Sustainability - playing our part
The daily news hasn’t been an easy read or watch or listen over the last couple of years. We had Brexit doom dominating the airwaves for months, then the Covid-19 pandemic swept right in, and made all that look like chicken feed. If, like some of us here at designist you’re a bit of a news addict, this week wasn’t much relief, with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) telling us officially that things are poised to get worse on this planet, if greenhouse-gas emissions continue. The report was damning, depressing, and makes it clear that the future of the planet depends largely on the choices that humanity makes today.
So let’s lighten that up a little, or a lot, and put focus on those choices that are entirely ours to make. Today is as good a day as any to start re-using, re-cycling and re-thinking the way we live. Ireland is officially warmer and wetter than ever before, but there are things we can do to mitigate or avoid climate disaster.
My current top easy peasy ways to make a daily impact are as follows:
- Reduce your energy use at home. Think about it - Less power used is easier on your pocket and easier on the planet. Turn off the second lamp, think about which appliances really need to be on, wash at 30 degrees, and use sustainable fuels.
- Dispose of disposables. Ditch the plastic cuttlery and plastic water bottles. Use re-useables!
- Plant seeds. Even if you're not green fingered or enticed to grow your own veg, you can throw some wild flower seeds around the place, get some lavender, treat the bees and your eyes!
- Recycle - and not just your milk cartons. Think about your jars, your containers, your clothes and your tech, and how things can get a second and third and fourth life under your caring supervision!
- Re-sell and donate items. This is a huge trend right now. Have you checked out all the pre-loved clothes available online? Bargains galore too!
- Drink from the tap. We have beautiful drinking water in this country. Forget the bottled stuff. Use that tap!
- Save water - Turn off the tap when scrubbing your teeth. Take short showers. Collect and use rain water for your plants. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
- Eat locally. A powerful way to live more sustainably is to eat locally. Supporting local stores and farm shops and feeding yourself locally grown items is good for your body and your conscience.
- Walk and pedal. Avoid the urge to jump in the car when walking or cycling is possible. Get the exercise in and save the planet while your burn the calories. Win win.