If you are new to Climate positivity, this post is perfect for you.
In very simple words to be Climate Positive means that companies or individuals are giving back more to the planet than what they take from it.
We need to remove the carbon dioxide we have already emitted and take further steps to ensure that we cut out additional CO2 from the atmosphere.
The whole purpose of being climate positive is to restore the balance of the planet. It also means that you prefer to focus on opportunities and optimism rather than doomsday.
According to C40 Cities’ Climate Positive Development Program, companies or communities achieve climate positivity by a combination of reducing emissions on-site (reducing waste, supporting local production, improving public transportation, etc.) and offsetting carbon by reducing carbon in the neighboring community (funding projects, such as reforestation to remove CO2 from the environment).
How can you be Climate Positive?
There are 3 steps to follow in order to become climate positive.
Measure, Reduce and Offset.
The biggest focus should be on Reducing your emissions. You need to rethink the whole way you consume, start making conscious choices and making decisions based on values such as kindness, oneness, and respect.
1. MEASURE your emissions.
The first step is to evaluate your current situation.
Here are some questions that can help you start:
- What are your biggest sources of trash and recycling?
- Which transportation modes do you use?
- How would you best describe your diet? A large proportion of human emissions comes from food production, and meat is associated with much higher carbon emissions than plant-based food.
- Of the food you buy how much is wasted and thrown away?
- What kind of house do you live in? A flat? A house?
- Is your electricity on a green tariff?
- How much Stuff do you have?
- In a typical month, how much do you spend on clothes, footwear, health and beauty products?
- How often do you travel?
You can use the footprint calculators below for this exercise too. (Take a look to this post to measure your environmental footprint)
However, it is good to complement the calculator with a physical evaluation at home.
- Carbon footprint
- The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) calculator (specific for traveling)
There are many ways to REDUCE your impact on the environment.
One of the solutions that Planet Positive supports is based on the Zero Waste Philosophy.
Zero waste is a pursuit to decrease the amount of garbage and recycling we make, through rethinking our approach to what we buy and use, choosing reusable products over single-use disposables, choosing to buy fewer packaged products and composting.
This Lifestyle strives to live by the 6R’s principle to reduce our individual ecological footprint: Rethink consumption of products and services that have a negative impact on our individual ecological footprint and the working conditions of the people involved in making them. Refuse what you do not need, Reduce what you actually need, Reuse the things you consume, Recycle and finally Rot/compost the rest.
If you want to start right away, I really encourage you to check out Marie Kondo‘s approach to declutter your house and to have a fresh start.
3. OFFSET your emissions
Carbon offsetting is a way to reduce the emissions that you can’t.
It means to capture emissions through various projects such as planting trees, supporting clean energy, and buying carbon credits to accelerate and support the transition to a greener future.
In this case, we need to think in a more holistic and broad view as the location of emission reductions is irrelevant for the planet as whole. A tone of pollution reduced with reforestation in Colombia has the same effect as one tone reduced in Sweden.
The difference between one or the other is mainly the cost of implementation.
Usually, offsetting companies prefer to cut emissions as much as possible per Euro spent. Thus it’s possible to have a bigger impact reducing the overall levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The path to carbon positivity is definitely a call for creativity and commitment.
Creativity to rethink our consumption towards a circular economy, where materials, nutrients, and data are continuously repurposed.
And a commitment to support practices that are sustainable and kind with the planet.
Stay tuned for more Positivity tips!