Climate change and COP26 – can WE make a difference?

Andy By Andy

With the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, taking place in the UK this week, the Prime Minister has warned that we are at ‘one minute to midnight’. The message that we are running out of time was accompanied by leaders being urged to take action; of course change needs to come from the top, but at the same time, a revolution often springs up from the grassroots.

But what can we do as individuals? My Spark colleagues already practice some laudable ‘green’ behaviour, from Chris using solar power for electricity to Hannah growing some of her own food in her back garden. I do my bit by cycling to work, although I’m not sure how you’d even go about parking a car near our Oxford Street office these days.

Eating our way out of climate change?

I was really keen to take action, and knew many of my colleagues would be feeling the same, so put forward an idea to cut the amount of meat and dairy we consume. This wasn’t a bolt from the blue, of course: as well as the number of vegans being on the rise, trends like ‘Meat Free Monday’ are also popular among wider audiences. This kind of behavioural tweak is what I was hoping to achieve, as just a slight reduction could make such a difference – for example, just a 20% drop in meat intake could help achieve net zero emissions.

In this spirit, we have launched Spark Vegan Month, coinciding with both the start of COP26 and World Vegan Day. The idea is simple – split into four teams, we’re awarded one point for each vegan lunch or dinner we eat in November. Spark will donate £2 to charity for each meal switched, and the winning team chooses a good cause to share the prize pot with.

We’ll be sharing photos and recipe ideas across social media, so keep an eye out for some tasty ideas. Stay tuned for an update on just how much we have helped the environment, and details of our charity donation, at the start of December.