Over recent weeks there has been a lot of focus on the environment with campaigns and protests throughout the country. Alongside reports from the Committee on Climate Change and the UN all point to the same inevitable truth - that we need to change our behaviours if we want to ensure our planet isn't damaged and our environment is protected.
During the bank holiday weekend, I opened the Weald and Downland’s two-day event, The Good Life, that explored how rural communities were historically the masters of sustainable living. The event highlighted how much we can re-learn from this way of life. Eco-friendly living is not beyond our grasp and many of us in rural communities already do our bit through composting, planting flowers that encourage bees or by supporting our local farm shops.
The event was packed with great initiatives such as swap shops and repair cafés, where people can take old unused items and give them a new lease of life or a new home. These are exactly the sorts of small steps that each of us can make to reduce our own carbon footprints. Sustainability also extends to our own wellbeing and I did have a relaxing moment in the wonderful yoga tipi with Nina from the Sussex based Yoga Garden.
During the recent climate change emergency marches in London, I met with around 50 of the Extinction Rebellion protestors. We debated many things, some of which I disagreed with profoundly like introducing a one-child policy and limiting everyone to only one long-haul and one short-haul flight per year. However, we did discuss some interesting points, such as using Hydrogen Boilers rather than conventional ones. I have done some digging into these issues and I am pleased to say the Government has invested £25million to better understand hydrogen boiler technology. I will write to the Government to understand what more can be done to incentivise environmentally friendly policies such as solar panels on new builds, and higher standards of insulation.
The Government is leading the way on reducing the national carbon footprint, and we’ve already reduced our emissions faster that any other G7 nation, and last year was our greenest year on record. The Government has ambitious targets to become 80% Carbon Neutral by 2050 but I hope we can do more and be 100% carbon neutral by 2050.
Each one of us makes many decisions a day that make a difference: whether to drive or cycle, to take a bath or shower, or just to use less plastic. These small decisions when taken together can make a big impact. Moving forward I am going to be questioning my everyday choices and would encourage others to do the same