Our Guiding Vibe blogger, Charlotte Mellor, shares her thoughts on how to stay well during lockdown
Easy hacks to be more eco
As we all become more conscious about climate change, it can be rewarding to find little hacks you can change in your daily life which will help you to be more eco. We can’t all change the world by ourselves but, by making small changes, we can play our own part in making the world that bit greener. In this blog, I’ll share some of my favourite easy hacks which help me to be a little bit more eco on my day-to-day life
Ditching Plastic-Wrapped Lunches
Having packed lunches helps me to save the money I’d otherwise be splurging on café sandwiches and supermarket meal deals when I’m at work. It also means I don’t have to have a plastic-wrapped lunch. Ideally, reusable wraps such as ones made of beeswax are a packed lunch hack, but these can be expensive (especially if, from a Guiding perspective, you’re ever trying to cater for a whole unit picnic or similar). Therefore, aluminium foil is a decent option. You can flatten out foil and re-use it a few times (providing you haven’t used it to wrap anything too messy!) Then, you can scrunch several pieces into a ball which can be recycled locally.
Changing Your Drinking Habits
I like a coffee to-go every morning (and sometimes a pick-me-up during the day whilst I’m working). However, single-use cups go straight to landfill, which isn’t something I like. So now I use a reusable cup. It keeps my drink warmer; I can rinse it out and use it as many times as I like during the day; and they look way better. In fact, Girlguiding launched their own #PlasticPromise which includes things such as using reusable coffee cups and water bottles. They even sell some products which can help you to switch up your drinking habits whilst showing your love for guiding, such as this branded water bottle. Alongside using reusable cups and bottles, I now use reusable straws. These are really handy to carry around so that when you’re ordering a chilled drink, you can say no to using a plastic straw. The stainless steel or bamboo reusable straws are easy to clean and can be reused again and again and again.
Educating Yourself and Others
I find it’s easier to commit to something if you understand it. Therefore, a really great hack to helping to find the motivation to make changes to your life to be more eco is to educate yourself. Whether that’s watching a documentary on the planet or reading information about endangered species, there’s loads of ways you can get involved. With my Guide group, we’ve done all kinds of things, including quizzes about endangered species and completing the Global Goalie UMA.
Making Journeys More Social
Cars are a huge contribution to pollution so it’s important to try and reduce your usage of them whenever you can. I personally try to walk or use public transport but, if you are going to need to use a car, why not try to carpool with friends or colleagues? Not only do you cut down on the number of cars on the road but it’ll also reduce your combined fuel costs too. And you can chat about whatever you like on your commute. Whenever we go on trips or Guide holidays, we leaders always try to car share, and encourage parents and guardians to do the same. That way, even as a small unit, we’re doing our bit to reduce our carbon footprints.
Cut The Lights
I don’t think there’s a single Northerner who didn’t get told “it’s like Blackpool illuminations in here!” if they left the lights on. As I get older, I realise just how right my parents were. Not only does needlessly leaving lights on increase energy bills, it also increases the burden on the planet. Nowadays, thankfully, I’m very conscious about lights so will try my best to only use energy efficient LED bulbs or rely on natural light if possible. Changing to more eco-conscious methods of lighting can be costly, but in the long term it definitely pays to be savvy when it comes to your lighting.
I hope this blog post has given you some ideas on how to be more eco, here’s to a future where everyone is a little more conscious about the planet!