Going Green: Climate fears over the holiday season 2024
We’ve had a very wet summer so this is a brilliant question (and I’m a big fan of making savings wherever we can). Booking a foreign holiday abroad at the moment isn’t without its risks and peril due to the prevalence of extreme heat, storms and wildfires.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to change any time soon either. Paradise really is being lost and we need look no further than the wildfires in Hawaii this summer for a real wake up call. with weather anomalies set to increase rather than decrease as the world continues to warm, I for one won’t be booking anything abroad or too far in advance.
Former US president Barack Obama – a Hawaii native said: “Like so many people around the world, Michelle and I have been absolutely heartbroken by the devastating images coming out over the last week. As someone who grew up in Hawaii, as someone who has taken my family to enjoy the incredible beauty of that island and the hospitality of the people, we now find ourselves mourning the lives that are lost and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have lost so much. The thing about it is though, thoughts and prayers in a moment like this are not enough. We have to step up. We have to help those families and we have to help Lahaina rebuild.”
Oprah Winfrey who has a home on the island of Maui where the fires occurred attended the local War Memorial Stadium to hand our nappies, shampoo and pillows to displaced residents.
The A list names helping out in Hawaii and the holiday making footballers and celebrities roasting in one of the warmest European summers on record are proof that climate change has come to everyone’s door.
We know flying has a huge carbon footprint and long-haul flights in particular are very bad for polluting the planet. Hawaii is a real case in point where those who live there are facing the stark reality of global warming.
It used to be easier to ignore climate change because it didn’t affect too many holiday destinations but now there’s no ignoring the catastrophic effect our warming world is having across the globe. Tourists were evacuated from Rhodes and Corfu for safety reasons as fires burnt across the Greek Islands.
The Britannia cruise ship carrying thousands of British tourist broke it’s moorings in port last month crashing into the Castillo de Arteaga oil tanker.
No serious injuries were reported thank goodness but it’s yet more evidence of holidays being disrupted by extreme weather events.
Hurricane Idalia hit land in Florida and Georgia last month with Florida homes submerged in storm surges and 250,000 homes without power.
Irish singing twins Jedward performed at the Leeds festival where they spoke out about climate change.
The duo, both 31, who shot to fame on the X Factor in 2009, joined in environmental discussions at the festival with Edward saying “I just think climate is important.
Sometimes people feel like they don’t know everything about everything but it’s about just educating yourself and moving forward.
Swap your bought fruit this month for some blackberry foraging. They’re getting really sweet and ripe at the moment and freeze brilliantly as well as being tasty in a crumble which the kids can help to make and also pick.
Start thinking now about insulating your home
As the summer subsides and the Autumn season starts setting in, there is no better time to start thinking about insulating your home and making sure that a cold winter doesn’t bite as much as it could bite.
The Great British Insulation Scheme is a government subsidised scheme which aims to deliver improvements to energy efficient homes while also at the same time tackling fuel poverty and in turn to this also reducing energy bills.
While not everyone is eligible for the government backed scheme, if you are a low income or a vulnerable family or if you live in a home with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D-G, and you are also within Council Tax bands A-D in England and A-E in Scotland and A-C in Wales, you are eligible and you could save yourself a lot of money in the process.
If you are not sure if you are eligible you can contact your energy supplier to find out.
So just what is on offer?
The majority of eligible homes to benefit from the scheme will benefit from loft and cavity wall insulation which will significantly reduce bills.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates for a typical semi-detached house that loft insulation costs £680 for DIY and can save around £285 a year while cavity wall insulation costs around £1,700 to install and can save £300 a year on energy bills.
The good news is though, that it is not just loft and cavity wall insulation that is on offer.
From underfloor insulation to pitched and flat roof insulation, there are plenty of different types of insulation on offer as part of the government backed scheme.
Thanks to changes in the GBIS and its predecessor the ECO scheme, a further 400,000 homes are eligible and this includes renters – although you will have to ask your landlord’s permission.
Some firms may ask for a contribution towards the project.
We know that energy bills for an average home are around £2,000 which means more households across the UK could be looking at a bitter winter without the money to heat their homes efficiently.
The GBIS is looking to improve 100,000 homes a year so whilst this government scheme isn’t big enough and don’t cover enough people it is a start.
It’s vital the people who need the help apply and get what support is available.
Getting applications in now before any cold snaps have started could make a huge difference to households so even if you’re not sure if you’re eligible, email or ring your supplier to find out.
You could be losing out on good money savings if you don’t but as it’s a first come, first served scheme, when the money’s gone, it's gone.
Fact or fiction
Sanitation and water supply systems that can withstand climate change could save the lives of more than 200,000 infants globally every single year.
They could save they lives of 360,000 infants annually.