In our recent survey, 18% of respondents didn’t feel their small actions they could take to care for the environment would make any difference, with a further 10% claiming they didn’t have time and 3% reporting they weren’t taking any actions at all.
The 2018 British Social Attitudes study into climate change opinions drew similar statistics, with respondents giving a 4.4 response out of 10 as to whether they felt their individual actions like reduced energy usage could reverse the effects of climate change.
Interestingly, this figure rose to 5.8 if respondents thought large numbers of others were doing the same, but dropped to 4.3 when asked if they thought the chances that governments in enough countries will take action.
As we explored earlier, most respondents in our survey believed the government and housebuilders should be primarily responsible for the widespread adoption of renewables, with just 22% believing it should be the responsibility of consumers.
This highlights a greater need for education to address the level of public confusion about what impact each of us are having on the environment as homeowners, renters, workers and business owners. We all have to take responsibility, but we also need to be supported by new business models that encourage us to easily get involved.
These models could see the things like solar panels and batteries become available on a contract with a fixed monthly fee, similar to the way we currently lease things like smartphones and electricity.
In the meantime, it’s really important that we make sustainability a greater priority in our lives. Even if you can’t afford to do much or haven’t got a lot of time, just do what you can, whenever you can.
Take the bus instead of driving, walk or cycle to work occasionally, switch your lights off more, turn your heating down, have vegan meal every week and look at the little things you can do to make a difference.
That’s the only way we’ll start to use less resources from the planet and effect real change.