Being Green Can Be Free – Rebecca Broad
One of the biggest misconceptions I see, read, and hear about in the pursuit of a life kinder to the environment is that it’s more expensive, and therefore inaccessible to some. If you suddenly install solar panels, choose only organic vegetables, buy a Tesla, eat lots of fake meats, and purchase the most expensive ethical fashion, then yep – you’ll probably be soon out of pocket and in to debt – but that’s just one end of the spectrum. At the other end are plenty of free green steps you can take.
For example: adding your name to issue a call to action. Petitions are easy to find – go to petition.parliament.uk/petitions to find those aiming to be debated in parliament. Pledges like those we run at the Wildlife Trusts can both educate those who sign up, and tell policy makers that the issue is important to many. For example, try wildlifetrust.org/take-action-insects.
Switch your search engine to Ecosia. Every search removes a kilogram of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and contributes to tree planting schemes – plus they don’t sell your data.
Changing The Game, Making It Green
Sometimes green action looks like inaction. Perhaps it’s reducing your meat intake, pledging to take fewer flights, or deciding you don’t need to purchase yet more jeans – the United Nations states that making a single pair uses 10,000 litres of water. That’s 154 showers or, equal to about how much water you’re recommended to drink in 23 years.
However, there’s only so much we can (and should) do as individuals. Consumer power is strong, but governments and international corporations must hold themselves accountable now. Sure, if you’re able to undertake the labour, ask companies how they’re progressing towards their net zero targets, or the vague sentiments of their brand values. But the 2017 CDP Carbon Majors Report found that just 25 organisations were responsible for over half of global industrial emissions since 1988, and not much will happen until the biggest players change the game.
Finally, I’d like to point out that even the technically free actions cost us, somehow. Perhaps it’s time, or energy, or attention span. Everything is finite in some respect, so remember to be kind to both yourself and the planet.
In which ways are you greening up your life right now? Or are you finding it harder to consider the environment? Share your ideas by tweeting me at @RebeccaComms, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!
Written by Rebecca Broad