Last year we saw fires ravage the earth, hurricanes and flooding destroy communities, and our coral reefs perish in increasingly warmer oceans. Climate change is ramping up, but here at Ecojam we know that the power to change the dangerous path our planet is on is within our hands.
Our belief is shared by founder of One Home, Angela Terry, who’s green information hub is helping people to live and go green. Ecojam Bath manager, Bex, took some time out to speak to Angela about One Home, and what actions we can take in 2019 to help change the future of our planet.
For our Ecojammers who are new to One Home, can you tell us a bit about your site and what you offer?
One Home is a website focusing on climate action and is all about giving people inspiration on lifestyle choices that are kinder to the planet. We want to give people positive solutions to climate change. One Home offers clear and simple guides on steps people can take to achieve this beyond well-known habitats, such as recycling.
We cover subjects from renewable heat and power, no-fly holidays, green gardening and sustainable food but also how to adapt to extreme weather events, such as floods that are more and more common.
Why did you set up One Home?
I’ve worked in renewable energy and forestry for decades, but as a mum of young children, I’m extremely worried about the legacy we are leaving and frustrated that we are not doing more to fix this problem. I created One Home because I could see a need for an attractive information hub to simplify and promote going green.
One Home covers a whole range of topics that allow people to look at the big picture of what they can do, rather than just addressing isolated issues in silos.
Tackling climate change on a personal level can feel (at times) a bit overwhelming, so what advice would you give to anyone looking to start living green?
Firstly, I understand it’s very easy to feel that our actions are insignificant in the face of the problem, but there is strength in numbers. Everything we do to reduce our carbon footprint helps, and by going green, you can inspire others to take action. Secondly, there are huge financial and health benefits to going green so it’s to your benefit to keep going on this journey.
However, we are all human so I would concentrate on the actions that will have the greatest impact but are also the easiest for you to achieve.
Energy - switch to green electricity. Your home will be powered with electricity from sustainable sources, such as wind and solar. It also means you are choosing a form of electricity that has low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Insulation -check the insulation in your loft. If it’s less than 27cm, top it up.
Travel - vehicles are the highest source of CO2 in the UK so walking, cycling, buses, electric cars and holidays close to home are all good ideas. But if you have to go abroad, then choose a destination that is as short as possible to avoid burning so much fuel.
Ultimately every tonne of carbon that we keep in the ground instead of releasing into the atmosphere is a very good thing indeed.
2018 was a tough year for our planet, what are the three most important steps we should all take to make 2019 more positive?
I think we will look back on 2018 as the year climate change truly entered the consciousness of society, mainly due to the UK heatwave but also extreme weather events around the world. But there is still a lot more to do to increase awareness of solutions so the transition to clean energy happens faster.
My key positive recommendation is to do everything you can to make your voice heard and be a spokesperson for change:
Social - talk to your friends and share ideas about what you can all do to take action. Set up a WhatsApp group – it’s so much easier to stay motivated when you can share it all.
Action - join a climate change action group – by joining forces with others, it’s more likely that political leaders will listen and act.
Political - write to your MP and local councillors about how important this issue is to you. While individual climate actions are necessary and important, local and national Government need to make drastic changes if we are to avert dangerous levels of global warming.
If you could highlight one climate change action from 2018 that really inspired you, what would it be?
It’s great that climate change is increasingly being mentioned in the media and clean tech is now so affordable, so it does feel like we have reached a watershed. But my highlight from 2018 is the speech from 15-year-old Greta Thunberg, at the latest round of Climate negotiations in Poland. She said:
"You are never too small to make a difference... imagine what we could all do together, if we really wanted to. I do not care about being popular, I care about climate justice and a living planet. Our civilisation is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. We are running out of time... The real power belongs to the people."
And finally, if our Ecojammers would like to spread the word about One Home, what can they do?
We have a Facebook and Twitter page which people can follow for updates and share. See @OurOneHome and visit the website www.onehome.org.uk. You can also subscribe to our newsletter and YouTube channel.