Today is Earth Day, and here at Verv the state of our planet is weighing heavily on our minds (yes even more than usual!). Here in London, over the last few days we’ve seen temperatures of over 20 degrees with beautiful sunshine warming us to our core. As wonderful as that is, it’s a bit unusual for London to be having this kind of weather at this time of year. This dramatic change in the weather is even more strange when you consider that we were having heavy snow showers just one month ago.
Is this the result of climate change? We don’t know, but one thing we do know is that we need to start looking at more ways in which we can help our planet, and what better day to start than on Earth Day.
Earth Overshoot Day
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when our demand for ecological resources as a species surpasses what the planet can regenerate in that year. In 2017, the Global Overshoot Day was on August 5th, while the UK one fell on the 4th of May.
We contribute towards this deficit by producing waste, mainly CO2 emissions which pass into the atmosphere. Our current carbon footprint adds 2 to 3 parts per million of CO2 to the atmosphere per year. The overshoot is calculated by Global Footprint Network, a think tank that coordinates research, and develops methodological standards to help humanity operate within the earth’s ecological limits. In fact you could calculate your own personal Overshoot Day using the Overshoot calculator here.
Ever increasing Carbon dioxide emissions are a huge problem for our planet right now (carbon footprint makes up 60% of humanity’s Ecological Footprint), not only for wildlife and ecosystems but for us too! Of course, if wildlife suffers we all suffer, however, some of us are suffering already. According to a report by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and health “Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today.” It can be hard to get a picture of how your day to day life is affecting the environment, but we found this Carbon Footprint Calculator which could help you.
Getting Serious About Changing for the Better
Tools like the Overshoot Calculator and the Carbon Footprint Calculator are great as they give you a broad overview of how your daily living behaviour can impact our planet, but are they enough?
In 2003, the Household Waste Recycling Act was passed in the UK. This law required local authorities in England to provide every household with a separate collection of at least two types of recyclable materials by 2010. At the time, it meant a big shift and a change in attitudes about how we manage our household waste, which required a little more effort on the householders part and new infrastructure for local authorities. Today, separating paper, card, plastics and glass into different bins is now second nature and most of us don’t even think about it as it has become a natural part of our routine.
Creating long-term positive change
It’s no secret that here at Verv, we’re trying to help householders lower their energy bills and also their carbon footprint by using our Verv hub to show them insights about their appliances and usage behaviour to help them make positive changes to their daily lives. We know this is enough for the householder but is it enough for the planet as a whole?
As a company, we have operated in the energy space since 2009 and have witnessed first hand the technological advances that enable innovators to push the boundaries of technology and bring domestic renewable tech to the market. The planet is ready to power our homes using earths natural forces like the sun, wind and waves, but our 100 year old infrastructure is holding us back.
We want to help the energy industry as a whole make a positive change and enable consumers already utilising solar panels and battery storage in their home to become prosumers for the first time. That’s why we’ve developed a peer-to-peer energy trading system using blockchain technology that enables users generating excess power to sell it on to a neighbour. This technology is no longer just a pipe dream as we have already successfully executed the first trade.
Our new infrastructure may be in its infancy but its developments are rapid and trials are underway that will help inform the country’s legislation so we can work together to enable greener living across the UK and then globally. Fifteen years after household recycling was introduced we all see it as the norm in the UK. Here at Verv, we not only want to promote a sharing economy but also to contribute towards helping to heal the planet that we all call home, so that in fifteen years time, we see a cleaner, greener planet and can say goodbye to Earth Overshoot Day and focus on just celebrating Earth.
Happy Earth Day!