A major online campaign to encourage us all to play a part in reducing the impact of climate change has been launched by West Sussex County Council.
Unveiled on World Environment Day (Wednesday June 5), the West Sussex Climate Pledge asks everyone in the county to commit to make small changes in key areas:
• Make low carbon journeys – reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.
• Save water and energy – conserving the resources around us and opting for renewable energy sources where possible.
• Pass on plastic – avoiding single-use plastics and recycle wherever possible.
• Shop local – buying local produce, from local stores, to support the economy and cut down on the distance goods are transported.
• Fight against food waste – avoiding the time and energy it takes to produce food that is then wasted and the cost and environmental impact of its disposal.
People are being asked to pledge their support online on the council’s website and commit to making a series of simple changes to their everyday lives.
Those who make the pledge will also be asked to sign up to a regular e-newsletter which will contain tips and advice around the five key areas and how they can fulfil their pledge.
Deborah Urquhart, cabinet member for the environment, said: “All around us our planet is changing, and we simply must act now to make changes to the way we live if we want our habitat to survive for generations to come.
“There is a growing urgency to take action and all over the county we already have some amazing groups of people doing their bit. But many people may not know where to start or whether their actions will even make a difference.
“We hope by providing some simple first steps and sharing ideas it will encourage people to think about the effect they are having on the environment and how they can make changes for the better.”
Louise Goldsmith, leader of the council, added: “We all need to act carefully and responsibly to ensure there are enough resources for today and tomorrow. Without a doubt it is imperative for us all to take action now and I can’t stress enough the importance of this and the unthinkable consequences of doing nothing.
“With the world’s population now around 7.7 billion people, all reliant on our one planet earth, we can all make a difference by acting together and doing everything possible to reduce the damage we are causing to our planet.
“As a county council we are working hard to try to become carbon neutral and we’ve already significantly cut our carbon emissions by making our buildings more energy efficient. We’ve reduced our reliance on fossil fuels by investing in capturing renewable solar energy on schools, offices, fire stations and other buildings as well as at our solar farms.
“But there is more to do. Over the next four years we are planning a further £35m investment in low carbon energy projects alone and through this campaign we hope to encourage a movement in West Sussex towards more sustainable living.
“It may be hard for some but we all have to change the way we live by taking action. The consequences of not taking action are really scary and that is why I am making a plea for everyone to take action now.
“Please help us to achieve this by making your West Sussex Climate Pledge online and encouraging friends and family to join in and do the same.
“There are over 850,000 people living in West Sussex. If we all work together now we can collectively make a huge difference.”
You can search for the Facebook group ‘WS Climate Pledge’, search #WSClimatePledge or follow @WSClimatePledge on Twitter.