OK, don’t actually stop recycling, but stop thinking it will fix climate change.
In their Climate Change Perils of Perception study, Ipsos reported that 7 out of 10 people agreed with the statement:
“I understand what actions I need to take to play my part in tackling climate change.”
But when asked what those actions were, the most popular reply was “Recycling as much as possible”. 59% gave this as their top answer.
The reality is that recycling is not even near the top of the list of things you can do, and can potentially only save 0.2 tonnes of CO2 in a year.
Actions like recycling, hang-drying and using low-energy lightbulbs are overestimated compared to not having a car at all or avoiding long-distance flights.
Imperial College London lists these 9 things that have the most impact on climate change:
- Make your voice heard by those in power
- Eat less meat and dairy
- Cut back on flying
- Leave the car at home
- Reduce your energy use, and bills
- Respect and protect green spaces
- Invest your money responsibly
- Cut consumption – and waste
- Talk about the changes you make
But seriously, don't stop recycling. Every little bit helps.