5 actions you can take in the run up to World Environment Day
1st June 2022
Every year, 5th June is World Environment Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about what we can do to help protect the environment. It’s celebrated by millions from around the world so let’s not be left out and join in too! The 2022 theme is Only One Earth and focuses on the need to live more sustainability.
You can try these 5 easy actions with your friends, family, or course mates – the more the merrier 😀
Action 1: BYO (bring your own)
Bringing your own tub and cutlery is such a simple thing you can do to help reduce your waste. Reusable containers help to fight pollution, reduce waste, and reduce energy that is normally needed to create new packaging. Many businesses offer incentives to use your own containers too.
- BYO container to campus refectories to get a loyalty stamp and collect for a discount. Plus you’ll save on the 30p charge for using single-use containers!
- If you buy four drinks from Costa with a reusable cup, the 5th drink is free.
- Boston Tea Party is the first café to ban single use cups – you can borrow a cup and return it to get the deposit back or bring your own cup for a 25p discount.
So, bringing your own tub, cutlery and cups will not only help the environment but save you money too!
Action 2: have a regular meat free day
Many of you will have heard about, and maybe even participated in, Meat Free Monday. Having one day where you don’t eat meat can reduce your carbon footprint by 3.6kg EACH day you do it. And it’s estimated that you could save £100-300 every year by going meat free for just one day each week!
I admit that I’m not always successful in my meat free Monday attempts, but I try to have at least one meat free day each week to reduce my food costs and my carbon footprint, and also to help improve my health and lower risk factors associated with diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
If I’m ever stuck for recipe ideas, there are lots of websites and cookbooks with delicious meat free ideas in. Here’s some of my favourites:
- Meat Free Mondays website
- The Hungry Student Vegetarian Cookbook by Charlotte Pike
- The Green Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer
So, after you’ve finished reading this why don’t you get together with friends, families, housemates and partners, and come up with some new and delicious meat free recipes that you want to try?
Action 3: travel smart
It’s not always the easiest option to travel by public transport, especially if you live in a rural area, where if you don’t have a car or willing parents it can be tricky to travel easily. However, that is when you have to be creative and mindful.
Where possible, try to use public transport. Trains and buses are your best friends in cities but, if this isn’t possible, why not try lift sharing as this is a brilliant way to help reduce your carbon footprint and save everyone involved money on fuel and parking.
Is it possible to drive part way then use the bus or the train to complete the rest of your journey? As the saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. So, find your will and see if there is a way!
Action 4: shop mindfully
Do you know what fruits and vegetables are in season now and grown in the UK?
At this time of year asparagus, beetroot, elderflower, new potatoes, and rhubarb are all in season which mean they are fresher, taste better and you should easily be able to find locally-grown products that haven’t had to travel so far to be on your plate.
Next time you’re in the shops have a look where your fruit and veggies are coming from – you may be surprised at some of the places you see. Why not stop by a local farm shop or green grocers to pick up some locally grown fruit and veg. I have found that by doing this I have not only reduced how far my food has travelled but I’ve also saved money as I can buy the amount I need rather than be tied to the size of the pack. I can also bring my own bags, so I reduce the amount of plastic I use. A win-win all round!
Action 5: put the mower away
Some of you may have heard about No Mow May, Plantlife’s campaign for people to put away their lawnmowers for the month of May and let their gardens grow wild for nature. By not mowing your lawn you’ll save yourself time and effort while providing much better habitats for wildlife. It doesn’t have to be the whole lawn you don’t mow, it could be a corner or a section which could be dedicated to providing for local insects, birds and mammals.
If you’re worried about it looking scruffy then you can always mow a boarder or put a lovely sign up making it look more purposeful. You could even mow a mini maze or running tracks into the long grass to provide entertainment. If you want more information the RSPB has an informative guide about best times to mow and not mow.
I hope that you’ll join in the celebrations on 5th June and try some of these ideas. Why not share what actions you take on social media to inspire someone else to try something new!