How good are the UK government’s green credentials?

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Wind turbines help fight climate change (photo: Adobe)

Last article by Angela Terry

Angela Terry, green activist and consumer expert, separates climate change fact from fiction and explains here how you can take simple, practical steps to help save the planet. Follow @ouronehome and visit https://onehome.org.uk/ for more advice.

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Green activist and consumer expert Angela Terry examines how serious the government is about the climate crisis.

Q: Is the UK government a world leader on climate?

A: I understand why you think that.

Our government has said fantastic things, especially when we hosted COP26 in Glasgow. His commitment to net zero was a historic moment in global climate politics.

Unfortunately, these words and commitments have not been translated into action in many areas.

The government’s own experts

Recently, the government’s own Climate Change Monitoring Committee released a damning progress report on its climate policy. It found that “major failures in delivery programs” mean the UK is not on track to meet its climate targets.

This slowness is costing us dearly on our energy bills. Average household bills would already be around £125 lower if previous green plans had been followed.

Wind turbines help fight climate change (photo: Adobe)

CCC Chairman Lord Debden stressed that moving quickly away from oil and gas is not only essential in terms of reducing carbon emissions, but would also boost UK energy security and reduce utility bills. people.

What are the worst problems?

The biggest flaw is the insulation. Despite soaring fossil fuel prices and rising carbon emissions, the government still has no plans to help people insulate their homes. The British have the most drafty homes in Western Europe. Every time most of us turn on the heater, the heat escapes – which means paying for extra gas. Energy efficiency helps reduce bills.

The government must also support the transition to clean energy. He blocked onshore wind farms, even though they are the cheapest and hugely popular form of energy. It also plans to support a new coal mine. Coal is the dirtiest form of energy, so in 2022 it’s amazing. Emphasis must be placed on renewable energies to create new jobs and reduce bills.

The other difficult area is transport, the UK’s biggest source of carbon dioxide. Funding for bus services continues to be cut, so people are forced to use cars, which are expensive to run and contribute to air pollution.

Finally, we need a public information campaign, so that everyone has confidence in how to take action against climate change and save money doing it. That’s why I created One Home!

What can you do?

Raising awareness by talking to friends and families is helpful. Writing to your local councilors or MP and expressing your concerns about the lack of climate action is another big step.

You could highlight the dangers we face by referring to the unprecedented heatwaves in the UK and across Europe, as well as in India, the US, China, Japan and even the Arctic.

celebrity place

National Treasure Stephen Fry has spoken out in support of Extinction Rebellion and called for urgent action on fossil fuels in a viral video.

Stephen Fry has shown his support for Extinction Rebellion (Photo: Getty Images)

He explains that the argument the media often uses against climate activists – they are hypocrites because they travel or wear clothes made from fossil fuels – makes no sense.

He says if they didn’t live in the modern world – wearing clothes and having televisions – and somehow found a way to put on burlaps and live in a ditch , then everyone would call them “weird”.

green exchange

Replace chicken with tofu and immediately save a pound or two of carbon emissions.

Want to replace the chicken with tofu (photo: Adobe)

It’s also healthier. A lot of soy is used in chicken farming, as it is fed to chickens, so eating tofu directly is more effective.

Try to source sustainable soy when you can.

Here we give the truth about artificial grass

And yet, the truth is that plastic grass is an environmental no-no.

Indeed, the Advertising Standards Authority has decided that it cannot be described as environmentally friendly.

In our quest for cleanliness in the garden, we sometimes forget that it is full of living beings.

In fact, soil is one of the most complex ecosystems on Earth.

A handful contains 50 billion living things.

These single-celled life forms are not visible to the naked eye but are essential to soil health.

How dependent are we on them?

We are all dependent on them for our food.

When you cover the ground with what is essentially a large plastic mat, you are harming that life and making your soil infertile.

You also shut down its ability to suck up and store carbon.

You might think it’s no big deal when it’s just your garden, but the UK has over 23 million gardens, covering around 4,440km2 of land, or one-fifth the size of the Wales !

If they were all covered in plastic, it would create a real problem in terms of carbon emissions – and also accelerate the extinction of much of our wildlife.

In addition to microorganisms, soil harbors insects and worms.

These creepy critters might not look cute, but we depend on them.

Insects are among the most important pollinators of crops, while worms move nutrients through the soil, keeping it healthy.

With insect numbers dropping, we should do everything we can to help them, without destroying their habitats even further.

We also have to help the greatest fauna of the garden. Insects and worms are the main food of birds, small mammals, amphibians, fish and reptiles.

As the world warms, precipitation patterns are changing, becoming heavier and more intense.

Healthy soil can absorb excess water, while water simply runs off the artificial grass, making flooding worse.

Artificial lawns are made of plastic – and the last thing we need is that!

Most plastics eliminate microplastics and plastic grass is no different.

These infinitesimal fibers pollute the surrounding environment.

Plus, as fake lawns crumble, they look awful and therefore end up in landfills, polluting the ground and waterways for decades to come.

Here we give the truth about artificial grass

Sales of fake lawns have skyrocketed during lockdown as people lucky enough to have gardens have spent so much time there and looked for simple ways to maintain them.

Fake grass a no no (photo: Adobe)

And yet, the truth is that plastic grass is an environmental no-no.

Indeed, the Advertising Standards Authority has decided that it cannot be described as environmentally friendly.

Soil health

In our quest for cleanliness in the garden, we sometimes forget that it is full of living beings.

In fact, soil is one of the most complex ecosystems on Earth.

A handful contains 50 billion living things.

These single-celled life forms are not visible to the naked eye but are essential to soil health.

How dependent are we on them?

We are all dependent on them for our food.

When you cover the ground with what is essentially a large plastic mat, you are harming that life and making your soil infertile.

You also shut down its ability to suck up and store carbon.

You might think it’s no big deal when it’s just your garden, but the UK has over 23 million gardens, covering around 4,440km2 of land, or one-fifth the size of the Wales !

If they were all covered in plastic, it would create a real problem in terms of carbon emissions – and also accelerate the extinction of much of our wildlife.

Wildlife

In addition to microorganisms, soil harbors insects and worms.

These creepy critters might not look cute, but we depend on them.

Insects are among the most important pollinators of crops, while worms move nutrients through the soil, keeping it healthy.

With insect numbers dropping, we should do everything we can to help them, without destroying their habitats even further.

We also have to help the greatest fauna of the garden. Insects and worms are the main food of birds, small mammals, amphibians, fish and reptiles.

Flood

As the world warms, precipitation patterns are changing, becoming heavier and more intense.

Healthy soil can absorb excess water, while water simply runs off the artificial grass, making flooding worse.

Plastic not so fantastic

Artificial lawns are made of plastic – and the last thing we need is that!

Most plastics eliminate microplastics and plastic grass is no different.

These infinitesimal fibers pollute the surrounding environment.

Plus, as fake lawns crumble, they look awful and therefore end up in landfills, polluting the ground and waterways for decades to come.

fact or fiction

Better to wash dishes by hand than to use a dishwasher.

Tested by the experts at Which? found that even the least efficient dishwasher still only uses half the water of a hand wash. Just make sure it’s full.

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