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It baffles me when people treat Mother Nature with disrespect. We all have to live on this planet, so it seems obvious that it's our duty to take care of it. Yet supermarkets spew plastic packaging in the most ridiculous ways (plastic wrap for oranges anyone?), people litter left, right, and centre, and the way in which animals are treated is still a huge problem globally.
In the face of these issues, it can be overwhelming to even know where to begin to help the earth heal. But if you are determined not to give up, over time you will find that your individual actions will help massively. Others will hopefully follow your example.
- Reject unnecessary plastic wherever you can. Say no to plastic straws. Buy unpackaged goods from farmer's markets. Get a reusable coffee cup instead of using disposable ones that can't be recycled. It all helps!
- Recycle what you do use. If you have to buy plastic, please take the time to properly recycle it instead of throwing it in rubbish bins.
- It should go without saying, but don't litter! Beaches, countryside, hills, and cities are drowning with rubbish - all because we can't be bothered to find a bin or take it home with us! That plastic bottle you assumed the council would clean up will probably pollute the ocean forever.
- Clean up whenever you can. Whether it's participating in an official beach clean or simply taking a rubbish bag with you on walks, if you pick up some of other people's rubbish that you find, you will enjoy better, cleaner walks in the future.
- If you can afford it, do a little research and buy clothes from ethical clothing companies who manufacture their products responsibly.
- Find an environmental cause you really care about and petition local authorities to support that cause, whether it be stricter legislation on fox hunting or increasing funding to small environmental charities and climate change research.
- Take public transportation, cycle, or walk wherever possible, or (if you can afford it) switch to a hybrid vehicle. Petrol and diesel cars cause lasting damage to our climate, and driving less is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, if you walk or cycle to more places, you will help keep yourself fit, too!
- Switch to a renewable energy supplier to reduce your bills and carbon footprint at the same time. You can find some great deals online, so have a snoop around and see what your options are. Also, it's always worth taking care to turn off your gadgets when you're not using them so they don't sneakily sap energy.
- Think: do I really need to do this? If it's winter, do you really need the heating on all day, or will a few blankets or a hot water bottle suffice? If it's summer, why not air out your home by opening a few windows instead of using electric fans to cool down? If you have clothes to dry, can you air them outside instead of using a tumble dryer? If we are all more conscious of our actions and their consequences, the world will be a much better place.
- Pay attention to the small things. Getting married? Make sure your confetti is biodegradable. Want a cuppa? Check your teabags don't contain plastic. Enjoy your skincare ritual? Pick products that don't contain harmful microbeads. Taking care of the small stuff can make a huge difference to the environment, so don't underestimate the good you can do.