Healing for the Heart

In the fourth and final instalment of our Step Up to Net Zero blogs, Frances Nicoll explains why we need to reduce our emissions. She also shares some tips on how we can all do our bit to help reach our national targets.

Net Zero Capacity

To half our emissions by 2030 and reach net zero globally by 2050 we all need to act now. We need to be building net zero capacity into our governments, organisations and personal daily practices. The quicker we reduce emissions the easier it will be, in the long run, to limit global warming to 1.5°C (max 2°C).

Did you know that 1°C can make a significant difference?

Polar ice caps provide habitats for all sorts of wildlife. They also help keep the earth cool by reflecting the heat back out of the atmosphere. Ice stays frozen up to 0°C so a 1°C change makes the difference between ice and water. This is why 95% of the oldest thickest ice in the artic is already gone. Melted ice also raises sea levels which means changes in flooding, tides and weather etc.

Certain plants and animals need specific temperatures to thrive. Coffee Arabica’s optimal temperature range is 18°C–21°C. Too much above or below that and we have no coffee. A 2°C increase in global warming would result in coral reefs, which are home to a quarter of all marine life, dying out completely. Already half of the world’s species are migrating due to climate change.

Climate change also effects weather patterns meaning that we are experiencing more weather extremes e.g. colder wetter winters and drier warmer summers. The UK will experience summers on average 3°C warmer than previously and we have a mild climate compared to some other countries in the world who are already suffering extreme weather conditions.

What can we do about it?

I know this can seem scary, overwhelming or just unreal, but the good news is there are things we can do about it. When I say ‘we’ I mean all of us, both in our collective and independent forms; as governments, industries, and as individuals.

Here at Healing for the Heart we are building in various practices to increase our net zero capacity. These practices aim to limit our carbon footprint by reducing our use of fossil fuels, choosing environmentally sustainable suppliers and being responsible in the disposal of our waste.

Some examples of these include working in the local community, online, or in central locations that are accessible by public transport. This either prevents the need for any travel or reduces the length of travel for both our staff and clients. We are also working on limiting the environmental impact of our food consumption in the catering we use. Firstly, by ordering appropriately to prevent food waste and secondly, by choosing suppliers that provide vegan and vegetarian catering as it has around half the carbon footprint of meat.

Would you like to have a go at reducing your carbon footprint?

You could reduce your meat consumption? The EAT – Lancet Commission found that globally we are eating twice as much meat and sugar as we should be and half as much nuts, fruit, vegetables and legumes – compared to a healthy balanced diet.

Or maybe you want to commit to reduce your travel? It may take a bit more time but if you choose to travel by bus or train instead of flying you can reduce your carbon footprint by at least half if not more.

For more ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint check out the Energy Saving Trust’s website: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/top-tips-to-reduce-your-carbon-emissions/

There is a lot we can do – even if it is just one change at a time!