1. Reduce, reuse and recycle
Reducing what we throw away, using things again and recycling as much as we can all benefit the environment. In Surrey 54.8% of household waste was recycled in 2017/18, but our target is 70%. Visit the Surrey Environment Partnership website to help you reduce, reuse and recycle.
2. Love your clothes
The environmental impact from the production and transportation of clothes is huge; while 350,000 tonnes of clothing, with an estimated value of £140 million, is thrown away every year. Reducing the clothes we buy, swapping or buying second hand and recycling all help the environment – read advice on recycling, rewearing and repairing your clothes and home textiles.
3. Reduce your plastics
Single use plastics are having a serious impact on our environment by entering the ocean and harming marine life. To reduce plastic use, try using reusable water bottles, coffee cups, drinking straws and shopping bags. You can also try to buy products with minimal plastic packaging. Read more on reducing your single use plastics.
4. Watch what you eat
Food production is responsible for over a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming. To help lower this, you could reduce the amount of meat and other animal products in your diet, buy locally produced food, minimise your food waste, and using your weekly food collection service. Read about reducing and recycling your food waste.
5. Transport and air quality
Transport is the fastest growing contributor to climate emissions and air quality, and has a negative effect on our health. The main contributor to global transport energy growth is land transport, such as cars. So try using walking, cycling or using public transport, or joining a car share scheme. If you're using your car and you're waiting, switch off your engine. Find out more from the Healthy Surrey website.
Climate change is having an impact on our countryside by affecting the habitats of animals and plants. More than half of UK wildlife species have shown a declining population trend between 1970 and 2013, and 15% of UK wildlife is either threatened with extinction or already extinct. Consider ways you can use your outside space to encourage biodiversity, such as having rocks, logs or wild areas. Please don't leave litter in the countryside and consider volunteering to help protect our landscapes.
Since 2009, the energy produced from renewable sources has increased by 230% and now accounts for 30% of total electricity generated in the UK. You can find out about how you can switch to renewable energy sources and reduce the amount of energy you use from Action Surrey.
In England, we use an average of 140 litres of water per person each day, this is 20 litres higher than in Germany. This has an impact on our environment through the energy used to heat water, while removing water from the environment and the wildlife that depends on it. You can explore ways to use less water on the Waterwise website.
Tell us what matters to you
We'd like to know what matters most to you and your community and where you feel you can make a difference. Please let us know by taking part in this short survey and we'll use the results to inform the shortlisting criteria for the design challenge.