Over the next few weeks, it is highly likely that we are all going to be bombarded with news and information on the climate conference COP26 taking place in Glasgow. The importance of this event can't be understated. Regardless if you are interested in wildlife and the environment or not, the potential outcome of this event is significant. However, I fear we are all going to be disappointed. Even our PM would seem to be talking down the potential for progress more than a week before the event begins. Hardly the best omen!

It has long been my view that we won't get anywhere while money rules. There are far too many people in powerful positions who have a vested interest in the world continuing to burn fossil fuels. Political bickering, a lack of understanding of the urgency, and a lack of knowledge of the technology available to tackle the problems are all likely to play a part in helping to produce a lot of hot air. As Greta Thunberg said recently, "blah, blah, blah".

So if we can't rely on our leaders to take control of the situation and put words into action, maybe we need to take matters into our own hands? I'm not suggesting we start glueing ourselves to roads or buildings in London. Although I can sympathise with their frustration, I wonder if this kind of activity harms the cause in the general public's eyes. No, my suggested form of direct action is to do whatever you can within your own home.

The suggestions as to 'what we can do' are not particularly radical. They include switching to a green energy supplier for your home, swapping to an electric car (if you can), going meat-free a few times a week, insulating your home as much as possible, and recycling. Many of us are already doing these things, but if we can add to the list, cutting back on flights and doing as much as we can for nature in our own gardens, we will be doing as much as we can reasonably be expected to do. And if we all do as much as we can, it will make a massive difference to the country's carbon footprint and reduce it.

All of these things are within the scope of almost every person and every household in the country, regardless of what the government does. If each household with a garden or shares an open space looks out for nature in this space, collectively, it will make a huge, positive difference. We can all make a difference within these spaces without the need for instructions or policies, and, most importantly, we can make the difference now. And doing something now is the most crucial factor.

So if like me, you don't fancy the idea of marching with a placard or chaining yourself to the railings outside No10 Downing Street, and if you have become disillusioned with writing to your MP, do something yourself. Put up a bird feeder, make a pond in your garden (even a small one), encourage hedgehogs into your garden, go meat-free for a day or two and let that be your protest. The best thing about these forms of action is they directly help nature, you can do them yourself, and above all, you can do them today!

© Phil Pickin