Let’s face it, more often than not being environmentally friendly is difficult. It is time consuming and sometimes confusing. One minute we are told not to use plastic shopping bags, then the next we are told that the cotton ones we have rushed out and bought thinking we were doing the right thing are in fact damaging to the environment due to the amount of resources they take to produce. We have to use them 1000s of times before they become ‘friendly’. It’s insanely hard to go shopping and not come out with a shopping trolley full of plastic, and sometimes we are just so knackered from life that we take the car instead of walking.
However, all is not lost. The legend that is David Attenborough has bought environmentalism right into peoples homes. It is something that is now actively discussed over breakfast by everyday, normal humans, rather than something we passively watch reported by scientists on the news. Thanks to our modern day saviour, Attenborough, there has been a 54% drop in single use plastics! That is amazing! More people than ever are refilling their bottles and are more conscious about their buying habits. Greta Thunberg has become the voice for a younger generation with huge swathes of teenagers protesting against climate change every Friday, and we have Extinction Rebellion, using non-violent action to make their voices heard. This is all brilliant, a change is happening, it is being demanded.
It got me thinking: it is also the small, everyday changes that can also bring about significant change. Grand, sweeping gestures are, more often than not, difficult to keep up: like the day I decided to go raw vegan – I lasted 2 days before I started cooking. Or the time I decided that the whole family would become plastic free and live like those Instagram folk who can put their entire years worth of trash in a coke bottle!?! I applaud them, but I have no idea how on earth they achieve it. We can’t all go out and buy electric cars, fit solar panels on our roof, and grow all our own veg. So what else can we do? What little things can we incorporate into day to day life that can become a habit?
One of the little things that I adapted years ago was the way I fill my kettle. I drink huge amounts of tea (I am English, after all) I fill my mug with cold water then empty it into the kettle. This way I am using just the right amount of water and not wasting energy by boiling too much. And it saves time when waiting for the kettle to boil and money on your fuel and water bills. I reckon this method must have saved hundreds of litres of water and loads of energy! Imagine what could be spared if one whole street did this in just one day? Or even one whole town?
It is a little thing that has now become habit, so much so that if I see others mindlessly filling the kettle with the tap on full I get a little anxious!
Social media is a powerful tool and I learn a lot from others. It’d be cool if everyone reading this could share the little things that they do everyday to be a little greener, so we can all take each others tips and help each other to save our magnificent, beautiful planet. According to Sir Attenborough, we have 12 years before it is too late. We need to start today.
So, please share your tips and this post: we are all in this together!