Are you struggling to decide between cloth diapers and biodegradable diapers? Let's explore the key factors that can help you make an informed choice.
Cloth diapers are often praised for their sustainability as they can be reused multiple times. However, recent studies have raised concerns about their environmental impact due to the water and energy consumed during washing and drying. To address these concerns, you can follow the manufacturer's care instructions, such as washing at 30°C (86°F) and line-drying.
Additionally, cloth diapers can be passed down to other children, reducing waste and saving money.
Biodegradable diapers, on the other hand, are designed to break down easily in landfills within approximately seven years, leaving no long-lasting traces. Nonetheless, critics argue that these diapers can still emit methane gas during the decomposition process.
Ultimately, your choice depends on your priorities. If saving money and minimizing waste are important to you, cloth diapers may be the preferred option. Alternatively, if convenience and reducing environmental impact are your main concerns, biodegradable diapers could be a suitable choice.
Both options contribute to a greener future.
So much is at stake in our fight against climate change that it can feel overwhelming. Coming to grips with the complex causes and global impacts of the environmental crisis is hard enough - but we also face the monumental task of stopping it.
The enormity of the problem has caused ‘climate anxiety’ to go mainstream. This refers to an intense worry about the unfolding crisis, and the consequences it will have on our precious natural world as well as human lives and livelihoods around the world.
Adding to this feeling of doom is a widespread belief that our choices are insignificant, and we can’t make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change. Luckily, while the idea that we don’t have power can lead to anxiety and apathy, it simply isn’t true.
On the one hand, yes, there are huge drivers of the climate crisis that are out of our control - we aren’t world leaders or the heads of fossil fuel industries, and can’t stop polluting companies emitting carbon and degrading the environment.
However, particularly for those of us who live in high income countries, global emissions largely stem from our own daily actions and consumption habits. The problems start with us - and so do the solutions. As individuals, we can make small changes in our lives that will make a real, tangible difference to the climate crisis.
Everyone thinks they’re only one person, and their choices won’t make a difference. But what about the actions of millions - or billions - of people? Imagine what would be possible at that scale! Your carbon footprint is the sum total of the greenhouse gases your actions have caused to be released into the atmosphere.
To avoid a temperature rise of two degrees or worse - which would have devastating impacts on our planet - scientists say that the average global carbon footprint should be around two tonnes by 2050. In the UK, the current average is ten tonnes.
Calculating your carbon footprint - and you can do so through our app - gives you an insight into what elements of your daily lifestyle are generating the most greenhouse gas emissions, and where you can make the most impactful changes.
Your carbon footprint will show how much carbon emissions you are responsible for across the following areas:
In your everyday life, how do you normally get from A to B?
Transport emissions stem from the fuel from your personal vehicles as well as public transport like trains and buses. Driving is the most polluting option, so how often you do so will contribute significantly to your carbon footprint.
All of our food comes with emissions attached, stemming from how it was produced, how it was packaged, and how it travelled. The kinds of food you buy regularly, how often you eat at restaurants, and if you tend to shop from local suppliers or supermarket chains, or restaurants will all impact your personal carbon footprint.
Flying halfway across the world for a holiday? Travelling by plane gives off huge amounts of CO2 - even a short trip from London to Rome emits as much as citizens of 17 countries do in a year.
Unless you live like a caveman, or your home runs on 100% renewables, daily tasks like cooking, washing clothes, and working on a laptop all use energy from fossil fuels, which add up to form a sizable carbon footprint.
Shopping also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, since our smartphones, gadgets, and new clothes don’t grow on trees - they’re made in factories through processes that are generally highly carbon emitting and environmentally harmful. People often buy far more than they need, which pads out our unhealthy carbon footprints.
The things we do online - posting on social media, sending messages, streaming videos - all carry a carbon footprint. Millions of physical servers are needed to keep the internet up and running, consuming a mammoth amount of energy.
Every day, we all make unsustainable choices of some kind. But luckily there are many solutions and ways we can drive down our carbon footprints. In a future article, we’ll show you exactly how you can change your lifestyle to make a tangible impact towards stopping climate change.
Beyond cutting your personal carbon footprint, there are many other ways you can get involved in the fight against climate change. Here are some ideas:
Once you’ve taken steps to live more sustainably, you can make an even bigger impact by telling others about the changes you’ve made. Talk to people around you or post on social media about the actions you’re taking to protect the environment, and why.
Don’t attack people for not being as eco-friendly as you, but simply share your motivations and answer any questions people have. Imagine if you inspire three people, and those people go on to inspire three more people each, and it causes a ripple effect - we might stop climate change much faster.
