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Pump it up

19 April, 2024

April 22nd is Earth Day – a reminder of the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability. So, we thought we’d send you into the weekend with some pre-Earth Day reflections on climate-friendly living.

‘The Climate Question’ podcast on the BBC regularly taps into this theme, with a recent episode that explores different ways of living a ‘green’ life and how people are taking individual responsibility for their carbon footprints. Making better choices –  how we travel, build, eat, and power our homes – could drastically cut global carbon emissions.

One person leading the charge is Jurgen Huber, a recent podcast guest, who shared his journey towards a lower-carbon lifestyle in London. For Jurgen, the journey involves conscious shopping and considerable investment in renewable energy solutions like solar panels and an air-source heat pump: a crucial technology to help cut carbon emissions from domestic heating.

Heat pumps can yield long-term benefits, but there are huge barriers that deter us from taking the plunge, including financial constraints, lack of information, and uncertainty about their effectiveness. Enter Nesta’s pilot platform, Visit A Heat Pump, where people with heat pumps sign up so people considering installing them can go to have a look and ask questions. It’s a good example how to tackle misinformation relating to transition technology and a people-centred approach to change.

Initiatives like Nesta’s platform highlight the importance of learning from each other to encourage lower-carbon lifestyles. As Jurgen put it, we don’t need perfection, but trying to get there and minimise impact is the first step. Individual changes can only go so far, but hearing from others’ experiences is a good way to overcome barriers and empower us all to make better choices – big or small.

By Bertie Bateman

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