If like me, your brain was arrested, your stomach sank deep, and your heart needed some resuscitation let me assure you that going by friends, family, hairdresser, baristas & cabbies and of course social media we are by no means alone in our despair.
It feels important that in order to improve, I make some genuine, big personal changes after being so shocked by the results of my personal ambivalence or lack of understanding which, when multiplied by a few billion, floors my usually enthusiastically optimism into fear that I have been a gravely poor steward of this planet to date.
The pain is palpable, I am certainly culpable, the mood seems to want to make big, fast, real changes, but working out what we are best to do for the long term is no mean feat.
I wish to attempt to lighten my footprints, not to purely be better at hiding their tracks.
Here are some ideas & thoughts that people have suggested to me (links are to our local Nottingham and West Bridgford sustainability places) please do add comments and links - I will update the blog or write a follow up:
- Use Shampoo bars bought locally to avoid plastic packaging and transportation. I read a blog by a guy with fabulous hair who said that it's actually better for you, happens to be Vegan too, and apparently we won't need a conditioner ( though you can get one if, like me, you're nervous of that)
- Give up on Pumped HandSoap unless it's refilled - available at the Pop-Up Sustainable Shop in Cobden Chambers, Nottingham once a month ( Oct 19-21) run by The Zero Waste Collective, travel by bus and take your own containers.
- Get rid of the second car, or the first car, cycle more, use public transport more, or walk more. Install an electric car charging point or commit to your next car being hybrid / electric?
- Listen to our young people who are so much better informed that we are on these subjects.
- One of my well informed student sons, tell me that just giving up beef would be a single item which would make a huge difference to the planet in favour of reducing global warming.
- Teach our little ones that we are committed to their planet and encourage them to think of creative ways to lighten our footprint.
- Be just a little bit difficult. I refused to buy a £300 electric toothbrush from my Boots store this week because they don't sell shampoo bars. I'm thinking of doing a blog in collaboration with some other local businesses, which will be a review of cocktail bars from the point of view of how many straws they foist into your glass/ jamjar / goldfish bag (plastic or paper - who didn't learn the useful skill of sipping from a cup at the age of 2?). Maybe we could so another for food shopping?
- Should we contemplate washing our clothes less (uses less water, fewer man-made particles going into the environment) and treating tumble drying as a rare conscious decision, not an automatic, or not at all?
- Share your the love, share your showers - that'll halve the amount of water we use.
- A few of my friends who are in the pack lunch brigade have bought beeswax paper to wrap up sandwiches in - it recycles and reduces cling film / silver foil usage, and can be used to wrap any food for the fridge too. I know you can get them from Amazon, but if I could get them locally I would - any help from locals?