In honour of the start of Earth Month, everyone has been asking me about the action we can take as everyday consumers to reduce the impact we have on our climate. I have personally been on a journey for the last four years, really taking a long hard look at my activities on a day to day basis in my home and businesses. The greatest thing I am learning is that action begins at home, with the way we live, the things we eat and how we choose to lead our lifestyles.
Some very basic and simple things that can start to make a change, filtering your own water, whilst expensive in the first instance, filtering and purifying our own tap water, has a huge impact on the resources and energy that goes into processing, packing and delivering bottled water!
Next up have your home powered by renewable energy, now more than ever, there are more providers in the market who provide 100% renewable energy at often competitive prices, and the more we as consumers adopt this the more we can drive down the overall price of renewable power! Now I understand we are in a Fuel Poverty crisis, however, considering the rising cost of power, it only makes sense for us to support renewable power to create a stable long term source of energy for our economy. Switching used to be easy (especially in the UK) however it may not be the most affordable option for many people right now, so I would suggest, if you can afford to switch do so and before you know it, your home could be running on Renewable power in its entirety.
Do you live in your own home, can you start collecting your own rainwater? Even if its for the basics like watering your Garden, this can make a huge difference at the height of the hot season, (which we are seeing more and more of in Europe) where its usually challenging for water companies to secure water supplies let alone make sure this is reaching every home! I for one have started collecting rainwater through out the year and am now looking into how I can retrofit my home to utilise this rainwater, at-least for things like flushing toilets etc!
When it comes to how we eat, there is no doubt that plant based eating makes a difference! We already know the impacts of meat not only on our health but also on the environment. But it wasn’t till I really lived the Plant based life (especially in the UK) that I learnt how detrimental it could be too! Lets face it, in England most of our fresh produce comes from continental Europe or further a field. Unless you are buying from the likes of Able and Cole or more premium boxed deliveries (which by the way I use and have to say I absolutely LOVE!) which can guarantee produce solely comes from England, most of the produce at the large retail supermarkets comes from Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. So whilst it feels great to be plant based, I for one often find myself in a moral dilemma of how eco-friendly my plant based diet is in the UK. Not to mention that the push for premium plant based elements like avocados is driving the destruction of untouched habitats in parts of Africa and Central America to make way for large scale farms, is plant based eating really helping? My new motto with my diet, is to remain plant-based but my first criteria is always HOW FAR HAS MY FOOD HAD TO TRAVEL? So on that note something else you can do – GROW YOUR OWN VEG! Now I get it, it isn’t the easiest thing to do, but more and more people everyday whether they live in apartments or houses with Gardens, are starting to grown their own salads, and basic veg staples which can go a long way to reducing the impact of our diets on the planet, not to mention it’s a great skill to have, growing your own veg (I am looking forward to big harvest this summer and I live in a sub-urban home on the outskirts of London, so it isn’t like I have acres and acres of space! ).
Next up, BUY LOCAL! The less miles your consumables have travelled the more beneficial it is for the planet! This isn’t the easiest thing to do in a Globalised world but in all honesty supporting your more local businesses can make a difference in slowing down your own impact on climate change. This also means those holidays you take in a year, can one of those be local? The allure of abroad often means we never look at what joy and memories we can create in our own home turf. I for one always was first to look further ashore for my holidays but since the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 I have explore so much more of England and Wales in my (Hybrid – soon to be Electric vehicle) significantly reducing my carbon emissions from flights!
If you fancy yourself a nature lover and have Garden consider creating more space of creatures. Its no secret that as we increase in populations the space of wildlife is fast diminishing! So simple acts that we can take is making our Gardens more wildlife friendly? Planting more bee friendly flowers, maybe getting a pond to support more dragon flies, installing a few more bird boxes in trees! It all helps. One of the greatest pleasures of lockdown for me has been watching how many MORE birds and bees I have had in my garden as a result of more efforts made on my part of create habitats to attract them!
I could wax-lyrical for days on the changes we need to make as consumers, from growing our own fruit and vegetables, to harvesting our own rainwater, buying renewable power for the last 5 years, meticulously sorting my waste and using specialist waste managers to recycle it, composting at home, buying bio-degradable, compostable and recyclable products as much as possible, creating space for wildlife in my Garden, sourcing at home aquaponics system (a food production system that couples aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish, crayfish, snails or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) whereby the nutrient rich aquaculture water is fed to hydroponic grown plant) so I can have fresh fish for my family at some point in the future (yes you see plant-based isn’t always the answer!), taking a keen interest in buying good and products from companies that have the very best eco-credentials, whose products also serve a social purpose.