It’s official - nations all over the world have declared a climate emergency, the scientific studies and severe weather conditions are being recognised, and people such as Sir David Attenborough are actually being listened to!
Us as humans have to make a change and we think that a change in mindset is a great place to start! We can be better to the planet with every one of our actions in any given day - from choosing to use a more eco-friendly alternative, to taking responsibility for our own carbon footprints. As individuals, we can ensure that our actions have a more positive impact, and in this blog post, we’ve identified some of those actions that we can all be a bit more mindful of.
Walking to the shop, cycling to work and skipping on an unnecessary car journey are all simple ways to reduce our carbon footprints. Public transport offers us a more eco friendly option when we have to get from one place to another and offering to share the ride can also mean sharing the cost! Again, it’s all about being aware of the consequences of our actions, and that our actions do indeed have consequences.
A great change to make would be switching to an electric provider that generates renewable energy, or even by generating solar power yourself. As for water use, it’s all about only using what you need and not wasting what you don’t… You know - taking shorter showers, only half-filling the washing up bowl and washing your clothes less frequently.
At this point, we’re all already recycling (right?!) but it’s important to remember some of the other R’s too… REFUSE any single use plastic, REDUCE any unnecessary purchasing, REUSE what you already have and REPURPOSE what you don’t need any more. From old clothes into new kitchen cloths and from old towels into new tea towels for example!
Then there’s the matter of food waste, which amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes globally every year! Sending food waste to land fill causes it to decompose in a way that emits harmful greenhouse gasses including methane, and is also a waste of all of the land, water and energy used in it’s production, transportation and storage. What was once a very popular practise but is now often forgotten, home composting provides the answer here, and also provides nutrients back into the land and into people’s back gardens.
Provide a safe space for nature by allowing a wild area to grow when mowing the grass, help with the declining number of bees by planting pollinator friendly flowers and reduce your carbon footprint by growing your own veg! What better way to give back to the planet?? Alternatives include window boxes, allotments and house plants to purify air around the home.
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Go For Organic Fruit & Veg!
In fact, just eat more fruit and veg full stop! If you avoid eating animal products, you can reduce demand for deforestation, cut your carbon footprint in half and require much less land, water and resources to feed!
But why go for organic? Well, organic farming uses only natural fertilisers, not synthetic petroleum based fertilisers that can lead to chemical contamination of water ways, wildlife and marine life. Organic food also requires less energy, results in higher soil fertility and does not use synthetic herbicides and pesticides that have been linked to a decline in pollinator numbers.
Buy Second Hand Stuff, Locally!
Not just a money saving tip, buying second hand is actually a great thing to do for the planet! For example, buying a second hand pair of blue jeans can save as much as 1,800 gallons of water, the amount of water that it takes to make a brand new pair of blue jeans. It’s even more of a reason to shop at charity shops and makes a lot of sense considering the rise in vintage fashion and change in attitude towards fast-fashion. Some brands are even starting to use recycled textiles, which can require only 3% the energy required to make it new!
Websites like Ebay and the mobile app Depop, have made it easier than ever to buy and sell second hand. However, it is important to bare in mind the energy needed for the postage and packaging process. Shopping locally is definitely the way to go whenever possible and this of course isn’t limited to just second hand clothing - we’re talking anything from furniture to tech, which Facebook Marketplace can be fantastic for!