You may have seen that Glasgow has been getting a lot of publicity recently and that is because Scotland is hosting a very important event called COP26.
What is COP26?
World leaders will meet in Glasgow in November to discuss climate change – specifically, what their countries can do to reduce their carbon emissions. It will be the 26th ‘Conference Of Parties’ You may remember previous COP meetings, especially the one with Greta Thunberg’s popular speech!
Important, influential people will attend COP26– for example the Queen, US president, as well as various leaders and well-known media channels and reporters. This is a closed event which means that members of the public…. You and I cannot attend. But that does not mean we cannot do our bit to help……there is lots of things that we can get involved with to do OUR bit to help the fight against Climate Change!
What is climate change?
Climate change is…everything! It is freak weather, melting glaciers, more cars on the roads, empty supermarket shelves, fog, smoke and wildfires, different species going extinct, deforestation, litter in the oceans, and so much more!
Global warming is the term used for how hot the earth is getting. Greenhouses gasses are useful in small doses – they keep the earth nice and warm for animals and plants to flourish. But too much of them is bad. Through the years, we’ve went from being comfortably warm to quite toasty to ridiculously hot! Greenhouse gasses go into the atmosphere and hang about, trapping all the heat in, and not letting any out (just like a greenhouse). Now crops are dying, sea levels are rising, animal species are dying, and we’re getting freak weather events like we’ve never had before for example hurricanes and tropical storms.
Greenhouse gasses come in different forms – the biggest ones we need to worry about are Carbon Dioxide, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide. Carbon dioxide is the most abundant – there’s so much of it. But methane is a lot worse than carbon dioxide – we just don’t see as much of it. Either way.
Have a look at the short video which can tell you more about Climate Change:
We need to reduce our carbon footprint to reverse the damage we have done to the earth. How do we do this?
Food – Did you know that by growing our own food here at home can make a massive difference as it means we are not buying so much food from abroad, eg some mint sold in UK shops comes all the way from Kenya when you could grow it on your windowsill! How much is involved in farming practises? Heat, light, space, medicine are all needed to keep animals healthy so they can be turned into food – that’s a lot of emissions! Then we have to package them, ship them somewhere on big lorries, trains, planes and ferries. Sometimes this food does not even sell so it goes in the bin anyway…..What a waste!
Do you remember all the panic buying during COVID when shops ran out of toilet rolls and food? A lot of this food went in the bin! Waste = methane gas which = Climate Change. We are much better not wasting food, and any waste that can’t be helped should go in kerbside food caddies or composting for experienced gardeners.
Speaking of Gardening some of our networks have their own community allotment where they grow their own fruit and veg and give back to the local community. This has been a great initiative for members as they are learning new skills, sharing the fruits of their labour and helping in the fight against climate change!
Does climate change affect us?
We don’t see a lot of BIG changes here but in the future we will. We will see more flooding, freak weather storms, heatwaves, food being more expensive because we are shipping it from further and further away due to weather affecting crops, more pollution in towns, litter affecting wildlife, plastic in the sea eg disposable BBQ’s on beaches, ring pulls catching birds…..sadly the list goes on.
What is Neighbourhood Networks doing to help their local communities?
Members in Falkirk have been busy in their local community taking part in lots of different projects from volunteering in the local park gathering the leaves and making homes for the wildlife to hibernate, working in the local forest learning all about the environment and how much we need plants, trees and green spaces to survive. Members also take part in regular litter picks within the local community not only does this make spaces look nice and inviting it also protects wildlife from becoming harmed.
Members in East Renfrewshire have been involved in a volunteering programme through ‘The YES Academy’ at Rouken Glen Park. They have been regenerating a previously run-down area. Their jobs include clearing and maintaining the gardens, planting and growing seeds and setting up areas for other community groups. The area has bird houses, bee keeping, sensory gardens, vegetable patches, a compost bike machine and calming zones to name but a few. It’s a fantastic project which aims to promote sustainability, use upcycled materials, produce food and reduce waste and gases to the environment.
‘Life Depends on Water but the Reservoir depends on you!’
Together Anything Is Possible and WE CAN make a change!
Written by Claire Strong & Sheryl Walker