10 great ideas that will make a difference
With the start of a New Year and the inevitable endless chatter around individuals, ready to turn over a new leaf and subsequently planning to do this and that. I’ve decided to make my point and turn GREEN.
Granted, we are now coming to the end of the first month of 2019 and here I am just embarking on this new venture and new way of thinking, but like most people out there, I'm busy with life and this just happens to be my only free time to collect my thoughts and write something constructive.
At this time of year, I have a tendency to be rather cautious and generally start to look very carefully before I leap into something. It is just the way I am, although in recent times, it appears everywhere I look, people are making lifestyle changes and are now starting to turn GREEN.
Rather than miss out, I believe it is now time we all got our acts together and started looking at the bigger picture, be proactive and do something worthwhile. With those thoughts in mind, everything I read, see and hear at this moment in time is all pointing towards how we can make a difference, preserve what we have and begin to drive us into making more positive decisions about our daily lives. Ultimately, making decisions that will eventually affect us all.
As a keen writer, I am continually inspired by the natural world, landscapes and the environment found all around me. Using this thought process and the subsequent writing of these outdoor themed blog posts, I am continually looking for new ways and unique opportunities to raise the profile and awareness of these current world issues and global challenges. In turn, I hope to further signpost an individuals overall perception of what is happening all around them and for those who regularly read my blog will understand that I continually make it a matter of importance when encouraging others. After all, the way I see it, we all have the ability and necessity to 'do our bit' in order to help preserve what we have, here on planet earth.
It doesn’t really matter how big or small that change is, but I feel we simply need to stop continually saying we are going to do this and that, and start getting on with things. Indecision is difficult to acknowledge and I personally struggle to accept why people say one thing and then do completely the opposite, or simply nothing at all. I am fully aware, making resolutions and goals for the year ahead can be very difficult, especially when those resolutions often focus around personal growth and individual targets.
When a personal goal often becomes difficult - like reducing your consumption of alcohol, eating less junk food or trying to stay fit. Why not actually abandon the thoughts and intentions behind the personal goal and start thinking about working towards a more collaborative goal? A goal that if it is implemented can actually begin to bring benefits, affect us all and can go a long way to influencing us and the things we do.
In my opinion, protecting and preserving our natural environment is the single most important issue in the world today. It is an issue that ultimately affects every single one of us and it will definitely have an effect on the way we live and the things we do for many generations to come.
As a form of inspiration, I have considered sustainability to be of significant importance to my life and over the next year I would like to offer a variety of different ways I feel would offer a recognisable balance and something that can be achieved and in turn make a small, but significant difference to the way I live my life.
I truly believe that anything is possible and it is very apparent that they are not all major changes. They are simply changes that require a little will power, commitment and then implementation.
After giving it some thought, here are some of those ideas:
1. Take your own bags to the supermarket.
This is a fairly long-standing initiative and one of those obvious things to do. It is something we all need to do on a regular basis, and hopefully limit the amount of waste plastic taken from our supermarkets.
2. Take a reusable coffee cup and go fill it up.
I must admit, I don’t always do this, as I usually drink my coffee in the cafe, using a cup. Although, when the opportunity arises, if I am now going to take my coffee away, then the reusable cup will definitely become my go-to accessory, with many suitable cups now available on the market, there are really no excuses.
3. Avoid printing - be creative instead.
By day, I work as a teacher, and in our profession we have a tendency to print far too much, especially when copying large quantities of worksheets for lessons. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of worksheets and don’t tend to use them that often, but sometimes they are very necessary and avoiding printing is definitely something that should be considered and by doing something like this, it should make a big difference to the bigger picture.
4. Start using bars of soap and shampoo instead of bottles.
I guess this one speaks for itself. Generally, around the kitchen and bathroom sink, when washing our hands. We tend to use antibacterial soap, which is usually housed in plastic bottles. By changing our overall approach it soon should become a fairly obvious thing to implement and by doing so, plastic is reduced.
5. Reduce your meat consumption.
Believe or not the meat industry is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases, that eventually escape into the atmosphere. Not only that, too much meat is not that good for us, so choosing other options is most appealing. We generally choose fish!
6. Buy fresh unpackaged fruit and veg.
Hello Fresh is a very good option. Otherwise frequenting the local grocery store to stock up on fresh items is great, as is the local market at the weekends.
7. Cycle more and more.
Since moving to the Netherlands I have been cycling to work and back for the last 4 years. It is a 52km round trip, every single day. In making a change I save a huge amount of money on travel expenses. I stay fit and I do my bit, not pollute the planet.
8. Recycle too.
Recycling is hugely important and it something we are continually addressing, in order to maximise our recycling potential. Our weekly shop comes from Picnic, which is a home delivery service here in the Netherlands. Not only do they deliver via an electric vehicle. They also insist we recycle the shopping bags and plastic bottles. It is a great initiative and again something so simple and worthwhile.
9. Use Ecosia as your web browser of choice.
Ecosia is a web search engine based in Berlin, Germany, which donates at least 80% of its surplus income to non-profit organisations that focus on reforestation and conservationism. They insist they will plant trees when you hit a certain number of searches on their web browser.
My overall driver behind going GREEN was really due to excessive Plastic misuse and the frustration of so many establishments using far too much plastic. Everywhere I look people are writing articles about this hot topic and it is constantly in the news. As a result, it is a growing global issue and one that I really feel we should all be taking appropriate measure to cut back and hopefully reduce its overall usage.
Hopefully, by following my own advice, things will slowly begin to change and 2019 will not only be a successful year, for myself and my loved ones, but collectively for us all.
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