Around the world, people are consistently stepping up to demand their governments, workplaces, or even their local football clubs take action on the climate crisis. The more people that join protests against environmental destruction, the more power we have and the more likely we are to see change.
And if you want to see your community become greener, why not join or start a local group to campaign on an issue, such as better cycle lanes or recycling facilities.
Forests are essential for life - they provide food, shelter, and medicine, as well as storing carbon, making them a critical tool in our arsenal for fighting climate change. By protecting these natural carbon sinks, we can cool the planet down by speeding the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Tribaldata’s research found that everyone in Britain could offset their average annual carbon footprint by planting 650 trees. But it’s unlikely we’ll have the space to plant these ourselves in our back gardens. As well as helping you to learn more about living sustainably, our app means you can earn points and use them to plant trees around the world.
So there you have it - we can fight climate change by keeping track of our personal carbon footprints and taking steps to protect the environment both globally and in our local communities.
As individuals, we might act alone but we aren’t powerless - each of us will play a vital role in stopping the worst impacts of the climate crisis. The next time someone tells you that one person can’t make a difference, come back to this article to remember all the ways we can.
We’re in a race against time to beat climate change. The science is clear: to ensure our planet is livable for future generations, global emissions need to peak by 2025 and drop by 45% by 2030.
By emissions, scientists mean greenhouse gases - mostly carbon dioxide - that become trapped in the earth’s atmosphere and heat up the planet. This global warming is having extreme effects on the earth’s weather systems, including frequent fires, droughts, and floods.
But what causes these emissions? And how can we reduce them in time to combat climate change and save our world from destruction?
Let’s take a look at the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Modern life is dependent on energy. We use it for everything: from cooking, to heating or cooling our homes, to our computers and phones. The supply of energy to people’s homes makes up around 11% of global emissions.
That’s before we get to the fact that many people, mostly in Africa and Asia, still don’t have access to electricity - about 770 million in total. As electricity access improves and populations become wealthier, the global demand for energy will continue to grow. To avoid further climate change, we need to power up low-income countries with reliable clean energy.
Rather than burning harmful fossil fuels, we can harness the powers of the natural world, such as sunlight and wind, to make clean energy that won’t run out. The future looks bright, as the price of renewables is falling by the minute, so it’ll make both economic and environmental sense for countries to make the switch. In 2050, 90% of the world’s electricity could come from renewable sources.
Before it reaches our plates, our food has been on a long journey. It’s been grown, stored, processed, packaged, transported, and cooked - and often these stages occur in different countries. And every stage of this journey causes greenhouse gases to be emitted.
A large part of the emissions from food happen on the farm. Livestock such as cows produce methane, which is over 28 times more warming than carbon dioxide. And fertilising soils, which is crucial to ensure we grow enough crops to feed the world’s population, accelerates emissions of nitrous oxide - a lesser-known greenhouse gas.
Agriculture also means that forests - such as the Amazon rainforest - are converted into farmland, meaning we lose the carbon-storing superpowers of trees. Closer to home, forest coverage in Europe has halved over the last 6,000 years, in part because of the demand for agricultural land.
There’s no quick fix for solving the emissions from agriculture. Building a sustainable food system while feeding the world’s growing population will be one of the biggest challenges in fighting the climate crisis.
And some solutions are arising, like innovative and less carbon-intensive farming techniques. Our personal consumption matters too - armed with the knowledge that meat and dairy account for 14.5% of the world’s carbon emissions, many people are changing their diets to limit their impact on the planet.
We all know how frustrating it is to be stuck in a queue of traffic, and the planet shares your pain. Most cars are gas guzzlers, polluting the air and emitting carbon dioxide as they clog up the roads.
In recent years, electric cars have gone mainstream, and they’ll undoubtedly be part of the solution to the transport emissions problem - as long as they run on renewable energy, that is. But to effectively slash emissions from transport - which accounts for a fifth of all emissions - we’ll need to rethink how we travel altogether.
Public transport is far less damaging to the environment than driving, but poor infrastructure means that many people don’t have the option. Better public transport - as well as safe routes for cyclists - will help us drive down our emissions, and have the added benefits of reducing air pollution and building healthier communities.
And, as the pandemic showed us, much of the daily travel we took for granted was never really necessary in the first place. Many workers swapped their commute into city offices for a much shorter trip to the kitchen table - saving millions of tonnes of carbon emissions in the process.
