In order to inspire harmony between ourselves and the Earth, we need to live sustainably. Think of our ecological tracks on the environment as literal muddy footprints; the more mud we track through the house, the more we’ll have to clean up after ourselves. Sustainable living is the equivalent of wiping your feet on a doormat before you enter the house; the less mess we make, the less mess we will have to clear up. We must understand that cleaning up the damage we create is harder than preventing it from happening in the first place. We need to operate according to this ideology; we need to wipe our feet.
If each of us begins to live with sustainability in mind, the results will be immense, and it’s not as hard as you might think! Here are three steps you can take to help contribute to the wellbeing of our planet whilst also looking after yourself and the ones you love.
Food has often travelled around 1,500 miles from its origin before it arrives on the shelf at the supermarket. When you buy local produce you are eliminating the pollution which is caused by transporting food across country or internationally. This means that your meals will have a smaller carbon footprint.
As well as having a positive effect on the world as a whole, shopping locally also helps your community. The majority of food we buy is purchased through the huge six supermarket chains. If we chose to support local produce instead, we would be supporting homegrown businesses and the farmers who rely on our custom.
Another advantage of purchasing local food is that it is seasonal. Seasonal food is a fantastic addition to your eating habits as it ensures a balanced diet whilst also expanding your recipe book. Eating seasonally means that we do not exhaust the planet with our appetite. This diet also has the added advantage that we won't consume and preservatives, as the food is fresh!
Sourcing local food is a huge relief to the environment, a benefit to your local community, and a boost in the overall health of you and your family. Search for local farmers markets and enjoy a stroll through the stalls, you might be surprised by what you find!
Composting is Nature’s way of recycling our waste into nutrition for new and growing produce. Installing a compost bin is a brilliant way to utilise your food waste into something new and useful.
It has been estimated that around 35% of our household waste is organic and this is either left to rot in a landfill or is incinerated. The process of burning organic waste releases methane gas (a harmful Green House Gas) and is therefore harmful to the environment. By installing a compost bin you can stop this whilst also giving your plants and garden a treat! Adding compost to your plants increases the nutrient content in your soil and feeds your plants ensuring that they will blossom without the use of artificial fertiliser.
To create a compost bin, all you need is a large bin with a lid. Place it somewhere in your garden and dispose of any organic waste (such as fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags, plant trimmings, grass cuttings, egg shells, and coffee grounds). You could also add worms to your compost as they aid in helping the material biodegrade and you'd be giving them a tasty snack!
Composting turns trash into treasure. It is a rewarding activity which champions self-sufficiency whilst also ensuring a healthy garden.
One of the advantages of summer showers (and there aren't many!) is collecting water to nurture your garden in the sunny weather. Crafting a water-butt is the perfect way to harvest the gifts of nature and keep the cost on your water metre to a minimum.
Water-butts are readily available at a variety of Garden Centres or online shops but if you fancy getting creative, you can construct your own. The best material to use for this would be plastic.
You can repurpose items such as old storage bins, tubs, or food and drink containers – for example, you could cut the top off a milk bottle so it resembles a little bucket and tie it to a fence so it can remain stable whilst it collects rain. Make sure that you clean any container you decide to use (steam cleaning is a good method as any bleach cleaner you use may contaminate the water). Even though these options may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, it is what you make it! Adding plants and decorations to the water-butts is a great way to make a feature out of them. On the other hand, if you would rather hide them away, you could conceal it behind a hedge or other garden furniture, the choice is yours.
Now all that’s left to do is sit back and, for once, be glad to see the rain!
We can all take greener steps to improve our way of living, and in doing so, we can create a sustainable future for ourselves and also the planet. We must adapt our way of operating to coincide with ecological ideologies because, unless we begin to make radical changes to the way we treat the environment, our impact upon the Earth will exceed our planet’s capabilities.
These small changes that you can make will contribute massively to the well-being of the planet. You have the power to have a positive impact on the world and all those who share it, so, what are you waiting for?
By Guest Writer Leah Bennett