September Green Things – a Regrouping

Its really hard to know what to do for the best. I started writing this blog as a way of holding myself accountable – making sure I planned and made changes to our lifestyle in order to reduce our carbon and ecological footprint. It was a way of feeling like I had some control and could make a difference and hopefully gather some ‘friends’ along the way.

But I have to say I’m feeling a little despondent. The Pandemic has distracted my focus and I am slipping into lazy, unconscious habits. The convenience food, the drink and snack on the go……….the car. Looking around me there seems to be a bit of a fog descending.

Climate change and its effects is hitting the news more frequently: Extinction Rebellion protesting at press reporting of climate change and impeding the printing presses; the follow up ‘War on Plastic’ programme and this week the ‘Extinction’ programme with David Attenborough on the BBC; WWF report on wildlife; the extensive wildfires in California, the Amazon Rainforest and Siberia; and the first recommendations to government from the citizen’s assembly on climate change.

The message is loud and clear we need to change our lifestyles. Start now and improve our efforts as we go. We only have one planet and we are currently trashing it. All of us. But it all feels a little overwhelming and has squashed me flat. I need to shake myself up a bit and get back on track.

Action is the antidote to malaise.

So, however small, I need to take action.

Often there is resistance to changing how we do stuff: our lack of time, too much effort required or money – the economy – business. Money is the short cut to having to give up a bit of time or put some effort in.

Our judgement in the western world is you can have it if you can afford it; and even if you can’t afford with real money in the bank you can borrow money and still have it now. We need to put our money to better use.

The reality needs to be that money is no longer the driving force. We can’t survive on planet Earth without all the plants, birds, bees, bugs and beasts surviving with us. I have to stop buying easy stuff that is hurting the planet. I can’t buy a new Rhino or elephant or hedgehog. If they go extinct no amount of money can bring them back – ever.

So rather than giving up because all this is too hard and too depressing I need to double my efforts and find new things to change, things to join in with.

The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer –

I don’t know who said that but it’s absolutely true here!

Here are some things to support this month:

Oxfam – second hand September

Support Oxfam Second Hand September – make a pledge to buy no new clothes for 30 days

Soil Association – Organic September

There are many blocks to buying organic fruit and veg: price, plastic packaging and availability to name a few. If buying Organic isn’t for you – try visiting you local farm shop or market stall, or try a veg box scheme. You will find local and seasonal produce with a much lower carbon footprint than is available in the supermarket.

September Beach Clean

If you are venturing to the coast in the next couple of weeks and like joining in with other like minded people sign up to help with a Beach Clean. The Pandemic is clearly affecting everyone’s ability to travel and gather in groups but this is something you can do with your family, outdoors and is a great way to bring the scale of plastic pollution into clear focus.

The Marine Conservation Society has beach cleans throughout the year so if you can’t join in in September register as a volunteer on the Beachwatch website and find out what you could do on your next trip to the beach.

A Challenge

Research your local zero waste shop, stalk them on Facebook, ask your friends if they shop there, go in and say hi. Work out what you buy regularly that you could buy from them. This may seem obvious but to reduce the plastic you buy you, got to shop in a different place. If found myself for ages going back to the supermarket each week and going ‘oh they don’t do this without the plastic wrapper’. So the thought occurred to me I have to see if a different shop does it without the wrapper……….

Good luck this week. xx

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