OK so we probably know that caring for the environment is a good thing! We may hear of people like Greta Thunberg from Sweden who (as a teenager) started a global movement for people to care for the environment.
As a Christian, I believe strongly that God cares about the environment. Right at the beginning of humanity, the Bible tells us that God encouraged man and woman to look after the earth and not abuse it. Unfortunately all around us we see that humanity has selfishly destroyed and taken and abused the world.
We see that powerful people have used up natural resources, we see that species of animals and plants have become extinct and we see around us on the roads that people are happy to throw their litter and plastic bottle on the floor while saying they want to stop abuse of plastic. Anyone here guilty of that…?
Great Thunberg famously said that “no one is too small to make a difference.” But what can each one of us do practically to help care for the world around us? Especially when we don’t feel like we can make a difference.
Here are some ideas… And no I’m not a eco warrior – these are simple things that will help us to help the world and people around us!
Recycle and use the bin!
Stop throwing your litter on the floor! It’s just as easy to put something in a bin as it is to throw it down! It’s soooo selfish just to chuck stuff on the floor – don’t do it! It harms the environment, it can choke, damage or kill animals (and does all the time) and plastic gets into the food you eat which harms you and others.
Clear up your tent!
Like the video shows, if you go to a festival then take your tent away with you and clear up your litter. That is just a normal right thing to do! https://youtu.be/_wCvVFdWS78 – Don’t buy a pop up tent, buy a tent that you’ll re-use!
If there is a recycling bin, use it in the right way. Don’t put litter in recycling. You probably take ages to put on make up or do your hair in the morning. Well imagine the world around is a your face. You look after your face and want it to look good. Look after your ‘face’ and the world’s ‘face’!
Put the glass with the glass, the paper with the paper and the plastic with the plastics. Don’t be lazy!
And if you have waste stuff, don’t dump it in the countryside. Take it to the tip. It’s just as easy, it’s usually free and it will mean you pay less in taxes too.
Reusable bottle and reduce plastic use
Get yourself a reusable bottle (like a Nalgene one that hasn’t been made using bad chemicals) and fill that up instead of buying bottles of water or fizzy drinks (better for your teeth too!) Cut down on your use of plastics and use paper instead or recycle containers to carry food.
Have grass in your garden – not weed…
If you have a garden then don’t just get rid of the grass. You need grass to help stop flooding (in some places in London, they are planting more grass as part of a big strategy to stop flooding of people’s houses and roads). If you have to have ‘paving stones’ then do it so there are gaps where water can escape.
Have an outside space if you can – well-being
Having an outside space with grass also encourages insects. We need insects so that the food chain works and we have food. If we lose insects, we lose our food. It’s very serious. If you live in flats then encourage your council to create a wild space outside. Volunteer and get others involved. Having an outside, green space also helps your mental health be better, makes you feel more well and can bring you a sense of peace.
Plant Trees and vegetation
Get involved in planting trees or plants – in your house or wherever you can. Trees encourage wildlife, birds, insects and can provide shade and help protect. In a huge storm a few years ago, a big tree fell over the road onto my house. The only reason it didn’t hit the house was because a tree in the garden stopped the tree from hitting the house). We also need to support our wildlife and birds. Many species of birds and things like hedgehogs are disappearing as we cut down their natural habitat to build more buildings.
A Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ programme in June 2019 found that planting trees, vegetation and hedges actually reduces the pollution and toxins that can get into our lungs from cars – exhausts, tyres and other plastics from even electric cars. So trees and vegetation are very good for your physical health!
When you go shopping, think about shopping locally or supporting local farmers or producers. If a local shop gets their vegetables from somewhere local, it reduces transport costs and supports local people. Alternatively, why not grow your own vegetables. Yes it takes time and effort but anything worthwhile always does – and you get to eat what you’ve grown!
Get planting to help the bees – to help you!
If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden or a place to put plants, grow plants and flowers that attract bees. Bees are absolutely vital to help pollinate flowers and plants and to our food supply. Buy plants and flowers that are scented and that attract bees (e.g. lavender or other flowers they can easily access and often ones that are purple or blue). Look online for help.
Clothes and devices – shop ethically and responsibly
When you go shopping, where do your clothes come from? How were they made? What were the conditions like for the people who made them? Have they been made using harmful chemicals? Can you buy more clothes that were made well and responsibly? Lots of places do some clothes like this – including mainstream stores like Next.
We all know that technology goes out of date and needs replacing. So when it comes to getting rid of your device or computer, dispose of it at the local recycling centre. Don’t just chuck it in the bin – harmful chemicals can get into the food chain and cause everyone to be unwell. And when you buy a device or new phone, check out how environmentally friendly the company is.
Now go and think about some of your own ideas. Remember, no one is too small to make a difference and there is nothing too small that can make a difference!