Climate change mitigation
Climate change mitigation means reducing or preventing greenhouse gas emissions and taking steps to remove them from the atmosphere where possible.
You can read the latest research behind Climate Mitigation from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
What can we do?
There are many choices we can make in our everyday lives to reduce our own emissions and lessen our impact on the planet. We can also support others in making changes too. Every little thing adds up! You may be familiar with the common phrase ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ – this is one way you might mitigate climate change!
Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle
This is all about using less and creating less waste in the first instance. If that’s not possible, we should think about how we can use items more than once. For unavoidable waste, we can look at recycling and composting.
There are number of organisations running locally that can help you reduce waste and repair old items.
In Chesterfield, you can find:
On an international scale, all of us need to reduce the amount of the earth’s resources consumed. But it is fair to say that those who use the most need to do the most to reduce their consumption. This is particularly relevant in developed western economies where more CO2 is emitted per person than anywhere else.
- Buy less stuff. When shopping, buy only what you need. Join your local library instead of buying new books. Choose one multi-purpose cleaner, instead of different cleaning products.
- Avoid single-use or disposable items.
- Buy products that use less packaging. Buying in bulk can help reduce packaging. Cut down on single-use plastic/plastic packaging - use tins or glass containers instead.
- Reduce junk mail by registering with The Mailing Preference Service
- Repair old equipment - see local repair cafés
- Buy (and sell/donate) second-hand locally – online marketplaces, thrift, and charities shops.
- Reuse containers and packaging like jars. Choose refillable items such as printer cartridges, markers, and glue.
Recycling is not a zero-emission option. It is always better for the climate not to use a thing, than to use it and then recycle it. Recycling is simply less bad than sending waste to landfill.
- Plastic, metal, glass, paper, wood, electronics, batteries – all can be recycled.
Many recyclables can be taken as part of your recycling collections and a lot of other items can be recycled at the Waste and Recycling Centres around the borough.
- Start a compost heap or use your garden waste/compost bin. Here is a full list of what you can and can’t put in your green bin. Even if you don’t intend to do much gardening, the waste rots down and reduces the amount of rubbish that needs to be collected. More information on composting is available from the RHS.
For more tips on how to ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and waste reduction from Veolia Nottinghamshire.
- Insulate your house and double-glaze your windows. This will reduce heat loss and lower energy use. You will also save money on your energy bills.
- Draught-proof your windows, doors, and unused chimneys. Whilst controlled ventilation is needed to reduce damp, uncontrolled draughts can make your home cold and waste heat.
- Switch to a green energy provider
- Consider generating your own renewable energy at home via solar panels.
- Don’t use open fires or coal. Consider low-carbon heating (solar thermal, biomass, or a heat pump)
The Energy Saving Trust have developed a comprehensive guide on energy use at home.
Centre for Sustainable Energy have produced helpful guides on insulation, draught-proofing, and more.
- Eco-driving for unavoidable car journeys - it’s safer and saves fuel.
- Working from home
- Car share / Walk / cycle / use public transport options
- Make sure your next car is electric
- Avoiding flying or cruise ships when you go on holiday
- Get deliveries sent to a central pickup point
- Buy locally produced items which are not shipped long distances
Further information on low carbon travel is available from the Energy Saving Trust.
The Eat Forum have provided a lot of information about sustainable food including recipes which could form part of a planetary health diet.
It is more effective to reduce our carbon emissions. But here are some ways you can enhance carbon sinks:
- Plant and protect trees.
- Add biochar to your garden compost
- Rewild your garden to create natural and biodiverse habitat
- Turn the lawn into a meadow, or get rid of it altogether and plant long-lived plants
- Don’t sweep up or burn leaves; allow them to decompose
More information on large-scale Carbon Capture and Storage from the Grantham Institute.
Learn more, spread the word
Make your voice heard
Politicians and the public sector rely on you for a mandate. If you want the borough council, the Government, and other public sector organisations to do more to deal with climate change, then get in touch with your councillors and MP:
Join a Local Climate Action Group
There are many environmental organisations that campaign on climate change and associated issues. This ranges from some larger well-known organisations to local groups and projects.
Vote with your feet
One of the most effective things you can do is invest and spend your money wisely.
- There are many companies and organisations which don’t do enough on climate change, some of them are actively exploiting the situation, spreading disinformation or downplaying the risk. Challenge these companies and refuse to do business with them unless they take it seriously.
- Check that your pension is sustainable – you can use the Make My Money Matter website to contact your pension provider.
In 2020, the Borough council backed a motion to call on the Derbyshire Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels.