How to save the planet – Top 5 things you can do in 2020

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The world is sliding to hell in a handbasket and it can often seem overwhelming. Well, fear not. The time to start taking action to save the planet is now. Learn to take the spectre of imminent catastrophe in your stride by making a decisive difference. Arm yourself with these actions and be the hero…

1. Be aware of your carbon footprint, cut your emissions, save the planet

What is your carbon footprint? It is a measure of the amount of CO2 you help generate, mostly through your everyday choices. The average for industrialised countries is 11 tons of CO2 per person per year. The world average is 4 tons. The target for all of us? 2 tons. If you want to accurately measure your carbon footprint, this calculator from the WWF is a good start. If you fund the planting of just one acre of hemp with Readathriller, you pretty much offset your CO2 for a year, so watch out for our CO2 offset packages, coming soon. Meanwhile, use our CO2 offset calculator tools and buy some hemp seeds and away you go into an instantly more sustainable future.

You can also cut down on your emissions. Drive less, fly less, buy local produce. Just use your head and ask more questions about how and why so much stuff is transported around the world. Who really benefits? Follow the money. Does it have to be this way?

2. Consume less meat and dairy

A small change to our shopping and eating habits will make a big difference in the long run. Agriculture is Ireland’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. This includes all the farts and burps that cows, pigs and sheep produce. Globally, agriculture accounts for about a quarter of all GHG emissions.

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This dates from 2010. Source: EPA, USA. What’s interesting is that individual consumers are responsible for only a small proportion of GHG gases. Government and business are the main culprits, so don’t let them make you feel guilty.

So, eat less meat and the agriculture industry will have to move towards more sustainable crops and practices. In the EU, we have this big, ugly, expensive bureaucracy called the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a system of welfare rigged to reward industrial farms for producing items (such as dairy products) that humans don’t really want or need. (If we wanted dairy, why does the EU spend millions advertising the stuff to us?) Animal welfare also suffers because of the EU’s basically shitty way of organising subsidies. Cow’s milk is designed for baby cows, adult cows drink water! Cut down on your dairy consumption and you will feel and look better (dairy can be a cause of acne, potentially leeches calcium FROM your bones, and is full of bovine antibiotics, which can’t be good for you!), while helping to save the world.

Read our post about how European Union agriculture policies encourage animal cruelty, while contributing to the climate crisis.

3. Know your enemy and who’s getting rich by killing the planet

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Oil and plastic are all part of the same problem. Plastic is made from oil, so all the plastic shit that’s clogging our seas and rivers, and ending up in your gut, is enriching the top oil exporters. Next time you’re moaning about all the plastic that wraps every fucking thing (twice), just remember that that same plastic is making the Saudis and Putin even richer. Sick to your stomach? You ought to be.

Here are the top 10 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of crude oil in 2018 (Canada! What are you doing on this list of shame?):

  1. Saudi Arabia: US$182.5 billion
  2. Russia: $129 billion
  3. Iraq: $91.1 billion
  4. Canada: $66.9 billion
  5. United Arab Emirates: $66.8 billion
  6. Kuwait: $49.8 billion
  7. United States: $47.2 billion
  8. Iran: $45.7 billion
  9. Nigeria: $43.6 billion
  10. Angola: $38.4 billion

You can fight back against plastic by completely eliminating the use of pointless, single-use plastics, such as straws and cocktail stirrers. When shopping, leave excess plastic behind so the retailer has to deal with it and, in time, they’ll force their suppliers to cop on. Alternatively, call or email producers that use too much plastic wrap. If they don’t think there’s a problem, they’ll never change.

And you can fight back against the evil regimes that profit from the destruction of our planet by calling them out, by telling everybody who’s to blame for the climate crisis, and by demanding that your government only imports oil from countries that share your values in democracy, accountability and equality. We all know that the Saudi and Russian dictatorships kill their opponents, by chopping them up into little pieces, or by poisoning them with radiation, nerve agents or bullets. Don’t be afraid. If we all step up, they can’t kill everyone!

