Since getting Crowley, I’ve noticed by taking him on walks, how badly treated our planet is. We take it for granted every single day by doing really silly things that can be avoided. We put dogs, cats, local wildlife and ourselves at risk by littering, being careless about how and what we throw away and how we use the resources that are at our finger tips. My parents thankfully taught me how to keep my environment safe and clean from a young age, and it disheartens me when I see things like rubbish being left on the floor at the beach, or yet another heap of food going to waste because we didn’t eat it before it went rotten. So how can we change things? How can we clean up the environment and make it safe again? Here are 7 really easy ways I’ve been taught that help keep the environment clean and safe for everyone, including dogs.
This is one of the easiest things to do these days! If you take a walk anywhere, you’ll notice that public bins have a general waste section, and a recycle section. The information on what can and can’t be recycled is at our finger tips. Here’s just a few of the pages I’ve found in regards to what can and can’t be recycled: What Can I Recycle? Where and How To Recycle Not All Plastic Is Recyclable. From government websites to posts with general information about the subject, they’re everywhere. By law, businesses that use any form of packaging, that a certain portion of it must be recycled. This is because it encourages employees and customers to recycle and keep our environment clean and fresh. An example of a company doing this is… wait for it… Lush! Lush have had a recycling scheme for years, and because of their relentless efforts in getting customers to return their black pots clean and empty to their local stores (with the reward of a free face mask), they’ve not made a brand new black pot since 2007. 10 years worth of black pots have been recycled, and think of how much material and pollution it would have caused to make more of those pots if it weren’t for the recycling scheme. Recycling helps reduce the production of a product by reusing what we already have. Why would you want to make more, when we can just reuse? We don’t have to be greedy with what we use to live a full life.
2) Pick up your rubbish!!
This is one of my biggest pet peeves! Walking Crowley is a chore in itself due to him being a curious little pup and attempting to eat EVERYTHING he sees. So when I see him attempting to eat a discarded cigarette butt, or some chewing gum squished into the floor, my heart races and I think ‘this could kill him’ and panic. Thankfully, he’s fairly robust at the moment. But we’ve resulted in taking him to ‘clean’ and newer places that have far less dogs for him to socialise with, all because we don’t trust the hygiene of our local parks or beaches. We have bins literally everywhere. I don’t see why people can’t just put their cigarette butts in the designated place for them on top of the bins. Why throw crisp packets and bottle tops into the grass when there’s a bin two feet away from you? It’s lazy, dangerous and it’s so avoidable. If you see any rubbish near you, pick it up and put it in the bin. We have to start looking after the environment and everyone and everything that lives on this planet. There are many stories of people picking up the rubbish from beaches (a friend of mine did it and got noticed by a newspaper) just because they felt they had to. It’s not just the bin mens job to sort out rubbish, it’s our job too. Have a read of my friend’s story here.
3) DIY and Up-cycle!
The amount of things you can create when you up-cycle are extraordinary. You’ll even find yourself surprised when you create a beautiful piece of furniture without spending any money. DIY is a huge ‘in-thing’ at the moment, so there’s no better way of getting stuck in with one of the latest trends and helping your wallet and environment at the same time. One of my favourite people to look up to when it comes to DIY and up-cycling is Kirstie Allsopp. She’s the queen of DIY and making something beautiful out of something plain and old. Kirstie has many shows, books, and articles out there with some fantastic ideas and tips on how you can achieve this with spending little to no money. As sad as it sounds, I have Kirstie’s candle making kit, and it is honestly fantastic! Instead of paraffin wax, Kirstie uses soy wax which is so much better than paraffin. Paraffin gives off toxins which are so, so, so bad for the environment, and usually, that’s what you get when you buy shop bought candles. So not only has Kirstie taught me a bit about alternative products to use when creating my own products, but she also taught me the benefits of DIY and up-cycling not just for myself and my health, but for the environment. Now that’s a role model. You can find some of Kirstie’s idea’s on her website here.
4) Buy local produce!
Local produce is so important. Firstly because, you know exactly where the produce is coming from. You can guarantee that it’s been collected in a humane and safe way (if it’s from animals), plus you know that the money goes towards hard-working people who do their part for the environment. Local farmers or green grocers encourage you to grow your own fruit and vegetables for so many reasons. A) it’s cheaper. B) You’re using the earth you’ve got access to in order to create something sustainable. And C) It’s far better than shipping/driving/ trekking fresh food and produce half way across the country (sometimes even several countries) just so you can have a banging jacket potato one evening after work. If you search the internet, I’m sure you’ll be able to find local markets that sell produce that’s local to you. You might actually fall in love with what you find.
5) Eat less meat!
I’m not just saying this as a vegetarian, eating less meat really does help clean up the environment. Believe it or not, reducing your meat consumption can reduce greenhouse gasses, thus having a huge impact on global warming. So just by having less meat in your diet within a week can have a massive impact on what happens to the environment. Studies from the Oxford Martin School have shown: ‘Adhering to health guidelines on meat consumption could cut global food-related emissions by nearly a third by 2050, the study found, while widespread adoption of a vegetarian diet would bring down emissions by 63%.’ That’s just phenomenal! You’ll also feel more energised and find that working out a lot easier, and your state of mind clearer if you reduce your meat consumption. If you’re interested in where I found some information regarding this, then look no further. You can check it out here.
6) Use eco-friendly things!
Kind of an obvious one here, but using more eco-friendly things really do make a difference. By using sustainable products and creating a more sustainable lifestyle for yourself, this helps reduce pollution and contamination of the natural resources we have like the water we use, the earth we live on and the air we breathe. The smallest things help with the bigger picture and keeping the environment clean and safe for everyone. Not so surprisingly, being eco-friendly is cost-effective and is desirable for anyone that’s looking to save a bit of cash and do their part for the environment.
7) Donate things you no longer need or use!
Instead of fly tipping or dumping things you no longer need or use, try donating them to charities or organisations that reach out and help those that can’t afford simple luxuries that we take for granted. Instead of creating more mess, and a potentially damaging one for wildlife at that, just be generous and look out for your fellow humans that could use whatever it is you’re throwing away. Many charities and organisations take donations willingly, some even give money to you in exchange for your unwanted / outgrown goods. I’m sure you can google any local charities that you’d like to donate to, but here are a few I know of that would gladly take donations, and a little bit of information regarding the donating process and the charities themselves Oxfam, Cancer Research, Emmaus, Clothing Banks. Not only will you be helping someone in need of some extra help, but you’ll also reduce the rubbish which is a huge reason for global warming. Isn’t it great knowing that something you once loved and cherished is going to a new home instead of just becoming an eyesore on the side of a road, rotting away?
So those are just 7 ways you can help keep the environment clean and safe for everyone and everything. It’s such a pain walking Crowley and seeing so much rubbish and discarded bits and bobs that could potentially kill him, just lying around the place. It’s not hard to do your bit for the environment. And I hope you’ll do at least one of the things listed above in the future. I’ll leave you with this beautiful quote which I believe is quite fitting for today’s post. “What I stand for, is what I stand on” – Wendell Berry. So, until next time, do your part to keep the environment clean and safe on your awfully big adventure for me.