We recently saw the Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) take part in Glasgow, where members of the EU and other supporting countries gathered to talk about how to tackle the oncoming ecological crisis.
Climate Change has been at the forefront of most political conversations over the past decades. With activists such as Greta Thunberg becoming an important global influencer, the actions of our nations are beginning to be held under greater scrutiny, and most people are starting to demand more accountability for those who are damaging our planet.
But what about our responsibilities as individuals?
It is very easy to watch these global events and hear the conversations while being blind to our own unsustainable lifestyles. So what changes can we ourselves make to have a positive impact on our planet? Even small adjustments can accumulate over time and help make a real difference to the health of the environment.
Things We Can Do
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Long gone is the ‘make do and mend’ attitude of our grandparents. These days we are lucky enough to be living in societies where anything you could possibly wish for is just a click away, and cheap enough that it is easier to throw away broken items instead of to replace the faulty parts.
But what is that doing to our planet?
Give yourself the challenge of keeping everything as sustainable as possible, and reuse and recycle whenever you can.
Clean Your Home
We are a nation of cleaners! If you go to any supermarket you will see row after row of cleaning products for every minute aspect of your life.
But have you ever looked at what is inside these plastic bottles? Or given any thought to where those chemicals end up?
There are hundreds of old wives tales and methods of cleaning that many would disregard as pointless. But did you know, many of these methods actually work!
And while most attention is focused on what countries and corporations can do to help the environment, taking a few simple steps around the home can help you make a big difference too.
Moving onto your toiletries – how many bottles of product do you have in your bathroom? If you have a family with girls, how many shampoos do you own for all your various hair types?
With the growing understanding of harmful plastics and unnecessary products, there has been an influx in recent years of ecological alternatives such as the shampoo bar; a plastic-free bar of shampoo.
Perhaps you could swap some of your own products to a greener alternative?
Eating Less Meat
As the options for meat-free alternatives are becoming more and more popular, so has the growing social divide between the herbivores and the carnivores.
There is however, no denying that the meat industry is a major contributor to the planet’s failing ecosystem. So even if you aren’t quite ready to give up your bacon sandwiches, have you ever considered cutting back on the amount of meat you consume?
Or have you thought about becoming vegetarian, or even vegan? It’s not as hard as you may think. For example, this A-Z guide gives you a rundown of some common foods and ingredients that will help you make the change.
When you think about it, nature has done a fantastic job of preserving our fruits and vegetables in peelable skins, so why cover them in plastic wrapping?
Buying loose from local, independent sources not only illustrates the pointlessness of many single-use plastics, but also helps to support your local, organic farming industries. So why not have a look online to see if there is a weigh and save shop near you?
And shopping better doesn’t just apply to your food shop. Going back to that ‘make do and mend’ culture, do you really need to throw out that torn shirt? Or could you fix it, reinvent it, or repurpose it into something else?
It is a given that our vehicle emissions are destroying the planet. And while it is unrealistic to expect us all to give up our vehicles in favour of public transport, biking, or walking, do you really need the car to do the school run, or to pop to the shops for a loaf of bread?
Making a conscious decision to only drive when necessary is a great way to start living a greener lifestyle.
And now, with the rebirth of the electric car and more charging points being installed up and down the country, our journey into sustainable transportation is beginning to take shape.
Have you considered if going electric is an option for you? In recent years, developments in electric vehicle technology – such as vastly improving the distances they can travel before needing a recharge – have made electric cars a more practical option than ever.
Give Back To Nature
We have spent generations taking what nature has to offer, even when it shouldn’t have been ours to take. Now you may wish to consider doing what you can to give back.
Plant a tree, scatter wildflower seeds, create a bug hotel, or volunteer to pick up litter in your local area. You can now even opt to turn your ashes into a tree after you die!
We only have one planet. Let’s help ensure it is still here for generations to come.