It’s brilliant that nowadays everybody is doing their best in the climate change emergency to reduce their environmental impact. There are actually countless ways to do this, some opting for the veganism route, others just being more mindful of who they buy from and some going full on minimalist! It’s important to keep a positive mindset on your “eco-friendly journey” no matter where you are at, as it’s really easy to become overwhelmed and to think you might not be doing enough. I can guarantee that no matter what you’re doing – it’s making a difference! This post is about what action we can take in our communities to help our immediate surroundings and therefore positively contribute to the overall health of the environment. Here are 5 ideas to help you!
1. Volunteer at a local conservation charity!
In my opinion, this is one of the highest value actions you can take to help combat climate change and conservation issues. First of all, getting out in nature has been proven to do you the world of good not only physically but mentally. I know for certain I feel so much better about life when I’m in the outdoors for prolonged periods of time. If you’re feeling good physically and mentally then you’re in the optimum state to help others and to help the environment! All you need to do is look up conservation groups in your local area, I personally volunteer with the National Trust for Scotland and a bat conservation group. It’s so rewarding, and you really see the difference these groups make – without volunteers some extremely important work would never get done, it’s also a great social event! If you’re fit and able, this is definitely something to look into. Check out volunteering opportunities near you and I can guarantee there will be lots of them!
2. Take a bag with you to the beach to pick up rubbish
If you have a beach nearby, chances are there is a lot of litter scattered about everywhere. Lots of places organise beach cleans where a big group of people meet up and pick up all of the rubbish, but if you can’t find or attend one of these just take a bag with you and pick up things until you fill it up! Then dispose of it at the recycling/waste bin depending on what you found. Obviously be very careful and don’t pick up things that look sharp, but this small task can really make a huge difference – if someone sees you doing that they might take that idea and next time come equipped with a bag for rubbish!
3. Take part in bird or butterfly surveys!
You don’t need to be a conservation expert to do this, in fact some websites will let anybody submit data about birds or butterflies they saw in their gardens! It’s so important for organisations to keep tabs on prevalent species of certain organisms so they know numbers and they can keep track of changes in population in specific geographical areas! Even if you have very basic bird or butterfly identification skills you can still submit information to these organisations which will help massively, and it can be fun for you too. Here are a few websites to have a look at with more information on this:
4. Plant your own herbs in the garden, and encourage neighbours & friends to do the same
I have 2 main reasons for this tip:
Number 1 – It gets you outside, which is always a plus! Watching something grow bigger everyday is very satisfying & if you have kids it can be a great way to teach them about plants.
Number 2 – Think about how much plastic packaging is used for fresh herbs at the supermarket, it’s really not needed and most of the time we won’t use up all of the herbs in the packet so it can go to waste!
Growing your own means you can take some as and when you need it, and you won’t be using plastic when you don’t need to! I buy seeds in paper packages from the garden centre near my house and plant these. You can also buy herb plants which are already in pots from the supermarket or garden centre which can be great too.
5. Walk more!!!
This is key – walk everywhere you can, while you can. If you’re young and fit there’s no excuse, if work is a walking distance away then ditch the car and get some exercise instead and of course save money at the same time. If there’s a train station nearby, walk there and get public transport the rest of the way to work.
Try to reduce how much you’re using your car, if a shop is a 10 minute walk away do you really need to drive there? Cars are not the best for the environment, whilst they are great tools, they are a luxury which many people in this world don’t have access to.
We need to remember this and use them mindfully and wisely, be thankful for the fact we have a car but not take advantage of it! We don’t emit greenhouse gases when we walk (well not a very high concentration anyway) but when we drive a car we do. Make a challenge for yourself to reduce your carbon footprint, walking is a great way to do this!
So those were 5 ways you can help the environment by being in the outdoors- if everyone implemented these into their lives it would make the world of difference & we would all feel more connected with nature, which is very important. 😊
Ailsa Wright is a passionate environmentalist who strongly believes in living more sustainably. You can read more of her works at https://ailsawright.blog/ .