5th of June is World Environment Day and instead of posting or sharing a photo of piles of landfill or polluted waters (which can be effective in creating awareness) today should be about taking action. More specifically today should be about taking action in our own lives, households and congregations to reduce our environmental impact and not just today but every day.
It’s easy to get a bit slack. Life is too busy to spend ten minutes trying to figure out if the cup in my hand goes in the red or yellow bin, not to mention the dilemma when you can’t even find the yellow bin. But hey at least I put it in a bin, right?
With Trump’s decision to backpedal the United States commitment to tackling climate change, it forces us to reflect on our individual commitment to taking care of the environment daily. A government might not take the environment seriously but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.
So here are a few refresher tips we can all do to reduce our impact on the environment today, because the small steps do count.
BYO coffee cups
Winter is upon us, which means sneaking a few cappuccino or chai lattes a day is bound to happen. What you need to know is that takeaway cup is NOT recyclable. This is because these coffee cups are lined with waterproof plastic film. The lids are often also not biodegradable which means more bits of plastic and waste ending up in our oceans and landfill. All is not lost though, as there is a solution. Bring your own reusable coffee cup and coffee shops will even give you a discount on your coffee. It’s a win-win!
Okay well you might not be able to ban the plastic bag today (although change is inevitable); you can do your part by not accepting plastic bags. Instead bring your own or purchase reusable shopper bags.
Have a pile of plastic bags stored at home? Cole’s supermarkets have drop-off point where you can bring soft plastics (plastic bags, bread bags etc.) to be recycled via REDcycle.
Rethink fast fashion
$10 for a top screams ‘bargain’ but before you rush to the counter with card in hand, think about how many times you will actually wear it. Cheaply priced garments are often produced overseas to cut costs and usually one-time wear clothes. Discarding clothes might see garments end up in charities but most will be dumped in landfill. In Australia 85% of the garments we buy end up in landfill each year. The next time you bag a ‘bargain’ be conscious of synthetic fibres used as well as whether they are ethically produced.
Don’t just bin it…
I mean if your throwing rubbish away definitely bin it, just make sure it goes in the right bin. The ABC reported that of the rubbish placed in kerbside recycling bins, 10% of the material shouldn’t be there. This isn’t surprising, as I explained earlier; trying to figure out what is recyclable can be confusing. To avoid contaminating the actual recyclables it’s time to revisit what goes in what bin. You can find out more here.
Leave the car parked
Try and reduce the time spent in your car. Before you roll your eyes, I know it’s already every Sydneysiders’ dream to avoid the traffic and stressful driving like the plague. So, most of you might already be using the trains and buses on the daily. If so, why not try cycling and walking at least once a week? And just think this way you don’t have to worry about parallel parking or lying to yourself that you’ll actually find parking that doesn’t cost a leg.
Happy Environment Day!