When it comes to climate change mitigation, even small everyday actions are important. An individual consumer can impact the generation of greenhouse gas emissions for example by reducing energy consumption and private motoring, as well as by making more environmentally friendly food choices. These climate tips help you to make a difference.
Make a difference with your choices
- The ideal room temperature is 20–22 °C. The best temperature for sleeping is 18-19 °C.
- Lowering room temperature by one degree reduces heating costs by over 5 %.
- With an indoor thermometer you can determine temperature differences in different rooms.
- Lower the room temperatures and reduce the power consumption of the air conditioner when you are away from home for over 24 hours.
- Use cross ventilation to ventilate.
- Weatherstrip the windows and bleed the radiators
- By monitoring your electricity, district heating or oil consuption you will notice the impact of your energy-saving actions.
- Completely turn off electric devices when you are not using them.
- Use the power management settings on your devices.
- Turn off the lights when you leave the room for over 10 minutes.
- Choose LED lights.
- Use the preheat and afterheat of the oven.
- Make sure the food is cooled down before placing it in the fridge.
- Opt for using the microwave and electric kettle.
- Use the interior heater of your car sparingly.
- How often you use the sauna is directly reflected in your electricity bill.
- Drying your laundry outside is the most energy-economic option.
- When buying new devices, opt for the most energy efficient option as much as possible.
- Domestic water heating accounts for 20 % of energy consumption, so use hot water sparingly.
- Cut back shower time.
- Avoid using unnecessarily hot water.
- Wash full loads and choose the appropriate setting when using the washing machine and the dishwasher.
- Avoid using prewash unnecessarily.
- Leaking plumbing fixtures may waste 10 m3 water per year, so it is recommended to fix even small leakages.
- Collect rainwater for gardening.
- Walk, cycle and opt for public transport.
- Cycle lanes in Oulu are one of the best in Finland!
- Carpool to work and hobbies.
- Plan your daily journeys back to back.
- Avoid traffic jams, they can double your fuel consumption.
- Maintain your car regularly and drive economically.
- Check the tire pressure and use electrical preheating.
- Use more plant based products. Eat plant based at least one day a week.
- Cut down consuming meat and other animal based products. Leave steaks and cheeses for special occasions.
- Do not waste food.
- Collect biowaste separately.
- Opt for seasonal vegetables but wait until the season properly begins.
- Choose vegetables cultivated in the open field and avoid greenhouse cultivated vegetables in the winter.
- Opt for potatoes and various grain products (such as barley) and avoid rice.
- Opt for organic food.
- Opt for wild-caught fish, seasonal berries and mushrooms.
- Choose products with the least amount of packaging.
- Plan your grocery shopping and write a shopping list. Do not buy any more food than you consume.
- Prepare food in larger quantities and use the microwave for reheating.
- If you use the car to go grocery shopping, buy enough food to last you longer.
Products and services
- Only buy what you need.
- Repair and recycle.
- Rent, borrow, share.
- Avoid unnecessary packaging.
- Using electronic services saves natural resources.
- Choose eco-labeled products.
- Opt for local services.
Due to climate change, our summers will be warmer than before. At the same time, summer heat waves are becoming more common and intense. Heat and increasing heat strain cause various and even very serious health problems. These include, for example, fatigue, weakness, reduced work efficiency, increased risk of (work) accidents, dehydration, sunstroke, worsening of symptoms of long-term illnesses, heat stroke and death. The serious adverse effects of heat especially affect small children and babies, people over 65 and people with long-term illnesses. In intense heat, power outages can also occur. The storms and floods section includes related instructions.
How to prepare for heat and heat waves:
- Attach curtains to the windows and during hot periods, close the window blinds or use light-colored curtains to prevent heat from entering the apartment.
- Try to create microclimates and shaded areas in the yard with plants and canopies to combat the heat.
- Find out in advance the nearest shaded outdoor areas suitable for you or cooled spaces that you can move to if the indoor temperatures get too hot.
- Monitor the temperature in the apartment using a thermometer. Cool the apartment by ventilating at night.
- Purchase a table fan. The fan makes you feel cooler when the indoor temperature is below 35 degrees. In temperatures warmer than this, the fan increases the body's heat strain.
- Consider purchasing an air-source heat pump or cooling device, especially if you have people belonging in risk groups living in the household.
Storms and floods
Climate change is estimated to increase storms, which cause many kinds of damage, such as power outages and floods. No major changes are predicted for wind, but record readings have been measured in wind speeds in recent years. Due to climate change, heavy rains are becoming more common, which causes floods to occur more often. Floods may cut off traffic connections and cause significant damage to buildings. Snowstorms and the decreased amount of ground frost also cause storm damage.
How to prepare for storms:
- Follow weather forecasts and public announcements, avoid travelling to a storm area.
- Prepare a home emergency supply kit.
