Saturday, January 12, 2019

Small steps

Like many I am fascinated by Planet Earth style programs. Watching a pod of dolphins frolick or snow leopards in the wild, they have me in awe. Wildlife safaris for real, shows about once in a lifetime sightings of snow leopards, things we wouldn’t naturally see in our everyday life, these things are my things. 

Last year the environmental news was either rhetoric that global warning is fake news or the many ways in which global warming was manifesting on our fragile planet. I’m a firm seat owner on the ‘it’s real and we should be very afraid’ bandwagon and big on how small changes can have large impacts. The buzz on how we should use less plastic straws and toothbrushes and plastic bags - my take is that every little helps. While there is lots of ‘plastic island in the ocean’ or ‘our fish are made of plastic’ type of scaremongering there is one view that it’s all a crapshoot at this point. 

Who knows how much of a crapshoot it is? No one does, is my firm answer. Figures can be manipulated and pictures are the same - they only tell one side of any story. However, for a few years now, my philosophy has been to minimise my own effects as far as possible. Who knows if every drop makes the ocean etc? And so I do a few very small things very consistently and which may have only a negligible effect:
  1. I only ever use my own take away cup for coffee/ tea if I’m getting a takeaway. If I don’t have my own cup I will not buy a coffee outside but skip it. Helps to not drink as much coffee/ tea as I normally would. Same for water. Always carry my own bottle and never buy plastic bottles. 
  2. I will only use my own reusable bag(s) to shop. Again, if I don’t have it with me I won’t buy anything. This greatly helps the ‘reduce’ in purchasing impulsively.
  3. Try and use local producers and buy package free produce when I can - this is harder said than done especially here but I’ve managed to find milk, greens, fruit all with low carbon footprints, recyclable or compostable packaging, minimal transportation required. 
  4. Stopped the use of cling film to cover anything/ store stuff. Reshaped my kitchen habits quite a bit. 

There are still many many areas where our household can improve. We are trying - lots of discussion about ‘waste not, want not’, ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ - all to influence our own wastefulness and our Kid to grow into a more conscientious individual. We are better at some things than others but aiming for greater consistency this year. I try and read and keep informed of what the various environmental impact areas are in our daily lives and see what could work for us. It’s often quite hard and I fail miserably in many areas but it is not for lack of trying. In the face of unending marketing  and consumerism it’s very hard to make good choices and it’s definitely an uphill and often unpopular battle. No idea what the effect might be and if ever anyone alive today will actually see the benefits but I can safely see it calms me to know that I didn’t give up trying. All advice welcome.

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