These are uniquely challenging times, to say the least. If, like the Greenredeem team, you’re not one of the brilliant and brave key workers called upon to keep the country going through this crisis, it’s hard not to feel like a helpless bystander.
While we might not be able to do much to change the course of current events (besides following the latest NHS guidance and supporting our families and friends), we’ve realised there’s still plenty we can be doing to improve our planet’s health.
Even from home, there’s still plenty we can be doing to improve our planet’s health.
With this in mind, the Greenredeem team will be spending this whole month working on the theme of Earth Day 2020 – “climate action”. Each week during April, we’ll share a list of the green tasks we’re tackling. Will you join us? Everything will be doable without leaving the house, naturally!
Let’s kick off with ten Internet-based tasks that can help slow climate change.
1. Help to map light pollution
The glaring 24-hour lighting in our towns and cities is known to cause migrating birds to lose their bearings and leave nocturnal animals vulnerable to predators. Not to mention accounting for millions of tonnes of climate-changing carbon emissions every night.
Researchers studying the negative effects of light pollution have put out a call for ‘citizen scientists’ to assign locations to more than a million uncatalogued images of cities at night, found in the photographs made from orbit by the astronauts on the International Space Station.
2. Volunteer with a charity
If you’re used to keeping busy in your community, there is no reason being at home should stop you. Many green charities are looking for remote work volunteers to cover online support tasks, social media management and various administrative roles.
Here’s a fun one. Gro-Organic CIC are recruiting 100 virtual volunteers to create video tutorials, ‘how-to’ articles and short stories.
3. Count penguins in photos of Antarctica
Across the world, penguin populations are declining and the race is on to find out why. Scientists attempting to answer this question are asking us to get involved in a people-powered study of penguin numbers, tagging aerial and time-lapse photos of the birds.
As one of the research volunteers said, “Be warned, it is mildly addictive. But it’s for a great cause!”
“Be warned, it is mildly addictive. But it’s for a great cause!”
4. Sign up to support a climate cause
Show your love for the environment by signing up to an online campaign for climate action.
From fighting to save the rapidly warming Arctic with Greenpeace to bringing back more tree cover with Friends of the Earth, finding ways to stop the digging and burning of coal for energy with ClientEarth to conserving vital forest and wetland habitats with the World Land Trust, there’s so much incredible work deserving of our support.
5. Switch to a green energy tariff
Join hundreds of thousands of people across the UK who’ve switched to a renewable energy tariff for their homes and businesses. We can now choose from more than a hundred green energy tariffs, with those supplying 100% renewable electricity and 100% ‘green gas’ offering the best environmental protections for our money.
6. Offset your carbon emissions
Now that we’re all effectively grounded, we’re taking the time to slow climate change from an individual perspective. Using the United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now tool, we’ve been able to calculate our individual carbon footprints for the past year and then make donations to our chosen climate action programme to offset the damage caused to the planet.
7. Study images of fossils
Did you know that the Ginkgo tree evolved before the dinosaurs? And that by counting the cells in fossil leaves and comparing them to modern leaves, scientists think they’ve found a way to track climate change over millions of years?
Almost 4,000 volunteers have already signed up to help the research team analyse the fossil leaves. Could you lend some of your time to this important project?
Almost 4,000 volunteers have already signed up to help the research team analyse the fossil leaves.
8. Switch to a greener bank
As we try to be greener this month, let’s not forget to follow the money. Barclays and HSBC both provide banking services to fracking companies, as well as owning portions of them, with most of the UK’s big banks up to their necks in fossil fuel investments.
If you can, switch away to a more ethical bank or building society using the seven-working-day Current Account Switch Guarantee. Established High Street providers without the nasty climate changing baggage include Nationwide, Cumberland Building Society, the Co-operative Bank and Metro Bank.
9. Capture historic data from ships’ logs
The old weather data recorded in ship log books and by Antarctic explorers can help meteorologists understand how the planet’s climate conditions changed over the centuries due to carbon emissions from fossil fuels.
If you have any spare time, it’s all hands on deck to gather this important weather data from the paper logs.
10. Spread the word
Could you share these climate action tips on social media? Talk about your projects with friends and family when you next call them? Encourage others to get involved, get volunteering and get switching?