Earth Day 2017 was on Saturday…and I have a confession to make. I knew and did nothing in any way to support or mark it. If you’ve not heard about Earth Day, it is an annual event held on 22nd April to push for policy changes and to encourage people to be more environmentally aware.
I find it funny that I let it slip past without even acknowledging it as looking after this earth, this planet we call home, is something that really matters to me. We only have one planet (okay some day we may find somewhere among the stars yet for now this is it) and it doesn’t feel like we give it the respect it deserves. From the big actions of governments and corporations to the small actions of individuals, every single one counts to the welfare of our home. And to me, the balance of these actions is sitting way over in the negative at the moment.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am by no means perfect and know that there is so much I could still do to make a difference. I do try though to make a difference no matter how small that difference appears to be as I am a firm believer in the small adding up to the big. The Earth provides us with a home, with what we need to breathe and live, with beauty and wonder ~ the least we could do is try to help it out rather than take it for granted.
Here are the 5 ways in which I take small steps to reduce my impact on my Earth.
1. Reducing ~ ever since I went travelling on our Our Big Adventure, my attitude to having stuff has changed dramatically. Returning home to all our belongings felt like we were suddenly drowning, weighted down by it all. Why on earth did we have so much? Now I think carefully before buying anything ~ do I really want it? is it portable? is it well made and will it last? (the buy cheap and throwaway culture is real pet hate of mine). I have cut down what I own, being very careful about what happens to the stuff I no longer want. Which brings me on to….
2. Reusing ~ I try and reuse everything I can as much as I can. I sew holes up in socks and other clothing (badly but it is the effort that counts surely?!), use boxes from internet orders for storing things rather than adding to the stuff I own by buying ‘special’ storage boxes and have reusable food containers, drinks bottle and shopping bags.
3. Recycling ~ now as much as I try to reduce and reuse, some things do have to have to be got rid of. So if I can recycle in any way, I do. I pass clothes and household things on to a charity shop or sell them so they can be reused by others. If something can be recycled either kerbside or at the dump, well it is (I am known to take bottles and receipts home with me so I can recycle them if I am out and about!).
4. Eating a plant based diet ~ I have recently adopted a plant based diet, partly for animal welfare and partly for health reasons. What I didn’t realise though was the environmental benefit to it too. Eating a plant based diet uses less water, land and energy, produces much less CO2 emissions and methane as well as resulting in less pollution. If this isn’t for you though, try having a meat or dairy free day or meal once a week. Every small action makes a difference remember! If you are interested, a good place to start for inspiration or advice is Veganuary.
5. Looking after my environment ~ or maybe a better heading would be ‘general things I do that didn’t fit elsewhere’. I pick up litter on my walks as much as possible, if I remember I take a bag with me and sadly often fill it. Lights go off in unused rooms as does the heating and I’ll wear a jumper rather than turn the heating up. I used to walk places if I could and still prefer too though though that is a little more tricky now I live in the middle of nowhere!
So these are the small ways I try to make a difference ~ I would love to hear your tips and actions you do to help look after this rather splendid planet of ours. Thanks for reading 🙂