What can you do to preserve these very vulnerable natural spaces?

When you go to the mountains

  • Leave no trace. Take all your rubbish with you, and recycle whatever you find. (++ https://plogga.se).
  • Explore the mountains closest to you and use low-carbon transportation for your adventures.
  • Respect nature. Be quiet, don’t approach animals and don’t remove any flora. Some species may be bothered by human presence; for the protection of biodiversity, find out whether the activity you want to engage in is permitted at that time.
  • Be careful of land abrasion. Depending on the quality of the earth and on visitor frequency you shouldn’t leave the path or enter certain areas. Be informed!
  • Do volunteer work to preserve local mountains, repairing paths, reforesting, restoring natural landscapes… (++ environmental works )
  • If you participate in competitions or organise them, or you are in a sports club or make sporting materials, commit to following this more sustainable sport model. (++ MOUNTAIN FRIENDLY CHART)

When eating

  • Eat from the bottom of the food chain. This means a mainly plant-based diet: fruits, vegetables, cereals and pulses. Reduce your consumption of meat (especially red meat) and dairy products, as well as processed foods. (++ https://ourworldindata.org/environmental-impacts-of-food https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3402/fnr.v58.20687 )
  • Consume products that are in season, and it’s best if they are organic and locally produced. (++ The transportation of foods from far away, especially by plane, or of heavy foods and packaging uses a lot of fossil fuels for transport and refrigeration, to avoid food spoiling during the journey). Consuming non-seasonal locally-grown foods may mean leaving a big footprint due to the energy needed to recreate the right growing conditions (heat and light).
  • Buy products in bulk whenever possible, with your own reusable bag.
  • Eat everything you buy! Reduce food waste by planning meals in advance, freezing excess amounts and using any leftovers.
  • If possible, use food waste for composting.

When shopping

  • Remember the 3 R’s! Reduce: buy fewer items, which last longer. Repair: instead of buying new items, repair them. Recycle: recycle any other waste.
  • Buy second-hand or recycled items. Have a look at second-hand shops near you, local markets or purchasing groups in the community where you live.
  • Share (whether material goods such as clothing or other items, or transportation).
  • Wash your clothes with cold water.
  • Take your own reusable bag when you go shopping.
  • Avoid articles with lots of packaging, especially plastic.
  • If you buy electric appliances, lighting, or office or electronic equipment, look for products that are certified as being more energy efficient (Energy Star).
  • Support and buy from companies that are environmentally responsible and sustainable. Most of them have information on their sustainability programs on their websites! Look for it!
  • It is not only physical products that have an environmental footprint. Banks, insurance companies or on-line services also leave a carbon footprint and have a lot of power because they invest in different markets. Find out where they invest your money and change it to companies that invest in ways that correspond to your values.

At Home

  • Do an energy audit of your home. It will show you how you use or waste energy and help you identify how to use it more efficiently.
  • Insulate your home better to avoid temperature loss, and if you’re building, think of making it a passive house.
  • Change incandescent light bulbs (which waste 90% of their energy in the form of heat) for light-emitting diodes (LED). Even though LEDs cost more, they use a quarter of the energy and last up to 25 times longer. They are also preferable to compact fluorescent lamp bulbs (CFL), which emit 80% of their energy in the form of heat and contain mercury.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room and unplug electronic appliances when they are not in use.
  • Turn off the water heater.
  • Install a low-flow showerhead to reduce hot water use. Taking shorter showers also helps.
  • Lower the thermostat in winter and raise it in summer. Use less air-conditioning in summer. In its place opt for fans, which require less power, or think of other ways to beat the heat without air conditioning.
  • Check the origin of the electricity in your home. If it comes from fossil fuels, change to a clean-energy supplier that uses renewable energies. (++ Green-e.org)
  • Do you travel frequently? Apply these same measures when you’re away from home! Recycle, look for accommodations with a low carbon footprint and choose the most ecological means to travel.

Transportation

  • Drive less. Walk, use public transportation, share the car or get to your destination by bicycle whenever possible. This reduces CO2 emissions and it also reduces traffic congestion and the engine idling that comes with it.
  • If you are going to drive, avoid braking and accelerating unnecessarily. Some studies have shown that aggressive driving may lead to fuel consumption that is 40% higher than that of calm, constant driving.
  • Take care of your automobile. Keeping your tyres correctly filled can increase fuel efficiency by 3%, and ensuring that your car gets appropriate maintenance can boost it by 4%. Load the car as lightly as possible to avoid transporting extra weight.
  • When you make various orders, try to combine them to reduce driving time.
  • Use traffic or information apps to avoid traffic jams. (++ Waze, Google Maps, news…)
  • For longer trips, use cruise control to save petrol.
  • Use less air-conditioning, even when it’s hot.
  • If you want to buy a new car, think about buying a hybrid or electric vehicle. Take the car’s greenhouse gas emissions into account, as well as its operation. Some electric vehicles are initially responsible for more emissions than internal combustion engine vehicles due to the impacts of their manufacture, but they compensate for this within three years. This application classifies cars based on mileage, fuel type and emissions, whether those produced by the car itself or, for electric cars, those produced by the generation of the electricity they need to function. (++ http://carboncounter.com/ )

Air Travel

  • If you fly for work or pleasure, air transportation is probably responsible for the greatest part of your carbon footprint. If you can, avoid flying. For shorter trips, driving may emit a lower quantity of greenhouse gases.
  • Fly non-stop, as landings and take-offs use more fuel and produce more emissions.
  • Travel in tourist class. Business class is responsible for almost three times more emissions than the cheaper seats because in tourist class the flight’s carbon emissions are shared among more passengers. First class can generate nine times more carbon emissions than tourist class.
  • If you cannot avoid flying, offset the carbon emissions from your trip.

At Work

On average, we spend about one-third of our lives at work. This means that a large part of our emissions are linked to our job. All the individual actions mentioned above can also be adopted in the workplace. If you have a company, check to see how you can reduce your emissions: from the goods and services you produce, having a circular economy, to office and building sustainability. Assess whether meetings should be in person or can be held on-line, reducing travel for meetings, and think about implementing teleworking. If you are an employee, share these ideas with your colleagues and the company’s managers.

Advice for the “responsible worker”:

  • Always try to use the most sustainable form of transport possible. Especially if you work in a big city.
  • Avoid physical meetings whenever possible. There are currently a number of platforms that allow you to hold virtual meetings. We suggest that each time you hold a virtual meeting you calculate your footprint, to be fully aware of the good you are doing.
  • How many times have you left work in a hurry and left your computer on? It is important to turn it off always and, if possible, to also turn off the main switch at the table to avoid other devices (chargers) from functioning all night.
  • Is it easy for you to recycle at work? If not, we invite you to make a clear request to your human resources department.
  • If you take a walk at night in a big city, you will see that there are a lot of offices that leave the lights of their building on to project an image of grandeur, and think they’re providing a more beautiful night landscape. If your company is one of them, we invite you to take this up with them.

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