Earth Day

This year for Earth Day, I wanted to concentrate on ‘doable’ things. I’ve been guilty of trying to do too much, too quickly and then experiencing guilt when I’m not doing ‘enough’. I am a dark green, I’ve been working, with my family, over the last fifteen years to make a serious difference in how we live. Ultimately, we have to stop buying shit. Best get used to it.

Earth Day is about appreciating all that we have, then taking action to make sure we take care of it for future generations. I’m happy that I achieve much of this legacy behaviour in my freelance work. Each of the companies I work for have a strong foundation of ethics and values that match my own. Woodland Burial Company and several others have tree plantings per sale with Ecologi (who I love!).

At home too we have been able to move beyond the low hanging fruit and make some of the tougher changes. There is always more to be done, but making a start has to come first. With The Frugal Family I would have a weekly chat called Just One Thing, with other people in the sustainable arena. They each came up with manageable and small changes we can all make. I started washing out yogurt pots to recycle.

How to Start

So, here are some things you can do right now, from home, easy peasy, to make a difference. If you’re already doing them, ask me for another ten!

  1. You’ll need a pen and paper, or make notes on your phone etc. However you keep track of stuff. How long can you make meals without needing to shop? Food waste is a huge problem, it wastes money and resources.
  2. Check who your pension is with. Move it to an ethical provider if you have control, if not, suggest such a move to your HR equivalent. The company will get brownie points for being more eco friendly and all of you may be better off in the long run too.
  3. Don’t mow or weed your garden/window box for as long as possible. We have left our front garden to go wild forever. We’ve even added a pond (old bath) and planted free trees from our local council and a couple of pot bound ones from a friend. If you want more ‘work’ you can take up the turf and add a wildflower mix for even better quality plants for polinators.
  4. Next time to you need something new, try our hierachy of need system before you buy, it’s below.
  5. Eat less meat and dairy, try a Meat Free Monday or similar. If you already do that, add another day or meal.
  6. Check if you can have a ‘green’ tariff with your utilities provider, or if it’s possible to move supplier.
  7. Consider your habits, and if any items you regularly purchase can just be ditched (or replaced with reusable options) – for planet and pocket. Good examples might be fabric softener, bottled water, kitchen towel…
  8. Use what you have. This extends beyond meal planning and unlabelled items in the freezer. Maybe you have a long supply of shower gel, a year or more’s worth of make up, shoes to last you a lifetime? If you don’t need new ones, take the win.
  9. Think about how and when you shop – this post has some great ideas for becoming a better shopper and breaking some unhelpful habits.
  10. If you are an emotional shopper, or shop to please/impress others, get some help with that.

PS it’s also jelly bean day today, if you feel overwhelmed, have a few of those x