The brainchild of student activists, Go Green Week encourages us all to think about our impact on the planet. 2017 could be a pivotal year for the movement. It was recently announced that in Europe, energy generated by renewables climbed to an all-time high. For the first time, solar energy outstripped coal globally.
Go Green Week is not just about what businesses and government can do to forge a sustainable future. For that, we need the population to take every little step that it can.
What is Go Green Week?
It is a student-led event to encourage positive and strong action regarding climate change. It petitions government and businesses to make positive changes. It also encourage student protests and boycotting of offending companies.
This year’s event is 13th-19th February and focuses on a number of issues. Feeling buoyant from a number of organisations divesting from fossil fuel and spurred by the internet movement #ExxonKnew that could lead to legal action against the company, climate activists feel that 2017 is a critical time. We are already seeing several changes to the planet’s weather patterns and long-term climate.
Go Green’s Variety of Colours
Part of this year’s theme is to point out the colours of sustainability and going green.
- Think Green is the colour of the sustainability and a healthy planet. We choose green because it is the colour of vegetation
- Think Orange is the colour adopted to push people, businesses and government towards a fossil free movement
- Think Red to represent that danger lines that the movement is drawing
On Friday 17th especially they are asking people to draw a red line by going fossil free. Refuse to use your car or public transport and walk or cycle instead.
Simple Actions for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Above the standard advice of recycling, walking short distances instead of driving and turning lights off when you leave a room, there are other active steps you can take.
We have become so used to buying food from a global market. We have become used to getting the same fruit, vegetables and salad stuff all the year round. The recent lettuce shortage is a case in point. It’s a summer crop and the poor weather in Spain meant a global shortage. If you stick to seasonal products, you are already helping the planet a great deal. Choose to buy local, seasonal produce wherever you can.
You can also shop locally, look at the source of food. While meat is available all the year (unlike fruit, salad and vegetables), most of our meat is shipped in from abroad. In the case of lamb, New Zealand is most common. Buying meat from local producers reduces the distance from farm to fork.
In the Home
Energy saving lightbulbs is a start, but switching your bulbs to LEDs is the smartest move you can make. LEDs are not new technology; they have been the mainstay of school electronics lessons since the 1960s if not earlier. However, they have recently become affordable on a large scale and usable in the home. They emit a bright light for a fraction of the energy cost.
Switch electronic devices off at the mains when not in use. Although standby uses a negligible amount of power, switching off the mains uses nothing. A lot of people using negligible power soon adds up to a lot of power consumption. It’s such a simple but effective action that most of us can take now. Also, use timer switches to charge devices overnight, especially if you are on an energy saving fuel tariff. You can use these timers to limit the charging time to the amount of time it takes to charge a device.