The climate crisis is scary, the more I read and learn about it, the more depressed I sometimes feel. I can even feel overwhelmed and useless, that it’s too late to change, and I don’t think I’m the only one.
BUT IT’S NOT TOO LATE!
There is so much we can do, and you don’t have to do it all, just works best for you, and your family.
Make your voice heard.
‘Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly’.Mahatma Gandhi
Democracy at work
Your MP’s job is to represent your concerns in Parliament.
Email your MP and ask them what their stance is on climate change and the environment , tell them your concerns and ask them what you want them to do, tell them that you want a reply – pester them. Work with your MP is a great website.
Join campaigns, they are about taking people on a journey, engaging them in conversation and making them think about what they’re doing.
Petitions had been around for almost as long as parliament has, they were the origin of legislation, and were a way of saying ‘fix this’. They are a way of informing politicians and decision makers. In the UK, if a petition gets over 100,000 signatures, the House of Commons is expected to debate the issue. Research those that you feel passionate about and if you agree with what they’re saying, sign them.
Protests give people the strength to voice their concerns and the confidence to take action rather than remain silent. Protests allow people to show the world their opinions. If you feel comfortable to join a peaceful protest, it’s a great way to make your voice heard.
Money speaks volumes
If you decide the you don’t want to use a certain product/bank anymore because you don’t agree with their environmental or ethical policies, don’t just stop, email the company and let them know why you will no longer be using their products.
Family and friends
Talk to your family and friends about your worries and let them know what you’re doing to make a difference, but don’t preach, people will just get bored. You need to engage with them over issues that they’re passionate about, and suggest things that they can do.
If you have children, you can contact their school and ask them what they are doing to tackle the levels of air pollution caused by the dreaded school run and about other issues (plastic and waste).
The five Rs
When I’m out and want to buy something, I use the 5 R‘s:
- REFUSE – Do I really need it? Refuse single use packaging.
- REDUCE – Do I really need it? Reduce the amount of energy I use.
- REUSE – Can I use it again or can I use it for something else?
- RECYCLE – Can I recycle what I’m buying?
- ROT – Can I compost it?
Green tips you can do at home
- Turn off what you don’t need to have switched on.
- Don’t use stand-by, turn off at the socket instead.
- Lower your thermostat by 1 degree.
- Buy local and seasonal foods.
- Reduce the amount of meat you eat.
- Bulk buy, this reduces the amount of packaging used and is usually cheaper.
- Buy foods/condiments in glass jars instead of plastic; plastic can only be recycled a few times, whereas the amount of times you can recycle glass is limitless.
- If you’re lucky enough to have a waste free store near you, use them.
- Use shampoo, conditioner, deodorant bars (I’ve struggled with the shampoo bars – apparently there is an adjustment time for your hair, but you also have to find the right one for you.
- Use toothpaste soaps or tabs.
- Use bamboo toothbrushes.
- Use a safety razor.
Cleaning the house
- Use cloth sponges.
- Use plant based cleaners.
- Or make your own cleaners.
- Washing your clothes on a low temperature or Eco setting with liquid detergent as it doesn’t cause clothes to release as many micro plastics.
- Or use an Eco Egg to wash your clothes with.
- Or you can make your own laundry and fabric conditioner.
- Try and buy second hand clothes or natural clothes such as cotton, linen, wool as they don’t produce micro plastics when washed.
- I’m in the process of using some old (light fabric) clothes to make simple and small bags so that I can use them in the supermarket for loose fruit and veg (instead of plastic bags).
- Swap clingfilm for bees wax wraps – either buy them or make your own.