Examples of Ways People Already Live a Low Carbon Lifestyle

                Berlin

                As the climate crisis continues there are many ways that we all can try to slow it down. The biggest changes need to happen at the political level enforcing sustainable practices, in the meantime there are things you can do as an individual. The easiest thing to do is buy less and switch to low-carbon transit; however, there is even more options ahead of you. If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration then the Guardian has you covered! They recently ran an article looking at some peopel who have already converted to a low-carbon lifestyle.

                All our vegetables are seasonal, grown either in our garden or on a local organic farm. My meals are 80% vegan, and 20% vegetarian. Vegan food is delicious – it’s a cuisine.

                I try to reuse and repair my belongings. I use the money I save to spend more on products I do buy. My clothes are either secondhand or organic. I have a Fairphone – it’s designed so that the individual parts can be easily replaced when they break. I don’t buy wrapping paper, I reuse an old duvet cover I cut up into squares.

                In total, we’ve reduced our home’s carbon emissions by 93%. I’ve enjoyed making all these changes – they’ve been fun – and I feel part of a big movement. I want to be able to say to the next generation: I tried to prevent runaway climate change. If I didn’t, I would feel I was committing a wrong.”

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                Drivers Don’t Obey the Law as well as Bicyclists

                Bicycle

                Cyclists have somehow got a bad reputation of being lawless street users over the last century. This reputation is poorly earned since the rebels of the road aren’t on two wheels: they are on four. Car drivers are the worst road users (and the most lethal). The good news here is that we have an opportunity to change the discourse in favour of sustainable transportation while removing the stigma of law breakers on two wheels.

                A new study from the Danish Road Directorate shows that less than 5% of cyclists break traffic laws while riding yet 66% of motorists do so when driving. The Danish Cycling Embassy, a privately-funded NGO, puts this down to visibility: law breaking by cyclists is “easy to notice for everyone” but transgressions by motorists, such as speeding, are harder to spot.

                Earlier this week, political journalist Peter Walker of The Guardian fronted a video asking whether law breaking by cyclists was the menace that many in the mainstream media say it is. He concluded that, statistically, it wasn’t.

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                Work Less to Save the Planet

                economic chart

                You already know you’re working too many hours, so let’s change that and save the planet in the process. Economic growth has physical limits and we’re hitting those already as we run out of finite resources, or those resources are getting harder and harder to reach like oil. So to maintain growth we need to switch to a renewable energy based economy and fast. We can also just work less and focus on decreasing the growth of consumer capitalism.

                This is where the idea of degrowth comes in. Degrowing our economy focuses on getting rid of things awe don’t need and are incredibly destructive to the environment (like fast fashion) and focusing our attention to bettering society as a whole (like free daycare). Another way to degrowth the economy is to reduce our working weeks to produce more jobs and give everybody more leisure. Aren’t we all working for the weekend anyway?

                To get emissions to zero, it will involve a kind of “degrowth,” but one targeted specifically at fossil-fuel consumption. “That doesn’t mean we have to degrow everything,” Pollin said. “We really need to degrow the fossil fuel industry to zero, but massively expand the clean energy systems, the investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.” This is essentially the Green New Deal: a push to increase renewable energy while eliminating fossil fuels, and including an effort to create a just transition for the people who have jobs in that sector.

                To Pollin, even this would be a radical improvement. A plan to get to zero carbon emissions in 30 years would mean shutting down one of the world’s most powerful industries. He thinks that that is ambitious enough without trying to implement other broad societal changes.

                “If we take the climate science seriously, we only have a few decades to make huge progress,” Pollin said. “And whether I like it or not, we’re not going to overthrow capitalism in that time.”

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                A Tale of Protestors Dressed as Handmaids

                Ontarios’s very unpopular Conservative party is trying its best to not conserve women’s rights and this is obviously causing issues. The majority of people in the province don’t want women to lose legal protections – particularly when it come to health care. The anti-women political drive is being led by Sam Oosterhoff who has made news before when elderly people showed up to his office and read books (yes it’s as ridiculous as it sounds).

                So what’s so good about this?

                Women have started to show up to Oosterhoff’s media appearances dressed as Handmaids from Handmaids Tale as a quick symbol to show the intentions of the Conservative party. What’s more is that the protests are working and their movement is growing.

                Saturday’s protesters weren’t just from Niagara, with many coming from across the GTHA and were mobilized quickly. It was just Wednesday (May 15) that Burlington’s Jennifer Botari invited three friends to join a private Facebook group called “Handmaid’s Local 905.” By the end of the week, the group had 3,000 members, and nearly a dozen other chapters sprang up across the country.

                “In less than three days, we have a movement of thousands that have come out,” she said. “As fast as I can find people to run the locals, we’re bringing them online.”

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                Digital Circuit Breakers can Transform Sustainable Electricity

                wind turbine

                An often overlooked aspect of sustainable energy is the seemingly simple switching of electricity. Physical switches slow down the ability of repairs on power systems and can even hinder the installation of renewable energy sources. A lot of renewable energy systems (solar, wind, tidal, etc.) fluctuate greatly in the power output which strains switches; this is where digital circuits thrive. With digital switching it is easier to dynamically change power sources and remotely monitor them.

                “Instead of using mechanics to switch the power, we apply digital inputs,” Kennedy told Popular Mechanics. “Now I have no moving parts. Now I have the ability to connect things like iPhones and iPads for remote power management, which increases safety and improves efficiency. I can set the distribution panel to a schedule so the flow of power is seamless, unlimited, and shifts between sources automatically. You literally wouldn’t notice. The lights wouldn’t even flicker.”

                For a grid-connected solar home, for example, residents sometimes have to disconnect their solar input because traditional power systems (including the circuit breakers) aren’t advanced enough to properly manage multiple power sources that change.

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