Four Ways to Help Fossil Fuels Go Extinct
It’s Time to Break Up with Oil and Gas
Since the end of February, the invasion of Ukraine is not only a humanitarian crisis, but it has brought to the fore a significant fuel one. At the time of writing (early March 2022) we can’t be sure how things will turn out, but one thing is clear, over reliance on fossil fuels is quite literally not sustainable.
While cutting off fossil fuels overnight is impossible, there’s lots we can all do to dramatically reduce fossil fuel use and our carbon emissions. In our latest mini guide, we look at four reasons why we should break up with fossil fuels, and how we can do it.
- Plastic is not Fantastic –Landfills filled with plastic waste, entire ‘islands’ forming in the ocean from it, and the massive carbon emissions from incinerating plastic is reason enough to limit our plastic usage. But plastic’s connection to fossil fuels and climate damage starts before it’s discarded. According to the WWF, “almost all plastic is derived from materials (like ethylene and propylene) made from fossil fuels (mostly oil and gas). The process of extracting and transporting those fuels, then manufacturing plastic creates billions of tons of greenhouse gases. For example, 4% of the world’s annual petroleum production is diverted to making plastic, and another 4% gets burned in the refining process.”
How you can make the break – You can make some simple changes to reduce your plastic usage. Swap your single use bottled water for a reusable bottle; replace your plastic bags with bags you bring to the shop; recycle what you can, and reuse what you can’t. Also, shop locally and seasonally to limit the amount of plastic-wrapped prepacked food that you buy.
- Warm Your Home, not The Planet – Heating homes and workplaces is one of the highest contributors to carbon emissions. According to the BBC “globally, heat accounts for nearly half of all energy consumption and 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.” Not only is this bad for the environment, but it’s also really bad for your bank balance. Most UK homeowners have seen massive price rises in oil and gas energy prices – and it looks like they’ll continue to go up.
How you can make the break – Talk to the team at Trusted Energy about an air-source or ground-source heat pump. Not only are air-source and ground-source heat pumps kinder to the environment, but they are also incredibly efficient. With the potential to be solar-powered and the Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme, they are more affordable than ever.
- Big Forests, Small Changes – According to the latest scientific research, the Amazon is taking longer to bounce-back from fires and droughts. Scientists worry that the earth’s largest rainforest has reached a tipping point, and once it goes beyond that point, we won’t be able to do anything about it. Forests like the Amazon play a vital role in trapping carbon that is emitted from fossil fuel usage, and without them the effects of climate change would increase faster than ever.
How you can make the break – You don’t need to chain yourself to a tree to play a part in protecting the rainforests. In fact, you can make small changes that collectively have a big impact. A simple way to start is by cutting back on how much beef you consume. One of the major causes of deforestation is beef farming, so the less you eat, the less the need to cut down trees.
- Dump the Pump – The Ukraine crisis has already had a global impact on fuel prices, with the cost to fill up a car skyrocketing. Even if prices ‘stabilise’, now is the time to reduce your reliance on the petrol pump.
How you can make the break – With incentives like the Government’s Plug-In Grant the purchase of an electric car can be a good long-term investment. But if that’s out of your budget, then look at small changes you can make like riding a bicycle or walking instead of using the car and swapping the car for public transport.