The rise of fast fashion - where clothes are made and sold as quickly and cheaply as possible - is an environmental disaster. The fashion industry is responsible for over 10% of annual carbon dioxide emissions, and to slow climate change, we need to change both how our clothes are made, and how we shop.
We are buying more clothes than ever before, and because emissions stem from their materials, production, washing, and transport, the planet pays the price for our oversized wardrobes. Many of these clothes end up in landfill after only a few wears, taking hundreds of years to fully decompose, or are incinerated, releasing more greenhouse gases.
Currently, polyester is the most common fabric in clothes, and is made from oil, using about 70 million barrels a year. But fashion’s carbon footprint is becoming too big to ignore, so designers are increasingly looking to change how clothes are made. Recycled or natural materials, such as wood pulp, are much kinder to the planet.
Clothing brand Patagonia is a leading example of how companies can be more sustainable - it is working towards using 100% recycled or renewable materials, has an official outlet for selling second-hand Patagonia clothing, and will recycle customers' goods that are beyond wear.
However, part of the answer also lies with us as individuals. We should stop seeing clothes as disposable and following trends that are over almost as soon as they start, and start seeing the clothes we buy as investments to last a lifetime.
Only 9% of all the plastic waste that’s ever been made has been recycled. The rest has been incinerated, thrown away to sit in landfills, or swept into our oceans, harming marine life and disrupting delicate ecosystems.
Food waste is also an issue - 2.5 billion tonnes of food ends up wasted before it is eaten, and gives off the powerfully damaging methane as it rots in landfill.
Of course, recycling is one important solution to the waste problem - but what’s even better is to cut down on how much we produce in the first place, only making what we need.
All of these sectors have big carbon footprints, and there are many obstacles in the way of the green and sustainable future we desperately need. The task in front of us might seem overwhelming.
But when we take action together, we have the power to change the world. By making even small changes to our lives, all of us will make a big difference.
Taking these important steps doesn’t have to be difficult, and you don’t have to go it alone. Our app gives you concrete, personally tailored suggestions for how you can tackle your emissions. Download it today for a host of tips and tricks, from swapping your energy provider to choosing sustainable Christmas and birthday gifts.
Together, we can win the fight against climate change and protect our planet.
We all have a carbon footprint, there is no escaping it. Our carbon footprint is a measurement of how much we contribute to the greenhouse effect and ultimately the ongoing global warming.
The best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to avoid making emissions. However – eventually once you have changed all the habits you can to get closer to zero. What do you do next?
There are a number of ways to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. When we decided what to offer to the Tribaldata community we opted for offering the simplest and most proven method there is – planting trees.
To plant trees, we chose to work with Eden Reforestation. Their expertise, scale and track record in running hundreds of successful reforestation projects around the world is quite impressive.
In close partnership with the local communities, Eden are today running hundreds of reforestation projects around the world. There, in extremely remote settings, they work through a range of challenges, from extreme weather and landslides, to poachers, bandits, and wild animals.
They work alongside the communities to produce, plant, and protect trees, and in the process creating jobs to support them in restoring their local environment and economy long-term.
Because of its many endemic species and severe habitat loss rates, Madagascar is one of the world’s top priorities when it comes to biodiversity. The destruction of the mangroves along the coast has caused a lot of issues. Mudflats wash into the ocean, destroying once-productive fisheries and the vulnerability of coastal communities to hurricanes, tsunamis, and floods increases.
Eden reforestation projects began restoring the mangroves in Mahajanga in 2007. There they work with clearing of dead trees, collecting native species, and planting trees during low tide. Less than a decade since the start, the site developed into a thriving mangrove forest, with a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Since this first plantation, various others have been started and Edens activities have grown to also include a variety of upland dry deciduous forests in 2012.
Today, Eden run close to 100 project sites with everything that entails such as extensive infrastructure with guardhouses, fire towers, and seed banks. They also developed a training center for local nursery managers to teach seedling management and effective reforestation techniques.
Edens work is creating livelihoods for thousands of people currently living in extreme poverty by empowering them to restore and protect forests on a massive scale. This helps reverse climate change, global deforestation, habitat loss for endangered species, and extreme poverty. There are many reasons why Eden Reforestation Projects is a great partner to work with. The positive effects of planting trees go well beyond the pure reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke once wrote – “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Technology is about harnessing complex chains of events and making them simple and accessible to people.
So the next time you press the button in the app to plant a tree, although on your part it can seem almost effortless, you are making a very real positive difference. You tapping the button give a positive ripple effect that is felt through people’s lives in Madagascar. For meaningful and stable employment. For the local communities, that are brought back to life and thrive again. For the ecosystem. For the planet.