5 Easy Ways to Help the Environment & Our Own Well-Being
It’s impossible to disentangle the environment from our lives. No matter our profession, our lifestyle, our passions, we are all dependent on the world around us. This last year especially, we have all had time to reflect — a little too much time for some of us — on all aspects of our lives.
It’s certainly been a tough year. Some of us have gone through unimaginable hardships that we could never have expected. But now that we have braved the storm and are seeing some hope of a stable life returning, we can start making small changes for our well-being and for the greater world around us. This is the perfect time to get involved in new ways we can care for and celebrate the environment from the comfort of our own homes. Here are some everyday ways we can help the environment.
The sudden onset of restrictions and lockdown measures has made finding food sources even harder for some wildlife. Closure of restaurants, parks and travel restrictions led to food sources for city wildlife disappearing almost overnight. But, depending on where in the world you are, you can provide water, food or shelter for the many animals we share our planet with. One of the easiest ways to do this is by hanging up simple bird feeders outside your window. You can even reuse your plastic bottles to make them, this supports nature and will brighten up your surroundings (and if you have an indoor cat, give lots of entertainment!).
Depending on where in the world we live, it can either be hard to imagine the importance of clean water, or be a necessity that we are reminded of everyday. And once you have the experience of rationing and being conscious of water use, it’s something you never forget.
When in an area with an abundance of clean water, it’s just as important not to take it for granted. You can brainstorm ways to save water on an everyday basis, this could be as simple as taking shorter showers, or if you tend to plants, developing ingenious ways to make the most of rain water. Try organizing a virtual tour of an urban garden in the UK, and learn how they have developed water saving techniques, or for areas with less rainfall, learn about setting up a drought tolerant ecosystem on your own lawn. Keep in mind that animals and wildlife may depend on water sources, so keeping a bowl of fresh water or bird bath outside your house may be vital for them.
Urban Plant-Life and Reforestation
Something I have certainly learned from the past year is just how much we appreciate greenery. Being confined to our own homes, neighborhoods or towns, brought the realization that we crave the outdoors, and to some what a lifeline urban parks have been. For those in a more restricted lockdown, you can learn how to make your own sustainable garden, whether you have outdoor space, or even indoors, no matter how small, you can bring more greenery into your life.
Another wonderfully easy way to increase urban plant-life is by making seed bombs. A seed bomb is a ball made up of compost, clay and native wildflower seeds, these can be planted in your own garden or thrown into wasteland areas. This not only helps brighten up your local area, but gives a much-needed boost to our good friends, the bees. You learn how to make your own seed bombs here.
Reduce and Reuse Plastics
Being grounded in one place for the better part of a year has certainly helped me get a good idea of what plastic I use on a daily basis, when you’re on the go it’s so much easier to justify portable, disposable items, but with a new kind of lifestyle comes another perspective. It’s not only doable, but vital to decrease our plastic usage.
Try to compete with your co-workers, friends and family as to who can think of the most creative and fun way to reuse or reduce your plastic waste.
Get Some Plant Power into Your Diet
More time at home means more time to spend thinking about what to have for dinner. With so many options for plant-based proteins and the plethora of non-dairy drinks available, even planning a few vegan meals a week will help reduce your carbon footprint.
There are countless ways to make a positive impact in the world, whether by yourself, in your workplace or your community. No good deed is ever wasted. And with these examples, we can, bit by bit, look after our own wellbeing as well as that of the wider world.
Larissa Garnermann is the Europe Nonporfit Lead at Visit.org.
Photos courtesy of Vivek Doshi & Kelly Neil