‘No one is too small to make a difference’
Greta Thunberg is the new environmental kid on the block. She is a Swedish teenager who has sparked a global movement of action against the Climate Crisis. As she says ‘No one is too small to make a difference’.
But we often think that we are incapable of making a difference. Our world is run and governed by huge multi national set ups and it’s sometimes really hard to imagine that the little changes we make can have any impact. However, if we all made small changes it could make an enormous difference.
1 – Use your individual power to make a noise
Although it might feel like change takes a while to happen, the sooner we all make our little changes the sooner the big businesses in the world will have to listen to what we want.
2 – Reduce single use plastic consumption
Plastic should not be demonised, it definitely has a place in our modern world. Many hospital treatments would be much less safe without the use of plastic tubes and bags, but as consumers we should learn to do without the single use plastic. Try not to use a supermarket which only pre-packs its fruit and vegetables in single use film and plastic trays. Where we are in the Dorset, we are fortunate enough to have a greengrocer and local organic farm shops. Take your produce bags into the grocer and fill up with your five a day.
We do two different types of produce bags, both are 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. We have woven bags and also mesh bags. The woven ones are best for small things like nuts and grains, whereas the mesh ones can be used for larger fruit and vegetables. They can also be used to wash your smalls!
We sell alternatives to plastic drinking straws. There’s nothing quite like a cool cocktail drunk from a straw and smoothies and milkshakes definitely taste better. We sell two different sizes of straws, both are reusable stainless steel and we also have a straw cleaning brush to clean them. Thorough cleaning is essential, particularly with smoothies and milkshakes.
3 – Turn your thermostat down
Not only will this reduce your energy bills and save you money, it also means less Co2 is released into the atmosphere. According to research, if you turn your thermostat down by only 1 degree C, you could cut your heating bill by 10% and save around 300kg of Co2. Make sure that your house is well insulated, that doors and windows are closed and maybe buy some draft excluders. Also, get used to your house not feeling like the tropics. You don’t have to walk around a house in a t shirt and shorts in Winter, you could pop an extra sweater on and dig out your slippers.
4 – Eat More Sustainably
That doesn’t just mean switching entirely to a vegan diet, (although having a few meat free days is definitely beneficial to the planet). Some estimates say that one head of cattle in the Amazon needs 3 acres of land to graze. If we revert to eating more seasonal foods which are sourced locally, rather than flown from the other side of the world, we’d be going a long way to reduce carbon emissions. We’ve also forgotten how much food should cost. Our warring supermarkets have driven the cost of food down to levels where some farmers can barely make a living, and we have become used to a chicken costing less than £5.00. Well reared animals and organic vegetables are more expensive, but they have had less impact on our environment, have less chemicals in them and are much better for us.
5 – Reduce Waste
An enormous amount of things that we buy are thrown away. This includes food. We are constantly told to buy buy buy. Buy one get one free offers in supermarkets encourage us to fill our fridges and cupboards with more and more. If we all planned our meals better and bought just what we needed, less food would end up in the bin and less resources would be used to produce the food we actually don’t consume.
6 – Consider your purchases
The textile industry is responsible for an enormous amount of Co2. We are again encouraged to buy more and more, but prices on clothes have been driven down. You have to question why a t shirt is £1.00 in Primark, consider who may have made that item of clothing, what were they paid? What conditions to they work in? The low prices only encourage people to buy more and buy more throwaway clothes. The key word should be sustainability. When you buy anything, don’t simply be seduced by the price, think about how long that item will last, how much you will wear it or use it. Consider the ‘price per wear’. It may initially seem be more expensive, but it has greater value if it lasts longer.
Manufacturers make things which have ‘planned obsolescence’ built into them. I remember when I was little that my Grandad would regularly have a look at a broken toaster or iron and see if he could fix it. This just isn’t possible now. So many appliances are made cheaply and not designed to be mended, they are made to be disposed of and replaced. Our washing machine at home was bought for me by my Aunt when I had my first house about 20 years ago. As a busy active family it gets regular use and it’s still going. It stopped spinning recently, so I asked our local electrical shop Service Appliances to have a look at it, the blades needed replacing. The cost of mending it was the fraction of the