- Make sure that roof materials are firmly attached.
- Take care of the lightning and overvoltage protection of buildings.
- Monitor the condition of trees in your yard and the surrounding areas to prevent the risk of falling.
- Purchase a powerbank for your mobile phone to use in case of a blackout and battery-operated lights and flashlights.
- If your have a wood fired oven or a fireplace, make sure that is stays in working order even if you are not using it for heating on a regular basis. Also prepare firewood.
- Find out the terms and conditions of your home insurance in case of a storm.
- If a storm is approaching, take outdoor furniture, children's toys and other items not attached in place to a secure place and, for example, anchor the trampoline securely. Take down light tents and canopies. Move vehicles away from trees that may fall down.
How to prepare for floods:
- When designing your garden, prefer to use porous materials instead of, for example, making large asphalt areas.
- Find out the flood history and flood forecast of your own area.
- Prepare a home emergency supply kit.
- Follow the news media.
- Find out the terms and conditions of your home insurance in case of a flood.
- Review the emergency plan of the building.
- Make sure you have a pair of Wellington boots and waterproof bags at home.
- Consider in advance where would be the best place to construct a temporary flood barrier and prepare the necessary materials (sand, bags and plastic). Alternatively, you can protect the lower wall of your house with plastic.
- If needed, prepare a pump that you can use to pump water from the basement or from inside of the flood barrier and learn how to operate it.
- Find out which electric devices are in danger and plan in advance how they can be protected in case of emergency.
- Do not store valuable items or harmful substances in places that are in risk of flood damage.
- Make sure that boats and other objects that may move in case of a flood are carefully secured in place.
- Check the condition of road culverts and ditches in the spring after the snow melts. If necessary, make the necessary repairs or request that they be made.
- Find out in advance how you can block underground drains and culvert openings, if necessary, so that floodwater does not flow under the road onto the property.
How to prepare for possible flood damage caused by melting snow:
- Make sure that there are enough structures for the melted water (ditches, gutters, culverts) along which the meltwater can flow away from the property.
- Clean the covers of street inlets from snow and ice and check that they are not clogged.
- If necessary, move snow away from risky areas.
Climate change can negatively affect the quality of swimming waters. Increasingly hot summers and heat waves not only increase the use of beaches, but also make the water warmer, so that blue-green algae, harmful bacteria and viruses can multiply more easily, causing health problems. Heavy rains can also wash pollutants and microbes into water bodies.
How to prepare for and prevent poor swimming water quality:
- Notify the authorities if you notice blue-green algae in the swimming water or get symptoms from the water.
- Follow public announcement regarding swimming waters, follow the instructions.
- Take care of hygiene and use the washing and toilet facilities in the beach area.
- Do not swallow water while swimming.
- If there is or has recently been blue-green algae in the water, do not use it for drinking, washing, or watering edible plants, and do not swim in it.
Warm weathers increase water evaporation and cause dryness. Water should be used sparingly and judiciously. Prolonged drought can deplete wells and cause temporary water supply disruptions. Drought periods also increase the risk of forest fires and wildfires, which is why it is extremely important to follow the authorities' instructions on fire management.
How to ensure water sufficiency:
- Use water sparingly.
- Use rainwater for watering plants.
- Follow public announcements regarding the water situation.
- Follow instructions given by the authorities and the water supply company about rationing water.
How to prepare for distruptions in the water supply:
- Prepare a home emergency supply kit.
- Store a few days supply of clean drinking water.
- Register for fault notifications.
- Prepare a clean container, for example a bucket with a lid, for retrieving and storing water.
- Find out the location of the nearest water point.
- Follow the news media.
Home emergency supply kit
Home emergency supply kit refers to food, water and other supplies stored at home, which will last the household for at least 72 hours. The purpose is to store durable foodstuffs at home for various exceptional situations when you cannot leave the house, there is no water or the electricity is out.
Home emergency supply kit includes the following:
- Foodstuffs that can be stored in a dry and warm place, are used in the household normally, have a long shelf life, and do not take much water or time to cook or can be eaten uncooked
- Water, juice and/or UHT milk
- Clean containers for water with lids
- Portable stove and matches
- Candles, flashlight
- Battery-operated radio and batteries
- Medicine, first aid kit, iodine tablets
- Diapers, towelettes
- Food for pets
- Firewood, if there is a fireplace in the house
We have gathered some useful links where you can find more information.
Calculating your carbon footprint
Carbon footprint refers to the impact of an action, product or service on the environment, in other words, how much greenhouse gas it produces. On average, the carbon footprint of a Finn is spread evenly among housing, transport, food and other consumption (for example, services and leisure) but there is much variation between individuals. You can take the test below to estimate your own carbon footprint.
Find further information here
- Climate guide is a website with a lot of information about climate change, its impact and mitigation, and adapting.