The world should be our friend as it homes us. Would you be disrespectful, cruel, intentionally hurt your friend? No, of course you wouldn’t so why are we doing that to Earth?
In the UK, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week coming soon in May and this year’s theme is Nature. With everyone across the world being locked down in their home or otherwise, it makes sense for this year’s theme to be nature and to appreciate nature, get out in it, add to it and protect it and give it the love that it deserves and needs. So, what have I done to help?
1. Consciously not over using electricity or water. Now, this is likely because I am tight ass and don’t want to spend more money than what I need to but I often think about my carbon footprint – which you will see in my other points – and this is an easy think to do. I always turn off from the plug and unplug appliances when not in use. I despise unnatural light so I keep lights off as long as possible when it’s Winter and when I do turn the light on, I make sure I each energy efficient light bulbs. I wet my toothbrush only twice, once when putting the toothpaste on and again when spitting it out. There is no need at all to have the tap running the whole time… literal waste. Making a coffee? Want a second? Make 2 with the same water from the same boil. Once you’ve done with the hot one you’ve a nice cool one to savour after. Any water in the kettle after, you can use that to sack your dishes in so you’re not wasting water when you go to wash up. Don’t use the dryer on your washing machine – not only does it make your clothes hard to iron and sometimes smell a little? Like hot smells…? – there is also no need for a quick dry on clothes, the key is preparation if you’re needing clothes, put that beautiful brain of yours in force.
2. Don’t waste food. I used to waste food like there was no tomorrow until I realised that there really won’t be a tomorrow if I carry on. I like my food fresh – at least when it comes to fruit and veg – but I found I was throwing food away so soon after I bought it and, again wasting money which I do not like doing. I started buying frozen veg when it wasn’t the veg that I ate everyday and for the salad types of veg, I ‘served’ them up as soon as I used them and portioned them out, ready to eat so I when I was at the shop I wouldn’t think ‘have I got any lettuce left? I don’t know, let me buy some more’ I would know what I had in – I also checked before I went shopping but again that’s probably me just not wanting to waste money. If you’re making a big meal, don’t over portion your good because you can, save it and eat it again the next day. Those plastic containers from your Chinese / Indian / kebab takeout? Save them! Re-using plastic is important and so that’s a win win situation and you’ve got food then for the next day and if you’re also lazy like me often, no cooking required! Something that I would also recommend is ‘HelloFresh’ which is a company in the UK that allows you to order your meals online, giving you ONLY what you need to make the meal that you’ve asked for, for the people you have in your household. The packaging is eco friendly and it saves you wasting food and gives you a nice routine at home.
3. Plastic. I mention re-using plastic containers above, this is the same for plastic bags. Actually, I don’t have many plastics bags as I buy canvas bags or use a rucksack if I’m shopping and I would recommend others doing this too. Also, plastic bags costs in the UK now and again, this is probably me not wanting to spend money when I don’t need to, but I don’t want to spend an extra 10, 20, 90 pence on a bag that I don’t need, that I will likely throw away when I get home (as a side note RECYCLE – this should be a main topic but this should go without saying…) Bring a bag to the shop. Have a bag in each large bag you have, have a plastic bag in each of your coats, in your car, in your bike bag whatever, just make sure you have something to carry things in before you go out and buy things that need something for you to carry them in.
4. Buy smart. I always buy from charity shops if I can. 1, it gives to charity and 2, it’s cheap! It also saves packing and mass production and funding that industry. Also, if you have anything that you don’t want or wear / use / need, give it to the charity shops. They are a staple in the UK high street so give and you shall receive. I would also say avoid ordering online (very hard at the minute I know but try at least) as this not only uses plastic packaging a lot of the time but also means a van will be picking it up and dropping it off adding dirty fumes to mother earth. Also – side note again – I would say try and shop at those independent and eco friendly places, there’s a lot of them out there at the minute and a lot of small business not only need your business but also often contribute to lower carbon footprints.
5. Walk. Or get public transport or carpool etc but also think ‘can I walk it?’. Again, this comes down to me being cheap and not wanting to spend money on taxi’s or even trains or buses but I also don’t drive because I think it’s too expensive as whole and would spend money on life but there you are. Public transport is happening anyway each day so why not use it? There’s no need for your extra fumes from your car if you’re going somewhere you can go by train or bus. If you need to drive to work, pick others up while you’re at it, make the car full and the journey worthwhile – gives you company too which is nice.
There are many ways we can and should help the earth. I have tried eating less meat and even vegan but it’s not worked out too well for me but you need to try these things if you want to help support the earth and to have a future. Educate yourself on what you can and can’t do it, should and shouldn’t do and try it out, if it doesn’t work for you then that’s fine but there are many things you can do to help, big or small. You might be able to find a company or charity that wants volunteers to plant trees or to help litter pick or clean beaches, it could be picking up everyone from work to drive them in or doing Veganuary. Try new things out, why not? Could be fun?