Most people in Bristol are doing something to help support the world around us – but many individuals, communities, groups and organisations want to do more.
- Walk wherever you can - Making the effort to walk even a small part of your journey makes a difference.
- Make space for nature – if you have outdoor space, try growing some wildflowers to feed pollinating insects or let some of your lawn grow longer as a home for wildlife and buy peat free compost.
- Eat less meat and dairy – reducing meat and dairy in your diet could be one of the best things you do for the planet, your health and your purse.
- Use public transport – A single person travelling by car will produce over four times as much CO2as someone travelling by rail, and almost twice as much as someone travelling by bus.
- Take part in nature watching and citizen science - Surveying wildlife can take place anywhere – from your local park or garden, or even indoors from your living room window. There are many options available that require no prior knowledge or expertise.
Councillor Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member for climate, ecology, waste and energy, said: “World Environment Day represents a fantastic opportunity for us all to stop and think about what we can do to help protect our planet.
“We recognise that systemic change is needed across the world to help reverse the impact of climate change, we’re working hard on our part in that and are asking the UK government to act too. And we recognise that each and every one of us can make changes to our lives that together will add up to big differences for the planet – and bring other benefits too in terms of health, wellbeing and the economy.
“And we can reduce our impact on the environment without having to compromise how we go about our lives. Looking after our climate and our wildlife can be as fun and creative as you make it. If you’ve found solace in doing new things over the past year, like growing food at home, or leaving the car at home, then let’s build on them to maintain those benefits and also help the environment.”
For many years Bristol has been a leading voice in the UK’s response to the climate and ecological emergencies. Bristol City Council was the first council to declare a climate emergency in 2018 and 16 Bristol organisations have since joined Bristol in declaring climate emergencies and committing to action.
In February 2020, the Mayor and city partners also declared an Ecological Emergency in recognition of the urgent need for nature recovery in the city and globally. The city’s wildlife, ecosystems and habitats are vitally important to us all, as the loss of biodiversity affects our lives in many ways, from the insects that pollinate our food to the green spaces that enhance our health and wellbeing.
Bristol’s goal is to be carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2030. To achieve this, the council is working with city and regional partners to play a major part in the One City Climate Strategy. This strategy requires citywide collaboration and substantial additional government funding, powers and support to achieve the goal.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Bristol’s journey towards carbon neutrality by 2030 needs to be fair and inclusive. Achieving a just transition where everyone feels the benefits of a healthier and better environment is central to our approach.
“We need to continue to build sustainable solutions to tackle the twin challenges of a climate and ecological emergency. We need our buildings, streets and open spaces to support wildlife and create a more nature friendly city, and we need new developments to do the same. We need to consider the natural world when we make any big city decisions.
“As a council, we want to lead by example, and we will be considering the environmental impacts of all the decisions we make, however we know we cannot do this alone, and are calling out to all businesses and organisations in the city to help us make a difference to our planet before it is too late. We will also do everything we can to help our communities across Bristol who want to make changes to their own lifestyles.”
This Saturday also marks the start of the Bristol Natural History Consortium’s Festival of Nature, a weeklong free celebration of the natural world. The festival is well known for large events in central Bristol and Bath, but rather than cancel in 2020 and 2021, the charity behind the event has embraced new ways of connecting with communities remotely through an interactive programme of audio, video and digital content. With a mix of adult and family-friendly content, the programme has something for everyone.
You will find the Festival of Nature content across your favourite social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook by following the hashtag #FestofNature21.
Or you can visit the online hub to find links to the full range of content as it drops. www.festivalofnature.org.uk
For more ideas on the actions you can take for our environment visit www.bristolclimatehub.org