Pollinator Tip 6: Shrink your carbon footprint

Humans are causing the Earth’s climate to change through increase in greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide.

Increased concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere have already caused global temperature to increase by 1°C. This shift in temperatures is affecting our pollinators. For example, across the Northern hemisphere, butterfly and bumblebee distributions are moving away from their Southern boundaries, as they try to escape areas which are now too hot for them. Some butterfly species are now disappearing from the South of England but are more common in Scotland. Unfortunately, unlike the butterflies, the bumblebee distribution is not expanding northwards and it looks like they are being squeezed into a much smaller area of the UK by the ‘climate vice’.

Click on the link to watch a BBC news video showing effects of climate change on bumblebees:


The good news is that we can help stop climate change by reducing our personal carbon footprints through relatively simple changes to our lives. For example, 30% of our footprint comes from the food we eat and we can reduce this by:

  • Reducing the amount of food that is wasted, for example, by using leftovers and planning meals
  • Eating less ‘high carbon’ food, and more ‘low carbon’ food, such as vegetables and cereals
  • Eating food that is in season
  • Less processed and less travelled is generally better

Looking for some carbon footprint shrinking inspiration? The Incredible Shrinking Footprint trailer below should make you feel like a real climate superhero! (We had great fun putting it together with our summer Earth Explorers club)

There are other changes you can make – for some ideas have a look at Carbon Crush challenge here.