4. Separate waste for recycling

I live in Dublin city and, shockingly, the council rubbish bins/trash cans on the street do NOT segregate waste! So all plastic, paper, glass and metal waste gets thrown into landfill with everything else. This is wrong, if not illegal. Indeed, radio ads are currently running here, threatening consumers with fines if they don’t segregate waste. Give me a break!

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Street rubbish bin in San Francisco. The top section is for recyclables, the bottom for regular trash. A simple, effective solution to street waste separation.

In San Francisco and other enlightened cities, street waste segregation is made easy. There is no excuse for not segregating all public waste, it’s just down to a combination of laziness and stupidity. So, as well as ensuring that we separate our domestic waste, we must put pressure on our councils*, governments and employers to make sure that all waste is segregated. And we should go a step further, targeting the companies that produce excess waste, or plastics that can’t be easily recycled, with boycotts. If we all stop buying Coca-Cola (which produces over 110 BILLION plastic bottles a year) and McDonald’s (which gives out ‘free’ toys to children, which are typically shitty and made of multiple plastic types/electronic components, so can’t be easily recycled), then maybe these corporations will wake up. Or go bust.

5. Wake up and stay woke

There is a global awakening to the seriousness of the climate crisis, and the need to save the planet. From the Paris Agreement, through to the actions of people like Greta Thunberg, and the ongoing campaigns of organisations like Greenpeace, we are waking up. We know that we must save the planet. The horrible dictatorships, dangerous idiots in high places, and evil corporations that run the world will continue peddling their fake news, so that we will just keep buying their lies and crappy products while destroying the planet.

But they will lose. We will build a whole new way of living in harmony with this fabulous planet and the incredible plants and animals that we share it with. There will be casualties along the way – the dictators, the oil companies, the plastic waste producers – but that’s only the start of the upside! Be aware that this struggle will continue for the rest of your life. Success will look like a fairer world with less weather catastrophes, fewer animal extinctions, and a better life for future generations. That’s a vision worth fighting for.

Let’s do this.


Actions

  1. Share this post on social media.
  2. Buy from our sustainable hemp marketplace and we’ll plant CO2-absorbing hemp for every purchase! Our mission is to save the planet.
  3. Boycott the countries and companies that produce oil and oil products with no concern for anything but profit.
  4. Put pressure on your government to do the right thing, take on vested interests, and show some leadership and vision.
  5. Make these topics part of your everyday actions and conversations. Sign up for our Thrill me! newsletter, then share, share, share!

*We’re taking Dublin councils (there are three for one city!) to task over lack of waste segregation in public bins. Look out for a post here soon, where we’ll share their responses.

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Save the planet today! Print and display this ‘Feeling guilty?’ poster in your workplace, in public places or at home, and share on social…

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This A3-size PDF can be downloaded or printed right away. Just click here for our Feeling guilty? PDF. Just check ‘Fit to paper’ on your printer screen and you should be fine! Stick it up wherever people gather or share on your favourite social media. You’re a hero!


Learn more

Read about the meat alternatives market in the US, and the astounding growth of Impossible Foods in this CNN report: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/27/business/impossible-burgers-beyond-meat/index.html

Sources of GHGs by sector, US EPA: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

Crude oil exporters: http://www.worldstopexports.com/worlds-top-oil-exports-country/

Read this Guardian report from the G20 2019 meeting, about how Saudi Arabia and Russia work together to keep oil prices high: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jun/30/russia-saudi-arabia-extend-deal-opec-oil-output

EcoWatch report on Coca-Cola’s plastic waste problem: https://www.ecowatch.com/coca-cola-plastic-bottles-2492093659.html

Report from The Lumberjack on how hemp plastic is the future: https://thelumberjack.org/2019/04/11/the-future-of-plastic-hemp/

World Wildlife Fund carbon footprint calculator: https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#/


Image credits

Bin Salman and Putin: Kremlin.ru [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)]

Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector: US EPA

San Francisco bin: Gary J Byrnes


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