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Small changes to help the planet

All Areas > Environment > Save the Planet

Author: Louise Williams, Posted: Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 09:00

When you think about the scale of the problem when it comes to fixing our lovely planet, it can feel so overwhelming. What can one person, one family really do to make a difference?

We are constantly bombarded with images of litter strewn beaches and seas clogged with plastic and we can feel like it’s too big for us to tackle as we don’t know where to start. Luckily though, there are small things we can all do to make a difference that won’t impact much on our lives, but will collectively add up to a big impact for our planet.


We are lucky enough in the UK to have a fairly good recycling system, we just need to use it! It requires a short amount of time sorting the recycling into different categories but I’ve found children can be very useful here, and are often very keen to be involved now there is such an emphasis on environmental impact at school.

Stretchy plastic can go to some supermarkets in their plastic bag recycling bins and if you have any other plastic that can’t go in, have a look at ecobricks. Last month I talked about repurposing your recycling in the garden as planters.

Alternate transportation

I’ve looked before at the different ways of doing the school run, but you can apply that to everyday life. Can you take the bus, cycle, walk or get the train instead? Obviously there are instances when we all need to drive, but cutting down wherever possible can only be a good thing.

Swap out plastic

Have a look around your home and see where you can make small swaps. Wooden toothbrushes, recycled sponges or brushes for washing up, soap and shower gel bars – the list goes on. Once you start looking, you will notice more and more disposable items you are sending to landfill and start to find alternatives for them.

Use charity shops

It can be so easy to pop to the high street and pick up some fast fashion. I do it myself, but I’m also trying to check my local charity shops first. We are lucky across Gloucestershire that we are blessed with some brilliant ones and there are lots of lovely clothes in there, often very well-known labels.

I know I have given lots to charity shops in the past, and some things may only have been worn once so they are worth checking for a bargain. Plus, there is the added feel good factor of helping a charity. I also buy clothes from online second-hand selling sites and have had some brilliant bargains.

Reuse bags

We have so many reusable shoppers now and I try to make sure that I remember to take them to the supermarket. (And then remember to take them out of the car!) I also use a rucksack when I’m on my bike so I don’t need bags from shops.

You can even get smaller reusable bags for your fruit and veg to avoid the plastic versions. Zero waste shops are popping up everywhere so you can fill up jars with cupboard essentials, avoiding their plastic packaging.

Turn off the taps

When you’re cleaning your teeth, don’t leave the tap running. Also when washing up, make sure you fill the sink up or use a washing up bowl rather than cleaning dishes under a running tap.


For more from Louise, visit her blog here: Pink Pear Bear

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