What South Bristol families are doing about climate change

May 25 2018
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TWO FAMILIES from Knowle are doing their bit to tackle climate change as part of One Home – a new project which encourages Bristolians to make simple lifestyle choices to reduce carbon emissions.

Pictured top: Angela Terry, the climate scentist who has launched One Home – a checklist of ideas families can use to cut their impact on the climate. Switching to an electric car is one major positive step, she says

Easy ways to cut our impact on the planet

TWO FAMILIES from Knowle are doing their bit to tackle climate change as part of One Home – a new project which encourages Bristolians to make simple lifestyle choices to reduce carbon emissions.  

Eating less red meat, driving an electric car, holidaying in the UK, insulating your home and installing solar panels are the most important actions you can take to reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions and benefit your quality of life, according to One Home. 

One Home – being piloted first in Bristol and the West Country – is a new not-for-profit website which aims to offer a one-stop shop on sustainable lifestyle choices.

It is the brainchild of environmental scientist Angela Terry who has spent 20 years working in the renewables industry and was one a pioneer of community wind farms.

 Angela says: “Most people accept climate change is happening but are sometimes confused and overwhelmed by what they can do about it.

“We want to give options that offer the best quality of life while reducing carbon emissions.

“For the biggest impact, it’s all about saving energy to reduce carbon dioxide – the main greenhouse gas that causes climate change – and that’s why we’ve developed these five clear ways to do just that.”

 Holidaying in the UK rather than flying is one of the most important changes people can make. A family of four driving to and from Bristol to Cornwall emits 92kg of carbon dioxide. The same family making a return flight from Bristol to Alicante in Spain produces 1,142kg – that’s 12 times more than the Cornwall trip. A long-haul return flight to Florida emits 2,780kg, 30 times more than going to Cornwall and back.

onehome.org.uk

Two families make choices to combat climate change

TOP FIVE WAYS TO REDUCE CLIMATE IMPACT

1. Eat less red meat; 2. Get an electric car; 3. Holiday in the UK; 4 Insulate your home; 5 Install solar panels.

John and the solar panels on his garage roof

Pictured : John, top: Investment in solar power expected to break even 

John Moule lives in Knowle with his wife Sharon and two children, Spike and Toby. Two years ago, he had solar panels installed on his garage roof at a cost of £6,500 and he expects to break even on the investment by 2022.

John said: “For us, it’s really important that we set an example to the children on being careful with our energy use and the benefits of sustainable energy.

“Other actions I am looking into include installing a battery to store the energy from the panels. I am also researching external wall insulation and I’ve found the One Home website to be really useful in pointing me in the right direction so I can find out about feasibility and funding.”

 

Gaby, below: Decided meat rearing adds too much carbon emissions 

Gaby: Eating less meat means much less climate impact for his family 

Gaby Amiel lives in Knowle with his wife Sue and two children Elodie and Gabriel. Last year, he decided to stop eating meat for environmental reasons.

Gaby said: “For some years, I’d been thinking about becoming vegetarian, and then last year I decided to give it a go for a month. As it turned out, it was much easier than I had imagined so I am sticking with it. 

“Climate change threatens everything and, for me, it’s a matter of personal conscience that motivates me to take actions that have a positive outcome for the planet, my children and me. The rest of the family do occasionally eat meat, but as a treat, which I believe is a healthier and more sustainable approach.”

 

Angela added: “Having worked in the green industry for many years, I saw a real need for one platform which brings together accurate, practical information into one place that equips people with the know-how on what they can do to make a difference and how to adapt to climate change. One Home fills this crucial gap.

“The South West is the natural home for this project. Our region has one of the country’s best renewable energy resources, including wind and sun, yet research published last year by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology shows that households in the South West emit more carbon emissions than households in any other country in Europe. Our region clearly needs to take action to reverse this.”

 The One Home website covers a wide range of topics designed to act as a guide for anyone looking to move towards a low carbon lifestyle. These include how to make your home more energy efficient, a guide on choosing electric and hybrid cars, information on the carbon emissions of the food we eat and no-fly holiday ideas. There is also advice on adapting to the reality of climate change, including keeping your home dry during floods and top tips to help wildlife and plants in your garden thrive despite climate change.

 Sir David King, formerly the UK’s climate envoy (2013-2017) and the Government’s chief scientific adviser (2000-2007) has thrown his weight behind the project. 

He said: One Home offers citizens an opportunity to assess their lifestyle choices and make positive changes for the benefit of both people and the planet. I applaud this initiative – it will inform and empower people, motivating them to support clean energy and reduce fossil fuel consumption.

“The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris set an objective to ensure the planet does not exceed a two degree Celsius temperature rise above the pre-industrial level, and make every effort not to exceed a 1.5 degree Celsius temperature rise.

“This will not be possible without raising awareness of the situation. One Home can play a major role in this, encouraging a vital transformation of consumer habits and offering a holistic approach to the problem.”

In the UK in 2017, the average carbon footprint per person was more than seven tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. In the next 20 years, this needs to be cut down to one tonne per person if we are to meet the UN objective, prevent run away global warming and achieve net zero emissions as soon as possible.

Angela added: “This means removing oil and gas completely from our lives as well as changing our diets to reduce red meat consumption and tackle waste such as plastic pollution. Currently, there is no universal tax on carbon emissions so these changes need to happen voluntarily. Thankfully, solutions do exist and they are reliable, affordable and generally beneficial.”