You can play your part

crowd protesting against climate policy

Reading about climate change can be really depressing. It’s hard to feel like any of us can do anything meaningful. I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been able to do (even as a busy mum, company director and someone who always has too much going on!).

  1. I’ve changed my shopping habits. I shop each month at the local refill store, the greengrocer and the butcher to reduce both plastic and food miles. I get milk in glass bottles delivered to the door. I get other products from the local supermarket or a quarterly online supermarket shop. It takes some up front preparation to get organised, have refill containers and do meal planners every week. I won’t lie some weeks it doesn’t work out, but mostly it does : )
  2. I’ve ditched fast fashion (mostly). I buy far less clothes than I used to and try to buy from sustainable brands. I have started making my own clothes, as a way to be more considered about what I wear.
  3. I’ve reduced my water use. We have water butts in the garden and I’ve ordered two more, to keep my pots watered in the summer. I only water plants in the flower beds to get them established. After a year they are on their own!
  4. I’m a responsible leader. This is probably where I have most impact. At work (two garden centres) we have replaced oil boilers with air source heat pumps, we are reducing our own peat use, and encouraging customers to switch to peat-free composts. We are protecting wildlife on our sites.
  5. I am weaning myself off Amazon. One day deliveries are amazing, but are terrible for emissions. I now try and buy locally where I can, or at least order things in bundles rather than one by one. I’m now buying hard copies of books from my local book shop, and try to place quarterly orders which they post to me.

So I do more than many people, and of course less than others.

So, what should I try and do moving forward?

  • Eat less meat. This is a tricky one for me. I am already on a low FODMAP diet due to IBS, so beans, lentils and soya are not really an option and make up a large proportion of vegan meals. I am hoping the NERVA app will reduce my sensitivity to these foods, so I just need to commit to doing it every day (it’s only 20 mins, so why is this so HARD?!)
  • Research bigger purchases. In the last couple of years I have bought carpets, mattresses and paint without really considering the environment. I need to put in more effort here to find the eco options. We’ve just decided to recover our sofa rather than buying a new one. It’s just as expensive but it feels right to not chuck it into landfill and there is nothing wrong with the frame.
  • Read this article from The Times20 things you can do right now to stop climate change.

I’d love to know what you are doing, and perhaps what you find challenging? I totally get that sometimes in life we have to put ourselves first, and not worry about the bigger picture. For some people, particularly those with physical or mental health challenges, this extra pressure is just too much and can cause eco-anxiety.

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