So it seems that our days on this planet are seriously limited by the damage we have already done to our environment. Whilst most of this damage has been done in such a short space of time, regenerating our planet will not be quite as quick or simple!
Often our decisions about how to be more eco-friendly are seriously hampered by a lack of information and sometimes by lack of opportunity! There are some things that we do which just cannot be completely sustainable, no matter how hard we try. Things like air travel, heating our homes and wearing new clothes all have an impact on our planet that we wish it didn’t! But do we have to give these parts of our lives up completely? Often making simple changes to the choices we make can dramatically reduce our environmental footprint. It’s not perfect, but if everybody makes those simple changes then its a good start!
Some Facts & Figures:
Statistically the human race only makes up 0.01% of living things on the planet. And yet our ‘developments’, decisions and lifestyles have had a major impact on our environment. This is what the statistics say:
- Over 80% of wild animals and half of the plants on Earth no longer exist.
- Over 60% of all mammals on this planet are now purposely bred for our food chain.
- Between 70% and 95% of the loss of Arctic Sea ice is ‘man-made’.
- Around 17% of the Amazon Rainforest and 50% of the Great Barrier Reef have been lost in the last 50 years.
- Over 5 trillion plastic bags are produced every year. Laid end to end they can encircle the world 7 times.
- We bin over 7 million tonnes of food each year, more than half of which is perfectly edible. Meanwhile, nearly 15% of people across the world don’t have enough to eat.
- The amount of rubbish we generate in the UK alone is enough to completely fill Lake Windermere in just 8 months.
Setting Sustainable Habits!
Whilst we would love for everyone to be perfect … we know that isn’t possible. That’s why we love the quote “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions doing it imperfectly.” So here is our basic guide to being a Sustainability Imperfectionist!
1. Have A No Car Day
Set aside at least one day a week/fortnight/month (whatever you can do) where you refuse to use your car. Take public transport, cycle or walk to work! If you can’t use alternative transport then what about a car share?
Once you’ve started a habit of doing this … think about how you can double your efforts. If everybody reduced their use of cars by just a small amount just think what that would cumulatively add up to!
2. Go Meat Free
Don’t be afraid! We’re not asking you to become a vegan or vegetarian. But we can significantly reduce our consumption of meat and meat products with some small changes to our lifestyles.
‘Wherever possible, choose vegan alternatives. Anything from soaps and moisturisers to clothing and chocolate. Reducing the demand for animal products in this way will help to limit the impact on the planet.
And what about have a ‘meat free’ day once a week? It will be good for our waistlines as well as the planet!
3. Reduce Household Waste
Did you know that over 1/3 of our food goes to waste every year? A large proportion of this will be in the manufacturing process, but our individual households still contribute a considerable amount to this.
Make a weekly plan of meals and only buy the food that you need. That way you will use all of the contents of your fridge before the ‘sell by date’ goes whizzing by.
And what about those leftovers from the evening meal? Well … a little bit of ‘bubble & squeak’ for lunch tomorrow sounds lovely!
4. ‘No Excuse For Single Use’
Have a quick lifestyle audit! How many times do you use something just once and then throw it away? Take away containers? Plastic straws? Face wipes? Kitchen roll?
The results will probably surprise you. But fear not … there are eco-friendly product alternatives for pretty much everything. Make a small investment to ‘reduce your single-use’. Anything from travel cups and reusable water bottles … to stainless steel straws and washable kitchen towels.
5. Kick the Plastic Habit
Yes we’ve saved the best til last! We all know the impact that single-use plastics have on the environment. But there are many ways we can help!
Cut out unnecessary plastic bottles by switching from shower gel to traditional bars of eco-friendly soap. Take a refillable bottle to the gym. Either reuse old plastic bags to avoid them going to landfill, or invest in a cotton tote bag to take shopping with you.
Whilst it isn’t an ideal solution, recycling is a must. Always check the packaging of products before popping them in the recycling bin. Or maybe only buy products that can be recycled? Perhaps choose goods that are actually made from recycled plastic so that all of those nasty materials are put to a good use.