One Small StepWe know climate change is happening

There is now no scientific doubt. Emissions from burning fossil fuels are driving global climate change, warming our atmosphere and oceans, melting ice and driving an increase in extreme weather events.Some of the greenhouse gases we emit can last for thousands of years in the atmosphere; if we continue this way, life on earth will change dramatically.

We know the consequences of climate change

As a result of climate change, infectious diseases may spread; heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and sea level rise will disrupt communities, harm health and kill people. Climate change is also a driver of starvation, migration, poverty and conflict.A business-as-usual approach will lead to global warming that is incompatible with any reasonable characterisation of an organised, equitable and civilised global community. We need to act now to protect the planet and with it our health.

What can you do to help?

We can all contribute to improving our family’s health and wellbeing and that of future generations. Your actions do count; to minimise environmental impacts, to slow down our personal contributions to climate change and to protect public health. Specific examples are suggested below with many of these actions having wider health benefits – making the air cleaner, cutting your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer, and helping you and your kids live happier, longer lives.So, how exactly can you help?

This is how: One Small Step

The Director General of the World Health Organisation has raised the alarm on climate change, so what can you do? Here are a few suggestions, each a small step, that you may want to adopt to make a real difference:

– Consider switching to a greener energy supply that offers energy generated in a renewable or sustainable manner.

– Eat fresh locally produced foods and fewer processed foods for a month

– Get out and enjoy your local green spaces – aim to go for a walk with a friend once a week

– Try walking or cycling for short journeys, instead of using your car

– Buy energy efficient products – check the energy efficiency labels when purchasing new appliances

– Reduce, reuse, recycle – see if you can cut down on one bag of rubbish each week
Investigate how you can make your home more energy efficient – can you insulate and get smarter about energy use?

 

 

 

Further information about energy suppliers and other ways you can be more sustainable are highlighted in the websites below:

http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/energy/greenelectricitysuppliers.aspx

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic/content/buying-green-electricity

http://www.sduhealth.org.uk/areas-of-focus/carbon-hotspots/travel.aspx

Make a pledge to see what you can do to help shape our future in a more sustainable way – what will your next step be?

One Small Step has been designed and created by Public Health England