Whilst this past years’ lockdowns have done much to reduce the amount of air pollution we are producing, things like our plastic consumption and PPE littering have greatly increased. Looking after the planet might not have been at the forefront of everyone’s minds recently, but it’s still something that we need to give focus to – especially when there are lots of small things we can do to easily help.
It is important that we know the steps we can take to ensure the environment remains clean, safe and healthy. Even the smallest change can have a great impact if everyone takes part. Here are some of our ideas:
Reduce your waste
Whether it’s food or household products, every product we buy has an environmental footprint and could end up in landfill.
The impact of plastic pollution on our oceans is becoming increasingly clear. Recycling what we can, reduces the number of new materials we are making, and upcycling is a creative way to make old items into something more valuable. This could be reusing a jam jar as a candle holder or using old tins or glasses as plant pots – the possibilities are endless!
And it’s not just the products we buy. It’s estimated that a third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted. Try to waste as little as possible, and make sure to compost what you can’t eat.
Food production not only contributes to excessive waste but is also a major driver of wildlife extinction. What we eat contributes around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions and is responsible for almost 60% of global biodiversity loss.
Reducing the carbon footprint of your food is also something to think about. Easy ways to do this include eating locally sourced food, buying from farmer’s markets, even just buying food that is in season and was grown in the UK rather than flown in from warmer climates.
Meat-free Mondays are also a great way to reduce your negative environmental impact. Not only that but cutting down on meat and dairy products can reduce your weekly food bills. And who wouldn’t want a bit of extra spending money?
Find ways to donate or support
There are lots of ways to give. Many charities rely on donations of clothing or products that they can then sell to raise money or of products that can help support the cause they are championing. There are also foundations set up to tackle all aspects of climate change: from restoring nature to tackling the food system and climate change, you will find one you want to support, whether that’s by donating time, money or lending your support virtually.
Perhaps you could set up a Facebook birthday fundraiser this year? It’s a great way to get friends and family involved as well.
Use your voice
Last but not least, speak up! Gen-Z is the most vocal about the impacts of climate change, which is great. Speaking up is one of the most powerful things you can do especially if it’s to the right people. You could write to your MP and tell them to commit to action to protect our natural world.
You could also use social media – this is one of the most effective ways to get brands to listen to you, so tell them that you want a change. It’s not just about speaking to the people in charge. Talk to your friends, neighbours and colleagues and get them to make positive changes too. Together we can make a change.