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Ways you can act on climate change

1. Get involved in our citizen science projects

There are many ways you can get involved in our research here at Reading, either by making discoveries through our citizen science projects or by volunteering in clinical trials.

In 2020, more than 15,000 volunteers used the start of the UK's COVID-19 lockdown period as an opportunity to join the Rainfall Rescue project led by Professor Ed Hawkins. These citizen scientists embarked on a mission to salvage British rainfall records dating back 200 years, aiming to fill the huge gap in UK digital weather records between the 1820s and 1950s by transcribing observations made long before the age of computers.

The extra detail this offers will allow scientists to better understand why certain parts of the UK are wetter or dryer than others at different times, and explore long-term trends and historical patterns. 

For more information on the Rainfall Rescue project, read the full article Rainfall records provide glimpse into Britain's scientific and social history. Visit our website to discover ways to get involved with our research.

2. Live sustainably on campus at the University of Reading

At Reading, we strive to prevent waste from being produced by reducing, reusing and recycling as much as possible.

Whilst living and studying on campus, you can incorporate sustainable habits into your day-to-day routine and minimise your impact on the environment. We offer services such as reusable cups, recycling facilities, hazardous waste disposal, a furniture re-use portal, and general guidance. We're also changing menus on campus, including expanding our plant-based options, to encourage sustainable eating.

For information about recycling points on campus, how to reduce waste, and where the University's waste goes, read our Waste, Resources and Recycling article. You can also find out more about our commitment to global and local environmental sustainability.

3. Living off-campus? Learn where you can recycle.

Re3 Recycling Centres is responsible for sorting the recycling that the Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell local authorities collect from properties on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Agriculture student, Laura McClintock, explains the reasons for recycling, when your next bin collection is, and what household items can and can't be recycled. Read Laura's article on the sustainability blog.

4. Cut down your food-related carbon emissions

A recent study found that city-dwellers could reduce food-related carbon emissions by 11% if they adopted a few easy actions, including reducing food waste and having a meat-free day each week.

"Some of the most effective changes to reduce our effect on the environment are also some of the most straightforward. 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."

Read the full article by Dr Eugene Mohareb, Lecturer in Sustainable Urban System at the University of Reading.

5. Understand the link between the climate crisis and racial justice

What does climate change have to do with racial justice? When it comes to global issues, having an intersectional lens and challenging the diversity of the information you consume will help you to understand how we are connected and who is most impacted – which helps drive meaningful action.

Due to inequalities shaped by racism, the global impact of the climate crisis disproportionately affects populations and people of colour.

The Reading Centre for Climate and Justice undertakes research which focuses on knowledge deficits in important areas relating to climate and justice. This focus means amplifying the voices of those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and working to provide solutions from which they can benefit. The work the Centre does will provide advocates of climate justice with the resources they need to actively and effectively engage on these fronts.

6. Show Your Stripes

#ShowYourStripes on social media by downloading and sharing your climate stripes graphic. 

Developed by Professor Ed Hawkins at the University of Reading, these 'warming stripes graphics are visual representations of the change in temperature as measured in each country over the past 100+ years.

Download yours from the Show Your Stripes website.

7. 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.

8. Take the pledge to #LockdownClimateChange

University of Reading experts advise that coronavirus lockdown measures, such as social distancing and staying at home, are demonstrating how people can make longer-term changes to tackle climate change.

Lifestyle changes including homeworking, daily exercise, changes to diet, and online communication could help show government, businesses and individuals how to make meaningful, long-term changes to fight the climate crisis. 

Take the #LockdownClimateChange pledge and maintain at least one lockdown behaviour or activity.

9. Giki app: guide your individual action against climate change

Are you looking for ways to make more sustainable choices on an individual level? Apps like Giki (Get Informed Know your Impact) are set up for this simple reason, and are designed to help you make achievable changes to combat the climate and environmental emergency.

When food shopping, it can be overwhelming now knowing whether or not a product lives us to sustainable methods. Giki helps users find sustainable, healthy products in the supermarket through their free app. They've rated 280,000UK supermarket products against 15 issues, including responsible sourcing, sustainable palm oil, animal welfare, carbon footprint and nutrition.

Further information about Giki, and how Giki Zero can help you track your carbon footprint,read our Sustainability spotlight: Giki article or download the free Giki app.