I love the title of this blog post because it’s got a great ring to it but I wonder how many people it would put off?
Lots of people see being “Green” as being a free-spirited, long-dreaded-hair, tree-hugging hippy! But you really don’t have to be any of those things to be green (unless you want to, of course!). Going green can mean something different to everyone. It could be just making one small swap to something less wasteful or it could be trying to ride your bike instead of driving or hanging your clothes on the line rather than using the dryer. Whatever it is, every little change makes a big impact on the world, especially when millions of people decide to make a similar change.
For me, this year, I have made a promise to try my absolute utmost to avoid using any of the ‘Big 4 Single-Use Plastics’. That includes single-use coffee cups, water bottles, straws and bags. Personally, I think this’ll be pretty easy with the exception of straws. They get snuck into your drinks when you least expect it! You look away for one second and BAM they’ve dropped a straw into your drink. And once it’s in, there’s no turning back!
Aptly, the word “single-use” was named by Collins Dictionary as its word of the year for 2018. The term refers to products – often made of plastic – that are made to be used once and then thrown away.
Lexicographers (dictionary makers!) monitor over 4.5 billion words to come up with an annual list of new and notable words. It’s believed the world “single-use” was selected because of its increased visibility in 2018 brought about by David Attenborough’s, Blue Planet II. In particular, the image of adult albatrosses unknowingly feeding their chick’s plastic which was displayed heavily in mainstream media. Additionally, the European parliament backing a ban on single-use plastics heightened its prolificacy.
It’s fantastic that single-use plastic is getting the attention that is needed now to hopefully drive change across the globe. There are plenty of reusable alternatives that are affordable and accessible; it’s just a matter of shifting our way of thinking. On a small-scale level, we can all do our bit to reduce the impact that single-use plastics have on our wildlife and environment. We can ensure we have a reusable coffee cup, reusable water bottle, reusable shopping bag, reusable cutlery and a reusable straw (if you use them) with you when you go out. Perhaps keep a reusable coffee cup permanently at work. Or pop a cutlery set in your handbag. Keeping a little ‘Reusable Kit’ in your car is also a great way of remembering your eco items. Once you get into the routine of taking them with you, it’ll become second nature to you and you’ll never look back.
So, will you join me by Going Green in 2019? I’d love for you to share your green photos using the hashtag #LittleEcoShop and #GoGreenIn2019.