I’m starting a degree in September! Not quite sure how this has ended up happening but I couldn’t be more excited. It’s in Wildlife Conservation which has always been something close to my heart; I recently went back to my first blog posts and noticed I said I wanted to work somewhere like the RSPCA. Considering that was over 6 years ago, I feel confident and happy about where I’m headed and the decision I’ve made. That said, I want to start writing more about the topics I believe are most important. It can be daunting and guilt-tripping when you first learn about these things and everything you should be doing to ‘do your part’, so here’s a post I’ve put together about little steps you can take. Even doing one of these things will make a difference.
Before I get onto the tips – these photos were taken in Leigh Woods, here in Bristol. If you feel you can’t take any of the steps below, just spend more time outside in the nature we need to preserve, and allow yourself to respect it and love it properly. That helps just as much as anything else.
1. Get A Reusable Water Bottle
As we all know, plastic is one of the biggest issues surrounding wildlife and our planet, so this step can be taken for any products that eliminate single-use plastic. A whale recently washed up on the shores of the Philippines with 40 kilos of plastic in its stomach. One of the easiest ways to cut out single-use plastic is to buy a reusable water bottle (if you buy lots of drinks when you’re out and about), but you can also buy more food from markets rather than supermarkets to reduce packaging (which is also great because it supports locals), take your own bag when you go shopping, stop using plastic straws – even in restaurants and bars – and cut down on online shopping.
2. Use A Moon Cup
For those of you who have periods, a simple switching out of tampons and sanitary towels for a Moon Cup (or any silicone cup) is a great move. Yes, it’s plastic, but lasts up to 10 years. They’re not for everyone, but I love mine. There are also reusable cloths which I haven’t tried yet. The amount of waste from sanitary products is very high and so easily prevented. You can also do things like switching out babies’ nappies for reusable cloth ones.
3. Make Diet Changes
Even if it’s a small change or only for one day a week, adjusting your diet to be more vegetarian or vegan is undoubtedly the most impactful lifestyle change you can make. I’ll do a more specific blog post soon about steps to going vegan and how to make it less daunting, because I know it can seem like a huge feat – I promise you, it’s not. 2,400 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of meat, whereas only 25 are required for a pound of wheat. I’d highly recommend watching Cowspiracy if you haven’t already – put it on and try to keep an open mind.
4. Use Less Loo Roll
A tiny thing to keep in mind but if everyone did this, it would make a huge difference. With all of these things, you have to remember that if everybody did them, we’d see improvements. You can’t be disheartened or feel like there’s no point in trying “because you’re just a drop in the ocean”; if everyone thought like that, nothing would ever change.
5. Use A Shower Timer
You can buy these for a few quid in the UK. They stick to the wall and remind you to conserve water and only spend a few minutes in the shower. Simple as that – think of all the extra time you’ll have for doing other stuff!
6. Drive Economically
I feel like this has been said for decades; I remember it being drummed into us at primary school. Share lifts if possible and take public transport if available, and remind your friends and family to do the same. If you’re only travelling a short distance, why not cycle or walk?
7. Make A Conscious Effort To Counteract
This one requires a little more thought and research, but will help you to really engrain good habits. For example, I love to travel, which is horrendously bad for the environment. So, if you choose to fly, perhaps buy carbon offsets or simply make the extra effort to follow one or more of the other tips in this post.
8. Educate Yourself
You’ve already started this one by reading this blog post! This can be anything from online articles to Netflix documentaries to flicking through books. I would recommend Cowspiracy, Chasing Coral, and Blackfish on Netflix – and any of the BBC Nature documentaries, especially more recent ones with extra focus on climate change.
It baffles me that still, not everybody recycles properly. In most places, we’re given the bins and facilities to do it – all you have to do is sort everything into the correct piles and make sure you know what you can/cannot recycle. It really is so simple and once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll do it on autopilot.
10. Make A Pledge
I recently made my own pledge for Earth Hour and it’s made me more conscious already. There are lots of different ones to choose from, and if you don’t know where to start, click here. Let’s all start making these little changes right now; there is no excuse anymore.