Hello, I’m Molly from heatherandroses.com where I write monthly book reviews, travel blogs and about life in general. When I’m not writing blogs, you can usually find me hiking with my rescued German Wirehaired Pointer, Hazel; browsing the rails of charity shops for my latest ethical (and hopefully trendy) bargain or curled up with a cup of coffee, devouring my latest book. I hope you enjoy my guest blog post!
I’m sure most of us, even if only subconsciously, already do something to try and help the Earth; I mean, you’d be lying if you said you didn’t remember those primary school assemblies about turning the tap off while we brush our teeth and walking to school instead of driving that 10 minutes down the road. But, and I’m sorry to break it to you; we are officially and rapidly running out of time. With only 18 months left to try and fix our planet, the time to act is now.
There aren’t any Airbnb’s on Mars atm and I don’t see any new properties being developed on Jupiter: I know it’s cliché, but there is no planet B.
- Recycle, Recycle, Recycle ~
I know we’ve all heard it a thousand times before but it really isn’t that hard to separate your paper from your plastic and put it outside to be collected once a week. And if the thought of recycling your food really grosses you out then maybe try letting less of it go to waste.
- Take Your Own Shopping Bags ~
Even though I get bullied for this, I’d trade 5p plastic bags for looking like a hippie any day of the week. I rock my ‘Planet Not Plastic’ tote bag, even if I do say so myself.
- Quit Moaning About The Sogginess Of Paper Straws ~
Trust me, I know how annoying it is when you’re halfway through a pitcher at Spoons and have already gone through about 5 straws. But, at least they’re doing something… and if you’re that bothered then invest in a metal straw you can take everywhere with you in your new tote bag! Either way, you definitely won’t look as ignorant as Trump and his branded plastic ones.
- Consider A Staycation ~
If I’d said this one a year ago, we’d all be thinking ‘errm, what the heck am I gonna do without my annual dose of lounging by the pool with a Fanta Limon and a bag of Lays?!’ but… well, we all know how last summer went. Even when (if…) we get back to normal, however, still consider a staycation some of the time. Go surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Highlands: it’s a great way to learn more about your home country and see what amazing things we have to offer!
- Support Local Businesses ~
As well as boosting the local economy and relying less-so on importing products, the amount of plastic packaging used in local grocers and butchers usually amounts to significantly less than you find in big chain supermarkets like Sainsburys and Tesco.
- ‘Put An Extra Layer On’ ~
One of my mum’s favourite phrases: we grew up being told to wrap up and put a jumper on instead of wasting energy and turning on the heating. I mean, what are all those wooly jumpers and fluffy blankets for if not “coorying” up with your latest novel and a cup of tea?
- Take A Reusable (Preferably Metal) Water Bottle With You ~
You really don’t need to buy a bottle of water every time you need a drink. Instead, take your own water bottle and fill it up with water from the tap (who knew?!)… or anything else you fancy (nobody would ever know if you had a cheeky bottle of wine in there instead).
- On A Similar Note… Take A Reusable Coffee Cup ~
As well as saving the planet and, yet again, wasting less plastic, you also get to show off a really cool design: sloths on your cup are way cooler than the Starbucks logo, trust me. Don’t be a basic b****.
- Go Meatless At Least Once A Week ~
Don’t worry, I’m not about to go on a crazy vegan rant. I know how difficult it is to go fully plant-based: I tried veganism for a good few months but the temptation of cheese was just too much. I’m not asking you to completely change your lifestyle, but when you look at the fact that 2,500 gallons of water is needed to produce 1 pound of beef, I think going meat free at least once a week isn’t too much to ask. Even my boyfriend, the world’s biggest burger enthusiast, likes a good falafel wrap or veggie stir fry once in a while.
- Cook Fresh ~
Even though the temptation of ordering from UberEats or buying microwave pasta is sometimes too great to resist, cooking from scratch is honestly the way to go. Not only will it save you that much-needed cash (better spent on some summer cocktails, am I right?), but it’s healthier for the planet (and, let’s be honest, your body as well). Not to mention that bulk-buying foods such as pasta and rice uses significantly less plastic packaging than that microwave lasagne you almost picked up.
- Switch Makeup Wipes For Face Cloths ~
I know it seems so old-fashioned but a face cloth and some micellar water works just as well as a pack of face wipes, and lasts 10 times longer, too (as well as using less plastic). Plus, sensitive skin will thank you for it, trust me.
- Get Politically Active ~
Take part in a climate change protest or write a letter to your local MP. Because, although we can make a huge difference and help on an individual level, we’ve reached the point where national and international governmental action is a necessity.
- Spend More Time Outside ~
Not only does less time spent inside using electricity for heating, lights and screens directly benefit the planet, but going for a picnic in the woods, a hike up a mountain or a stroll on the beach really drives home the worth and beauty of the planet we need to save.
- Organise A Plastic Attack ~
Get a group of friends together for a shopping trip with a twist: when you reach the checkout, unpackage all of your groceries and ask for the manager to come forward. Dump that plastic back on the big corporations who choose to use it: it shouldn’t be our responsibility! Simply, refuse to take it home with you.
- Take Part In A Beach Cleanup ~
If you’re not feeling quite brave or confrontational enough for that then find a beach cleanup near you – make it into a day trip with the fam!
- Stop Idling Your Engine ~
Yes, yes, we all just want to finish listening to that one song, I know… But leaving your engine running not only wastes your fuel and money, but in a mere 1 minute produces enough exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons!
- Grow Your Own Vegetables ~
Not only is this a great way to cut down on your carbon footprint but it’s actually pretty fun (maybe that makes me the epitome of sadness)! If you’re a broke student (like yours truly) and don’t have the outdoor space to grow your own veggies, try planting some herbs in your kitchen: not only are they really easy to look after, but the aesthetic of some basil beats that boring old houseplant your flatmate bought.
- Spread The Love ~
Because you’re now officially part of the Saving Our Planet Club and have tried at least some of the above, it’s time to encourage your friends and family to do the same. Even if each of us gets 3 or 4 more people involved, it will make a huge difference. And we really don’t have the time not to!