In these lockdown days, I’ve not only found myself spending more time in the kitchen (I’m sure you can relate) but also reading and trying to boost my education on various topics. One topic that’s particularly close to my heart is climate change and what we can do about it! And I have to admit, there’s SO much I didn’t know and a ton of things I still need to educate myself on.
Together with Clipper(*) and Fairtrade UK, who have hosted their Climate Cast last week (watch it here), I wanted to shed light on the most pressing issues, the potential of Fairtrade and organic farming and 3 things you can do about climate change.
The current problems:
Wildlife is becoming extinct up to 10,000 times faster than the natural rate**. Intensive agriculture, and its heavy use of pesticides, is a key driver of these declines. In low-income countries around the world, unfair wages and prices prevent farmers from protecting biodiversity and tackling climate change.
Organic farming has a huge potential to soften the blow of climate change and help preserve our species. Healthy, organic soils can store up to five times more carbon than forests, stopping more CO2 from entering the atmosphere. That’s a great thing in the fight to slow global warming.
What is Fairtrade and how can it help?
By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade tackles the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the most vulnerable. The Fairtrade premium contributions and fairer prices from purchases of Fairtrade products allow increases in farmer incomes which enables farmers to improve their position and have more control over their lives. But it also enables organic farming practices and empowers farmers to invest in adapting to climate changes and protecting the environment around them.
Clipper is a pioneer in fair trade. As the UK’s first Fairtrade tea company and the world’s first to switch to plant-based, biodegradable and unbleached tea bags, Clipper works with Fairtrade to slow down the impacts of global warming on the world’s species and supports farmers in the fight against climate change.
For example, Fairtrade premiums from Clipper Tea purchases are used to fund local water catchment projects on tea gardens, protecting the tea estates from flooding while encouraging natural predators to return. Moreover, organic tea estates in India have seen the emergence of wild bison, black panthers and rare orchid species, providing proof that endangered wildlife can coexist with humans.
What can we do?
With so much inspiration and crucial education from Clipper’s panel experts, I wanted to take this one step further and share three things I think we can personally do about climate change and look at how these things fit into the bigger picture.
1. Educate yourself
First of all, I think understanding the fundamentals is key. It helps us understand and tackle the most urgent consequences of climate change and allows us to identify our current behaviour in order to change it. Consider how you can change your way of transport, explore if cutting back on meat and dairy is an option for you and rethink your consumption behaviour. Decide what’s right for you. There are many sources you can use to become more educated on climate change, here are some I found useful:
- World 101 – a comprehensive collection of videos, talks, infographics, interactive, charts, articles and more, on climate change
- Bloomberg News – the most amazing graph analysing the factors contributing to global warming
- Nasa Global Climate Change: the latest research, news and more
- Our Planet – currently my favourite documentaries. Exploring the Earth’s natural beauty through an examination of how climate change impacts all living creatures
2. Switch to Fairtrade
This one should be a pretty obvious one by now. If you’re in a financial position to do this, buying Fairtrade can help to further scale organic practices in the future. The difference in price for us is little, but there’s a huge potential to fight climate change. For more info on where to buy Fairtrade products, from coffee and tea to flowers and gold, head to Fairtrade’s website.
3. Start a conversation
Start by talking to your friends and family about your experiences and learnings. Share insights, listen to their opinions and inspire action; and in turn, get inspired by any steps they might have taken to fight climate change. To take it to the next level, use your voice as a consumer, a customer and an active citizen to influence changes on a much grander scale.
* this blog post was created as part of a paid partnership with Clipper Tea
**Sanchez-Bayo and Wyckhuys (2019) Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers. Biological Conservation, 232, 8-27
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Founder of Veano