No matter where you are in the world, there is a universal need to work together in the face of our environmental crisis. Action is needed to reverse the effects of climate change, reduce our collective carbon footprint and find sustainable ways to design regenerative cultures.
Due to the recent 2015-2019 drought as well as the disastrous effects of a global pandemic, the city of Cape Town is especially aware of this pressing issue. A draft Climate Change Strategy has therefore been proposed to ensure that Cape Town safeguards the local environment as well as socio-economic growth and stability.
This strategy aims to prepare for climate shocks such as the drought experienced between 2015 and 2019 and reduce their frequency. The City has stated that is wishes to “create an urban environment that is climate resilient, resource efficient and carbon neutral” and hopes that this draft Climate Change Strategy will:
- transform the way the city plans and operates
- help the city deal with the known challenges and impacts of climate change
- guide departments and directorates through transitions to ensure policies, strategies, and plans align with climate change concerns
- maximize the added benefits of a climate resilient city such as increased energy and water security, improved health, additional employment and reduced risks
- safeguard the competitive trade of the local economy while remaining in line with the global movement towards the rejection of carbon intensive goods and services
Collaboration and co-operation are required to address climate change. The City of Cape Town hosted an online public engagement meeting on Wednesday 14th October to discuss their draft Climate Change Strategy.
The City have also invited all citizens to comment on the draft strategy. Submit your comments until 30 October here. Though important, being involved in this conversation about principles for the city isn’t the only way to help Cape Town become climate resilient.
Wish-cycling, a term that is loosely defined by The City of Lethbridge as “the practice of tossing questionable items in the recycling bin, hoping they can be recycled” is probably something we’re all guilty of. Unfortunately, it can result in an entire load of recyclable goods being labelled as contaminated and therefore not suitable for recycling.
The City of Cape Town works with the Think Twice collection programme in selected areas, including Green Point, to offer residents free home recycling collection. Averda and Clearer Conscious also offer recycling operations in the Green Point and Oranjekloof areas, although membership fees may be applicable.
Reduce your meat intake
Small changes to your diet can have a big impact on our collective carbon footprint. According to research by the University of Oxford, foods such as vegetables, legumes and nuts have the lowest environmental impact while red and processed meats have the greatest environmental impact.
Consider reducing your red meat intake or switching to a vegan, vegetarian, or sustainable pescatarian diet one day a week. A small change to your menu can help put less pressure on animal farming and offset carbon emissions. Campaigns such as Meatfree Mondays are a great way to get involved and learn more about plant-based cooking.
Reduce your energy consumption
A simple way to help Cape Town become more environmentally friendly is to consume energy responsibly. Like water, energy is a resource we need to look after.
Help save the planet one switch at a time by:
- switching off lights before leaving a room
- switching off appliances at the wall when they are not in use
- using gas heaters rather than electric ones
- ventilating rooms in the summer to reduce the use of air conditioning and fans
- investing in solar water heaters or panels
Let’s work together to make Cape Town a better place for people and the environment.