5 Small Things I'm Doing to Be More Eco
To my shame, I’ve never prioritised the environment. What a dick, eh? There’s no excuse and the only explanation I can offer is, well, life. Kids, work, and all the other stuff seem to get higher spots than the environment on the priority list. It’s not that I didn’t care or even didn’t think about it - I’d feel guilt every time I jumped in the car to go to the shop that was a seven minute walk away - it was just that I could always convince myself of a million reasons why I ‘needed’ to use the car.
Here’s the thing: I was being lazy. I was burying my head in the sand, hoping that no one called me out on my shoddy excuse for recycling and my addiction to buying fast fashion. Ironically, I’ve called myself out. I’m not going to save the planet all by myself and, the fact is, our busy lives often do get in the way of all our good intentions. So, I’m starting small because I believe that small steps lead the great things.
I’ve compiled a list of five things that I’ve changed in an instant, by just deciding to try and be better.
1. Pedal Power
I bought a bike. It’s not a very expensive bike. It’s not even a very good bike but it gets me around locally. It means I’m using the car less and less, I don’t have to fanny around parking, it’s good for my ass and its better for the planet. The only downside is fringe-management with a helmet, but I guess that’s a small price to pay.
I’m working REALLY hard of avoiding emotional shopping. I know that, in the past, I’ve bought stuff for the thrill of making the transaction, having something new. It didn’t really matter what that thing was and inevitably it would end up being worn once, or not at all. Now, I’m thinking twice, three times, about everything I buy. If I buy it, I have to know that I’ll want to wear it at least 30 times.
3. Pre Loved
It’s not always possible to buy second hand stuff but with sites like Preloved, Ebay and Timpany’s and a million others it would be a crime to not check before buying new. Buying less ‘new’ stuff collectively will staunch the flow of production meaning that our resources are less stretched. My part in this small, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.
4. Meal Planning
I have been horrified by the amount of uneaten, wasted food that I’ve had to throw away and I’ve realised it’s so easily reduced by meal planning. Each week I sit down and figure out who’s in for dinner and who’s not and then plan the meals. I now buy what I need and tend to get the fresh ingredients on the day from the gazillion grocers on the high street. I know I’m late to the meal planning party but I’m a total convert.
This is a big one and one that can actually have a pretty big impact because, when you start thinking about it, it’s astonishing how much plastic we use unnecessarily. I’ll never buy water in a plastic bottle again and I’ve stopped putting loose veg in plastic bags at the supermarket. I’ve reduced all the plastic shit I used to buy for the kids and I’ve started being really strict on separating my recycling properly.
I’m ashamed to admit that I’m probably the last person on earth making these changes and committing to them but just in case I’m not, just in case there are a few of you out there who haven’t had a chance to prioritise it or feel overwhelmed by it, then these five things are pretty easy to start doing.