Each year, the 5th June is World Environment Day, a global United Nations-led initiative to celebrate the environment, promote ways to tackle damage and share awareness-raising projects.
This year’s theme is air pollution, which the World Health Organisation estimates kills 4.2 million people annually. With such a grim statistic it’s easy to believe we can’t have a direct effect on the environment - be that air quality, sea life, waste management or what we consume - but nothing is further from the truth. To paraphrase a well-known supermarket, every little thing we do does help - and the more positive changes you make the more likely you are to continue: they’ll become part of your daily life and you’ll never go back. We all want to be environmentally, ethically and socially conscious and by making small but sustainable changes to how we live we can make a real and lasting difference to the world.
PLANT a tree, either straight into the ground or in a pot if you’re limited by space. Trees both absorb CO2 and act as a filter for airborne dust and pollution particles.
GROW bee-friendly flowers to help with pollination and bio-diversity. Try foxgloves, cosmos, snapdragons, lavender and borage.
WASH clothes at 30°rather than 40°. By dropping your daily wash temperature by ten degrees you’ll use up to 40% less energy according to the UK Energy Saving Trust.
ENJOY homegrown salad leaves all summer long. It’s so easy to do and can be sown in pots. A packet of seeds will produce mixed leaves throughout the summer (and cut down on supermarket-bought plastic bags of salad).
STOP using disposable coffee cups. Have a couple of reusable ones instead and you’ll find that more and more cafes are offering a discount. At the Hotel Chocolat cafes nationwide you’ll get a 50p discount on every hot drink you buy when using one of our Rabot coffee cups.
BROWSE the London Recycles website for great guides to what recycling symbols mean, how much energy is generated through household waste recycling and much more. Never has waste seemed so exciting!
SWAP unrecyclable cling film for reusable food covers available at most supermarkets (the Rabot team use CoverMate). Yes, they do look like shower caps over your plate of leftovers but they’re microwavable, washable, reusable, BPA and PVC free. Washable beeswax wraps are another great product.
REDUCE your usage of single use plastic bags in the fruit and veg section at the supermarket. If you really need a bag, try using the paper ones provided for loose mushrooms.
AVOID products containing glitter or microbeads: both have been shown to enter the food chain and, as microplastics, are ingested by sea life.
CHALLENGE yourself to replace one of your car journeys this week with walking or cycling and another with taking public transport.
USE Freecycle to rehome unwanted items rather than dooming them to landfill.