Everyday gestures for the climate

Since climate change is adversely affecting our lives, it is essential to quickly reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, adapt our ways of doing things, and change our lifestyle and consumption habits to sustain our quality of life.

It is possible to combat climate change through everyday gestures. Here are some suggested actions that are among the most effective for the climate.

Avoid wasting food

More than one-third of the food produced worldwide is not consumed. Farmland is thus occupied needlessly, the considerable amount of water used to produce such food is wasted, and GHG are generated to produce uneaten food. Avoiding wasting food can make a significant difference to the climate.

Compost

In Québec, organic matter such as vegetables, fruits, and meat account for 55% of household waste. When such waste is buried, it produces methane, a highly noxious gas that contributes to climate change. When such foods are composted, their decomposition is less harmful. The resulting compost can be reused as a natural fertilizer in gardens. What is more, composting reduces the amount of waste that is discarded. In short, it is a gesture that makes a substantial difference.

Promote active, shared, or electric transportation

When possible, walking or cycling are the most ecological ways to travel, in addition to keeping us healthy. Relying on mass transit, carpooling, or electric vehicles are also excellent ways to considerably reduce everyday travel-related GHG emissions.

Eat less meat

Reducing portion sizes and eating meat less frequently are effective, accessible ways to fight climate change. Indeed, livestock rearing, especially of ruminants, is a significant source of GHG emissions in the agriculture sector. Reducing consumption of animal products, including meat, and diversifying our diets to increase the share of plant-based foods is contributing greatly to reducing our climate footprint.

Buy local

The food and goods that we consume often travel thousands of kilometres to reach our stores and homes. Transportation and the refrigeration used to preserve food during transportation emit substantial amounts of GHG. Choosing food and goods produced in Québec thus reduces transportation-related pollution in addition to encouraging the local economy.

Reduce air travel

Air travel is energy-intensive and emits a great deal of GHG. Avoiding air travel as much as possible considerably reduces the carbon dioxide footprint of individuals.

Get involved in the community to change your living environment

Transforming alleyways into green lanes, organizing volunteers to green a schoolyard, and participating in meetings of the municipal council to support sustainable development projects in a neighbourhood are all significant gestures that enable residents to change things and effectively combat climate change.

Plant trees, plants, and flowers

Planting trees and perennials or planting a flower or vegetable garden adds greenery to a living environment. Trees and plants mitigate the impact of heat during heatwaves. Moreover, planting flower beds can help pollinating insects such as bees to survive in urban centres, which is also a positive gesture to preserve biodiversity.

Adapt to face climate hazards and emergencies

Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods in Québec. It is causing various problems, including considerable damage to buildings. To better face climate change, it is recommended, by way of an example, to avoid building homes in flood-prone areas, implement precautionary measures to better manage rainwater, for example, by consolidating the roof or removing snow more frequently, improving drainage on the lot, installing a non-return valve, and preparing for emergencies.

Last update: April 28, 2022

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