What can you do?
Increase your own home preparedness
With more extreme weather events, the risk of, for example, long interruptions in electricity and water supply also increases. It is consequently even more important that you can manage on your own for a few days and preferably up to a week. The most important things to think about are heat, water, food and communication.
Read more about home preparedness and what is important to have at home.
Adapt your home to the climate
There are several ways to ensure that your home is better equipped against extreme weather events. This could, for example, involve reviewing the building’s drainage and water runoff or installing awnings to shut out the heat. If you do not own your house yourself, try to influence the landlord or the housing association to carry out adaptations.
On the SMHI (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute) website there are tips and advice on how property owners can work with climate adaptation (In Swedish).
Reduce your own climate impact
Private individuals' climate impact is calculated in the number of tons of greenhouse gases emitted per person per year. In Sweden, we have an average of eight tonnes per person, which is significantly above the average for the entire world population. In order to reach the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the temperature increase below 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times, emissions need to be no more than one ton per person by 2050.
Just under one third of the Swedes' emissions of greenhouse gases relate to aspects that are difficult to influence as individuals, such as the construction of roads and buildings or objects purchased by society for joint use. However, you can influence the remaining emissions yourself.
By living in a more climate-smart manner, you can reduce your emissions by several tons per year. How you act may also influence others to make more climate-friendly choices. If many Swedes reduce their emissions, this could have a major impact on Sweden's overall climate goals.
Below we list some areas where it is easy to reduce your emissions.
Air travel, and especially long trips, produces large-scale carbon dioxide emissions. A round trip to Spain corresponds to approximately one ton of carbon dioxide per traveller. By travelling less often and choosing destinations that are not too far away, you can greatly reduce your climate impact. Traveling by train instead of flying is also a way to reduce climate impact.
You also contribute by using public transport instead of a fossil-fuel vehicle. If driving is the only option, try carpooling.
It is not always easy to choose the right food if you want to reduce your climate footprint and at the same time think about several aspects of sustainability. Plant-based foods generally affect the climate much less than meat, especially meat from cattle. At the same time, grazing animals have a positive impact on the environment as natural pastures increase biodiversity.
In addition to the food we choose to consume, reducing food waste is a good way to reduce our climate and environmental impact.
You can do something to make your accommodation more climate-smart. If you have your own house choose more energy-efficient heating, for example geothermal instead of direct electrical heating. Insulating windows and old attics can reduce both costs and energy use. If you live in an apartment, try to influence the property owner or the housing association to make climate-smart choices.
If available, choose climate-smart electricity.
It is good for both the climate and your own wallet to repair and buy second hand instead of buying new. But sometimes it may also be good to replace things that use a lot of electricity, such as old home appliances.
We consume around 14 kilos of textiles per person per year in Sweden. A large part of these textiles are clothes. Reduce your carbon footprint by choosing clothes that last a long time if you buy new. Another tip is to buy textiles second hand and to make sure that discarded clothes are reused.
Read more about how you can reduce your climate impact on the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency website.
Sources for this page: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, SMHI and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency