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Why Greta Thunberg gives us hope, and four ways you can stand up to climate change

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Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s Skolstrejk för Klimatet (school strike for the climate) to raise awareness of global carbon emissions, environmental destruction, and climate change has sparked a global youth movement in 112 countries across the world, inspiring tens of thousands of young people to strike for the environment with #FridaysForFuture protests. Click here to read the full story. 

Four simple ways everyone can stand up to climate change in 2019

1. Make your voice heard

From emailing your parliamentary representative to ask them about their commitment to tacking environmental issues, to contacting your favourite fashion and beauty brands to ask them about their production processes, we can all push for greater transparency around protecting planet earth. 

2. Use public transport

It’s quick, it’s cheap, and it reduces the levels of toxic air we breathe on a daily basis. Resolve to travel more responsibly, whether that’s by using the train, bus or tram to get to work. If you’ve a serious aversion to public transport, consider cycling, carpooling with friends, or better yet, putting your feet to the pavement. If you really do have to drive - electric or hybrid cars are a valid alternative - visit www.greenmotion.com to find out more. 

3. Reduce your waste

In 2019, reducing your waste isn’t simply about carefully sorting your black and green household bins once a week. Every single product we buy comes with an environmental footprint, so when you’re doing your weekly food shop, try to buy loose, packaging-free produce, and support local suppliers where possible. Pick up a food waste bin for your scraps, and if you don’t have the option of collection from your local council, look into starting a compost heap in your garden, or even find an allotment nearby. Failing that, get creative in the kitchen and find ways to make tasty meals from your leftovers.

4. Embrace a sustainable diet

We’ve known for a long time that food production has a toxic impact on the environment, but new research has shown that meat and dairy account for 83% of farmland use and produce 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions, meaning there’s no time like the present to embrace a plant-based diet. Instead of making meat the focus of your meal, reorient your thinking and embrace a wider range of vegetables, grains and legumes. If you’re stuck for ideas, get used to ordering from the vegetarian menu next time you’re out for dinner, then introduce a meat-free day once a week. 

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