Another three easy ways to live more sustainably

An area of rainforest half the size of Paris has recently been cleared in Papua, Indonesia.  The ice melt at the South Pole is nearly as bad as that of the North. The UK government is privatising our forests by stealth.

The endless stream of bad news about the environment is so unremitting and overwhelming that it usually feels easier to close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and shout ‘tra, la, la!’ rather than do anything about it.

But you can do something. You can.

And you really should.

Of course, the corporate giants who are driving climate change need to be stopped – but that needs to go hand-in-hand with a widespread cultural shift. We all need to change the way we live and there are so many things you can do to get started. Here are three examples:

  1. Order a fruit and veg box from a local farmer – Local produce has travelled the shortest distance and so is by far the most eco-friendly. Most fruit and veg box schemes also tend to use very little in the way of plastic packaging – another huge advantage over buying produce from supermarkets.
  2. Go organic – if you can afford it. This might seem like a self-indulgent luxury, but I assure you it’s not. Planet Earth is on the brink of a soil crisis so grave that it threatens all life upon it. If we carry on farming the way we are now – using pesticides, chemical fertilisers and intensively-planted monocultures – the UN says there are only 60 years before our soil will become infertile. We need to change the way we farm and fast – reverting to organic permaculture. To bring this revolution about, help organic farmers by buying as much of their produce as you can.
  3. Invest in a reusable takeaway coffee cup – In the future I bet we’ll look back on our current disposable coffee cup habit the way we now look back on litterbugging. Or mullets. In the UK, we get through a staggering 2.5 billion single-use coffee cups a year. Most aren’t recycled, because of their interior’s plastic coating. We’ve all seen the Blue Planet clips and know what that means for marine life. It’s a disaster. But do you know that scientists have discovered that plastic is now so rife, it’s made its way up the food chain and onto our plates?  And you don’t need to be a doctor to understand that the implications for our health – and that of our children – are not good. So, unless you’re prepared to drop that morning macchiato habit, buy yourself a reusable cup. You can get one here, here or here. Even better, many coffee shops now offer a discount for anyone providing their own cup. So it’s a win for both you and the sea turtles.                                                                                                                                                                                             

Melissa McClements