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1. Campaign for change

Demand change from those in power. For instance, by voting for candidates with a strong green mandate, signing petitions, getting involved with existing climate campaigns, writing to your MP and taking to the streets.

Dr Ella Gilbert, Department of Meteorology

2. Change your habits

It might surprise you to learn that your iron is one of the most energy-hungry appliances in your home. As well as doing less ironing, not leaving the fridge open unnecessarily is another good way to save energy, otherwise it'll have to work much harder to keep cool.

Dan Fernbank, Sustainability Team

Arranging to get your groceries delivered, rather than driving to the shops, could reduce emissions by half a percent of the total, and taking a meat-free day or more could see a 4% reduction in your carbon footprint.

Dr Eugene Mohareb, School of the Built Environment

There are evening electricity demand peaks every day of the working week, as a lot happens in every home at that time of day. This high demand requires more generation, so reducing electricity consumption in the evening is imperative. To reduce carbon emissions, try using appliances off-peak or use delay timers on dishwashers and washing machines.

Professor Jacopo Torriti, School of the Built Environment

Try using an e-bike for the daily commute and getting about more generally. Research has shown that owners of e-bikes cycle more frequently and over longer distances. E-biking is seriously addictive though – I say this from experience!

Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor

3. Spread the message through film

Climate disaster movies have been fertile territory for the film industry for many years and have proved an effective way to reach and educate mass audiences, often without them realising.

Snowpiercer (2013) explores a new Ice Age future where the few remaining survivors on Earth are segregated into a tyrannical class system; Still Life (2006) tells a story about a community in China forced to relocate due to the creation of a huge hydro-electric dam; Anthropocene (2018) and Homo Sapiens (2016) examine the devastating human impact on the planet; Before the Flood (2016) presents the dramatic changes occurring around the world due to climate change and discusses possible solutions; and An Inconvenient Truth (2006), an Oscar-winning documentary, is credited with raising huge public awareness of global warming.

Dr Adam O'Brien, Department of Film, Theatre and Television

4. Protect pollinators

Climate change is impacting pollinating insects, which provide pollination services to many important crops like cocoa, coffee and fruits and vegetables.

Protecting pollinators can be as simple as ensuring they have adequate food and shelter. Encouraging a wide variety of flowering plants – in our gardens, parks, road verges, roundabouts and other green spaces – ensures blooms from early spring to late autumn, which offer a steady supply of foraging resources for most of the year. Making bee hotels for our gardens, or cultivating areas of dead wood and bare ground, increases nesting resources for bees and other pollinators. Reducing the frequency and intensity of mowing and hedge trimming, and minimising pesticide and weed killer use, also creates a safer, friendlier environment for insects.

Dr Deepa Senapathi, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development

5. Attend our free online Climate Education Summit

Book your place at our free online Climate Education Summit, which aims to transform the way children are taught about climate change. By shaping climate literacy among the next generation, this action plan will help to make climate change more prominent. 

Listening to experts and scientists is key to our understanding of climate change. For information on our world-leading scientists and their contributions, visit our What the science says webpages.

6. Sign up to our free Planet Partners course

We can only make a real difference once we know all the facts. Explore key issues and impacts of climate change, speak to researchers and become more confident to talk about climate change and take action.

This free, four-hour introductory course is perfect for 16 to 18-year-olds, but is open to anyone of any age to enjoy. You can learn at your own pace in your own time, on any device with an internet connection. 

Nick and Emily, University of Reading students