The number 1 climate action which anyone can take

Andrew Howells
6 min readNov 24, 2023

A collection of climate stories mostly

A common problem experienced when we think about doing our bit, is where to begin? It’s a big question which can leave us feeling frustrated and a little helpless. The fact that we ask at all is a good sign.

Many, don’t have the luxury to breathe, look around and think, too busy surviving, or too poor to start pondering any future generational catastrophe.

Equally, there are some, let’s be honest, many, who avoid such discomfort with an Indochina, pseudo-intellectual approach; there’s no point doing anything until India and China are well on their way to solving their own carbon footprint.

Feel free to replace or add the US into that same mountainous thought. It’s all flawed nonsense for plenty of reasons which don’t need to be discussed today.

A non profit organisation in the US called Project Drawdown has done some research to help us make the biggest difference in our own lives. They’ve ranked the top 20 high-impact climate actions that we can take at home, cutting our carbon footprint by as much as 25 percent.

The number one action and it’s so simple, is to reduce our own food waste.

A scary statistic every year is the world (which could probably be polarised further to first world countries) manages to waste a third of the total food produced. That’s 1 billion tons of food, some of which might make it to our tables, but ends up being thrown away anyway. It rots. The cumulative effect of which is to generate 8% of the world’s greenhouse gases.

This accounts for double the impact of all flights taken in the world every year. It’s also lost calories, in a world where millions starve, plus the wasted money, energy and resources to grow and manufacture all that food in the first place.

Until recently, I thought it was impossible to prevent food waste in our home, yet there is a country of over 51 million people which has managed to virtually eliminate it.

South Korea has had a compulsory roadside composting programme since 2005, when they banned food going into landfills. Citizens are given bags for their food scraps, which is then recycled into animal feed, biogas and…