use
Climate Action Stokesley and Villages

Climate Action Stokesley and Villages

What you eat and buy

  • Dietary changes, for example with less beef, lamb and dairy
  • Eliminate food waste as far as possible and make sure that you use separate food waste collections if available. Reduce, reuse and recycle your other waste too
  • Use only peat-free compost.
  • Choose good quality products that will last, and try to repair before you replace
  • Share rather than buy items like power tools that you don’t use frequently

What else?

  • Look for changes that you can make in your workplace or school to reduce emissions and support your colleagues to make changes too
  • If you’re in a flood risk area sign up to flood warnings and devise your own household plan to prepare for possible floods
  • Talk about your experiences and help to raise awareness of the need to act. Consider the wider impacts of your actions (eg through your pension or ISA and via the companies you buy from).

Climate Action Stokesley and Villages group would add the need to campaign for change by:

  • Writing to your MP
  • Encouraging local politicians and businesses to act
  • Joining a local group working on the climate and nature emergencies

Visit the North Yorkshire Climate Coalition’s website for links to groups in North Yorkshire working on climate change and the environment and to find out what joint work is taking place.

Next month the column will look at actions happening and planned at a county level.

Find out more about the work of Climate Action Stokesley and Villages group here.