Climate change is a reality, but with a few small steps and some not so small, as well as a change of habits and collective action, we can make sure its effects have less impact on our lives.
Here is a list of everyday steps that everyone in Barcelona can take to help combat the effects of climate change.
1. Greenery provides shade and cools us down.
It will help us adapt to the effects of the heat caused by rising temperatures.
Everyday actions to increase the greenery around us
- Put a green roof on your building A green terrace
- Put plants in gardens and on balconies (especially those that attract insects such as bees and butterflies)
- Get involved in community gardens or get an allotment
- Plant something in a tree well
We need to change our energy use. By consuming less energy and making sure that what we consume comes from renewable sources, we will reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. These fuels are the main emitters of greenhouse gasses which cause climate change.
Everyday actions for a change of energy model
- Put some photovoltaic panels on your roof to generate your own green energy
- Buy domestic appliances with maximum efficiency labels
- Opt for a green electricity company
- Renovate the building and insulate your home better so you can avoid unnecessary energy costs
- Check your energy bill and find out the most efficient way to consume
- Unplug all electrical appliances when you’re not using them
Motorised transport is currently the main cause of emissions in Barcelona and represents 22.6% of the city’s final energy consumption. The only truly effective way is to reduce the number of vehicles that enter, leave and move around the city while ensuring that these cars pollute as little as possible.
Everyday actions to change the way we get around
- Cycle or walk in the city
- Use public transport
- Choose electric vehicles
- Go for shared transport: shared cars
- Cut down on work travel and hold video-conferences
4. Consumption and waste
Waste prevention is key for avoiding the unnecessary consumption of resources and its negative impact. We are aiming for zero waste, i.e. reducing total and per capita municipal waste, promoting selective waste collection, along with recovering, repairing and reusing resources and raw materials which have not ended their life cycles.
This is directly linked to the way we consume.
Everyday actions to change the way we consume
- Buy as few products as possible with plastic packaging
- Buy in bulk, carry canvass bags and baskets to avoid plastic bags and packaging
- Separate paper, glass and plastic
- Separate organic matter and make compost
- Use the green points to improve recycling quality
- Give products a new life, repair domestic appliances instead of throwing them away
- Buy second-hand clothes
- Buy locally produced, organic fresh-food products
- Adopt a more vegetarian diet
- Buy local produce
5. Health and looking after vulnerable people
Climate change will affect people’s health, especially the most vulnerable (for example, people over the age of 75). This is why it’s so important that we take care of the people in our circle and try to prevent those effects.
Everyday actions for looking after vulnerable people
- Look after elderly people around you: relatives, neighbours, etc.
- On the hottest days, take children and elderly people to places where they can cool down
- Find out about and promote the public resources on offer for vulnerable people, e.g. the energy advice points
6. Climate projects and organisations
Barcelona has a large number of organisations and associations that fight against climate change on a daily basis. Taking part in these projects and networking is one the best contributions to the city you can make. More information here