World Environment Day is just around the corner, keeping the spotlight firmly on climate change in the run up to the international climate convention later this year. And that means the climate debate is a "hot" topic once again.

It seems hard to believe that even with the mountain of evidence indicating that, yes, (emphatic nodding), human actions are to blame for the accelerated rate of climate change, the debate over this inconvenient truth goes on. While some in the scientific community are still denying the facts, the truth is that, regardless of who's to blame, the climate is changing and if we don't do anything about it we could soon end up in deep water - literally. Surely we can all agree that any changes made for the sake of climate change won't be wasted if it turns out it was never in our control anyway?

As individuals, communities and countries, our focus should be on redesigning our lives to deal with climate change. There are many easy changes we can make which will enhance our lifestyles in the process:

1. CARBON-SAVVY YOUR HOME: By properly insulating your home you can save over 900kg of carbon dioxide and 25 per cent of your heating bill each year, and create a healthier household. If possible, switch to energy generated by carbon neutral, renewable sources and when replacing appliances, choose the model with the highest energy-star rating.

2. VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR: By buying locally made products and supporting local farmers markets, you'll save on food miles and keep money in the local economy. Choose fresh foods over frozen, which use 10 times more energy to produce, and choose spray-free and organic produce where possible. Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than conventional soils and fewer pesticides means less air and water pollution.

3. WALK THE WALK: If you reduce the amount you drive each week by walking or biking, you'll not only minimise emissions but also improve your health. If that's not always possible, try car pooling or using public transport, and regularly maintain your car to help improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Living lighter means a better and brighter future for all. And that's a change of climate we can all agree on.

* Denise Bester is from sustainable living web site www.ecobob.co.nz.