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Author: Louise Williams, Posted: Friday, 24th January 2020, 09:00

At a time when the whole world seems to be imploding around us, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed and to think that we can’t make a difference to the enormity of the situation. I mean really, what can one person, one family, recycling their plastic do to help?

Well, I think that if we all make small changes, or big ones if we can, then, as a mass force, we can have a positive effect on the planet.

Here are some things we can try in this New Year to make a difference. Hopefully we can all work together to mean that the end of this year is better than the start of it.

Find out what you can recycle in your area

Find out what you can recycle. There are so many things that can be recycled that might surprise you. From tin foil (rinse it and ball it up to add to your kerb side recycling) to bras (look up Smalls For All), you can do something useful with almost everything you would otherwise throw away.

Lots of shelters take lightly used toiletries too, so search for ones in your area and ask.

Shop local and eat in season

Cutting down on those air miles and supporting your community really does make a big difference. We are blessed with an abundance of independent shops and incredible farmer’s markets in this area. Yes, it may be a little more expensive than the supermarket version, but I for one would rather buy a little less but fresh and flavoursome, whilst supporting local independent businesses.

Make what you can

From pasta to bread, biscuits and cakes, jams and marmalades. It sounds like a lot of work but a productive Sunday afternoon can result in months’ worth of produce if you pack or freeze it properly.

Bread and biscuit dough can be made in batches and frozen for several months, then defrosted and cooked as and when you need them.

Try making your own filled pasta and get the children involved if they are old enough. This also cuts down enormously on plastic packaging coming into the house.

Plant things

Trees, house plants, flowers. Whatever you can. Let’s try and keep our precious bees fed over the summer by planting as many wildflower seeds as we can. Encourage your local council to join in with schemes to turn parks and roadside verges into bright swathes of colour.

Do your little bit

We can’t all invent a machine to clean the seas or develop a formula for turning plastic into nutritious plant food (the dream!) but we can all make a difference and our combined force can do some good.

If you need inspiration, there are lots of groups on Facebook that share great ideas for being more environmentally friendly. One example is ‘Living Consciously Crew’, run by Instagram influencer Zanna van Dijk, but there are many others you could join.

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