Not all of us make New Years resolutions and of those who do, how many keep them for more than a week or two? Well one resolution that we should all try to keep is to do our bit to save the planet.
Climate change predictions do sound a bit apocalyptic and we’re perhaps tempted to either see it as such a big issue that anything that we do will be insignificant or be very sceptical that it’s actually an issue at all. Well the evidence from over 1,000 scientists across the world makes it increasingly obvious that there is a climate emergency and that doing nothing will result is catastrophic consequences within the next 10-20 years. Something needs to be done NOW!
Certainly the task is so great that Governments and large conglomerates will need to act and act fast but that doesn’t mean that we should just leave it to them.
So what can we do?
Lots of things; but here’s a few that you might like to consider.
* Reduce food waste: The average household throws away vast amounts of food every week. ‘Best Before’ dates do not mean that the food is not fit to eat. It simply means that it may not be as perfect after that date. Food that will go off is usually marked with a ‘Use Before’ date but even then you can use your common sense. Whereas we most certainly need to be careful about fish and poultry and if there is any doubt at all these should be discarded, many foods can still be used safely if they smell OK and aren’t obviously mouldy. Left over vegetables can make great soups. Simply saute a sliced and diced onion in a frying pan, add a crushed and diced garlic clove and whatever vegetables you have left over. Cook for about five minutes then pour into blender and blend for a couple of minutes or until it’s the constituency that you want. Taste it and add condiments, spices and/or herbs as you wish and put back into the frying pan and simmer for a few minutes. When it’s to your taste, you’ve done. If you have a garden, why not create a compost heap? You can make one yourself or buy one from most garden centres. In fact any reasonably large container will do – just knock the bottom out and stand it on bare soil. You can put any vegetable matter into it (except things that have been cooked in salt) but NOT waste meat – this will rot down but it will also attract rats! It’s surprising how much free compost you will get in a few months. Ideally, you should cover the compost bin, This keeps the heat generated in and rain out.
Use the car less: This doesn’t need to be a dramatic change. Why not walk the children to school? This really is a win all round; less harmful emissions, lower petrol costs, healthier children, less congestion around schools (this is particularly important for children with asthma or respiratory allergies), time to chat too our children on the way, the list goes on!!
Cut down on plastic: It’s difficult to avoid plastic altogether but we can cut back dramatically on single use plastic; Buy loose vegetables where possible (maybe shop at a greengrocer or market rather than a supermarket?), take your own bags when you go shopping and keep reusing them, If you are buying ‘weigh your own’ produce then don’t use the plastic bags provided – either use your own bags or leave them loose. write a letter of complaint to your supermarket of choice complaining about the amount of plastic being used.
I’m sure that we can all think of other planet friendly things we can do. None of these are going to save the planet on their own but they will make a difference and the more of us that do something the bigger the difference it will make.