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Illustration: Tim Easley

4 things you can do right now to live a greener life

Overwhelmed by climate change doom? We ask experts for practical changes you can make

Isabelle Aron
Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Isabelle Aron
Chiara Wilkinson

Jennifer Poust, owner of Weigh and Pay zero-waste store 

‘Choose one thing in your kitchen that you can refill, like olive oil. Commit to finding a place that does refills and stick with it. There are zero-waste shops in almost every town in the country, so it’s super doable. You don’t need to buy a new container, just find something you already have, like jam jars. There’s this concept that it’s all or nothing when it comes to zero waste, so people don’t think it’s an option to them. But it’s about everybody just choosing one thing to refill, rather than a few people refilling everything.’  

Weigh and Pay is at Unit 33, Brixton Village, SW9 8PS. 

Dr Andrew Russell, lecturer in environmental science at Queen Mary University of London

‘Tell your MP that you care about this. They represent you so let them know that you’re concerned and want them to support strong climate action. This means reducing national emissions and making us resilient to climate impacts that are unavoidable. Not sure where to start? Hundreds of scientists have spent thousands of hours analysing data and writing reports on climate change, so have a look at some of the findings. These are only a click of a button away. The UK’s Climate Change Committee has recently published an overview of the risks we face, which could be a good place to start.’

Siân Moxon, founder Rewild My Street

‘Water: it’s a magnet for wildlife, allowing birds to bathe, hedgehogs to drink and frogs to cool off. In small spaces try a mini pond in a container or a hanging bird bath – or make a “bee bowl”: fill a shallow dish, such as a plant-pot saucer, with pebbles; add water to just below the top of the pebbles, so pollinators can rest to drink without the risk of drowning. Keep water sources clear of leaves and top up in summer (use rainwater for ponds). In winter, break up any ice and float a ping-pong ball on the surface to delay freezing.’ 

Siân Moxon is a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University. She is an architect, author and founder of the Rewild My Street urban rewilding campaign.  

Janine Francois, cultural producer and course leader at the University of the Arts London

‘Currently, the environmental movement is very white, Western and middle class. Read and engage in conversations on climate injustice that are intersectional – not just around areas of identity but also geographical and political. Follow and amplify the work of activists of colour who connect climate change and environmental damage and disaster to western imperialism and colonisation. Some great UK collectives include Land in Our Names, Wretched of the Earth and Healing Justice – you can donate resources or share their content on your social media platforms. You can deepen your understanding on one of the most important issues of your time by diversifying the content you engage with.’

Read about how London is becoming more eco-friendly:

Meet the eco-innovators making our city greener.

How to eat to save the planet.

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