With climate change protests growing each month, Russell Jones explores ways of reducing your own impact

So, let’s just take a moment to look at where we are.

Here in Britain, one fifth of the way through the 21st Century, all over our main stream media (MSM) and social media, we have seen privileged, mainly middle-class people, speaking from their high public profiles of office, or self-important ‘prominence’, publicly attacking a 16-year-old Swedish girl with Asperger syndrome.

Her ‘crime’ (putting aside the attack from Toby Young for being too ‘privileged’ – err, kettle / black, Toby!) in essence can be summed up as ‘embarrassing us all for not helping stop the destruction of our one and only planet’.

And that means you … and me.

All of us.

Greta Thunberg, you are right. We are guilty as charged.

This 16-year-old is embarrassing us all for not helping stop the destruction of our planet

Russell Jones Russell Jones Content and communications manager

Obsession

To answer the critics head-on, apparently it is quite hard to get a child with Asperger’s to do anything they do NOT want to, so the idea that her parents are putting her up to this is patently ludicrous.

The other thing I’ve heard about the syndrome, is if that child gets an idea into his or her head, then it is extremely difficult to try and stop them becoming obsessed with that idea.

Greta Thunberg is on a mission.

And she will not be stopped.

Time to step up

And this is where you come in.

As the title suggests, this is personal. This is about you because it concerns the life you have and enjoy.

So what are you personally doing to help ensure that you can continue to enjoy the life you have?

There are 3 things I think all of us can do immediately to help make a difference.

1.    Eat less meat. 
Interesting news has emerged from New York about the state planning to cut red meat supply to municipal buildings such as schools, hospitals and prisons to reduce their carbon footprint.
This works on a personal level too.  Just change one meal a week from meat and collectively, we will all make a difference

2.   Use less fuel. 
If you drive, then drive less.
And when you do drive, don’t race.
Every time you accelerate hard, or brake hard, you burn more fuel than you should.

3.   Use less energy.
This applies to the equipment you use to heat, cool or ventilate whatever building you live, work or play in.
This is critical for us as a manufacturer of the equipment that helps heat, cool or ventilate buildings of all types.
That’s why we have produced a load of short videos to make sure anyone can understand how to get the best energy efficiency out of their equipment.

At home

What that means for you as a homeowner, depends on your own circumstance. If you have a really, really old gas boiler for example, and you can’t fund a renewable heating system at this point, then get a modern gas boiler. It will save you energy and be better for the planet.

However, you will be swimming against the tide and in a few short years, you will be on the wrong side of history.

If you’ve got an oil boiler then you really need to start planning to replace it with renewable heating such as an air source heat pump, before it breaks down and becomes a ‘distress purchase’, leaving you with the escalating fuel costs and downright inconvenience of oil heating – Will that tanker get through the snow? Did I padlock the gate to stop my oil from being stolen? Finding that grand or more to refill?

For Businesses

Most businesses now realise the value of being ecologically minded and the damage it can do to their brand if they are not.

Whether you run a shop or an office, a hotel, a hospital or nationwide rental estate, you should be looking carefully at the energy consuming equipment you use.

1st step: Make sure it is maintained properly

2nd step: Learn how to control it better

3rd step: Plan to replace it, rather than leave it until it falls over

And when you do replace it, make sure that the new equipment is fit for purpose and is the best, most energy efficient system you can get. One that helps future-proof you against rising energy bills and existing and planned legislation.

After all, we are only going to see more and more pressure on all of us to reduce our impact on the planet … and we have a 16-year-old schoolgirl to thank for that.

Thank you Greta.

You deserve that Nobel prize for helping wake us all up.

Russell Jones is content and communications manager for Mitsubishi Electric Living Environment Systems in the UK