In the last year I have been very active in talking about my eco-changes, explaining how I want to improve the way we live in order to help our environment and trying to raise awareness via my blog and social media, however, this eco way of thinking isn’t something that is entirely new to me; I was once a very passionate child and saving the planet was all I dreamt of.
I’m not really sure what started it all, maybe it was when I had a World Savers account opened for me at Natwest. Remember those? You would receive a commemorative coin, a pack with World Savers bits and pieces, a magazine telling you all about the hole in the Ozone Layer, the dangers of CFC’s, the extinction of species and how we were damaging our planet plus posters for your wall– I was hooked. I couldn’t wait for the next magazine, I couldn’t wait to read about the animals who needed saving, I dreamt of travelling out to Africa when I grew up and making a difference. I honestly thought I could save the world.
When I watched the news and saw people chaining themselves to railings in protest I remember turning around and telling my Mum I was going to do exactly the same when I was older. I promised myself I would never drive a car unless they came up with electric ones, I looked into recycling and urged my Mum to do more, I had my own little bug garden, I would talk all things animals and conservation to anyone who would listen and I watched Wildlife on 1 religiously!
I vividly remember repeatedly attempting to dig my own pond for our back garden so I could attract more wildlife and to provide a safe home for them. I was determined and I would dig for hours (not getting very far!) but I didn’t want to give up.
My only ambition for my future was to work with animals in some way.
So that was me. A mini eco-warrior who had her whole life mapped out and who was going to make the change required in order to save our planet.
Then life happens…
You go to secondary school and being into animals isn’t ‘cool’. What is ‘cool’ are clothes and boys and makeup. Chick flicks, sleepovers, chat of parties. We had no social media to inspire or influence us. We had no constant news to inform us of what was happening to the world and soon enough my priorities shifted. I still had those passions, they were just fading as other interests took over.
Moving through the 90’s to the 00’s saw the introduction of new amazing cleaning products, how clean is your house? was on TV, disposable wipes made life easier, throwing away and decluttering was encouraged, TV revolved around funny sitcoms over interesting documentaries and my mindset had been changed thanks to advertising and the sheep effect. Let’s all just follow what others do, eh?!
I lost my passion. Life changed. My Mum died, I had to do what I could do in order to get by and my childhood dreams were all left behind.
It may sound like I am making excuses but I am really not. I am disappointed that I lost who I was and I am disgusted that I have wasted as much as I have done in my life.
When I had a baby, I literally had no idea what reusable nappies were. But at the same time, I didn’t have a clue that disposable nappies were plastic waste, that they took 500 years to break down and that wipes were just as bad. How was I to know that the plastic that was being created was here to stay forever? This information was never made public, and we all know why.
Those companies didn’t want you to know how things were being made, they didn’t want you to hear that your clothes were using x amount of water and draining lakes, they couldn’t ever divulge that single-use plastics were going to sit in landfills forever and they certainly didn’t want you to stop spending. Because if we knew what we all know now, they would never have got as rich as they are.
I think social media has brought such a positive effect on all of this because there is no longer anywhere to hide. The companies and Governments can carry on trying to cover things up but not much is private anymore, is it? The TV shows have been highlighted further due to sharing their facts on the internet and finally, yet again our environment and the state of our world is at the forefront of our minds.
And from here, my passion has been reignited. It was always there, just buried away under the ‘stuff’ I felt pressured to buy, pushed to one side by the fast-paced life we all seem to live now and wiped away by the disposable culture. But enough is enough. I have made my mistakes, I have been sucked in, spent my money in awful ways and added to this ever-growing issue. I feel terrible for having done it but I truly believe that the blame lies with those fat cats more than with any of us. We have been brainwashed into buying anything and everything and if it means an easier life? Even better! But now it is time for a change.
So, the old me is bubbling back up to the surface, the need to save our planet is right there, the desire to inspire others and to be apart of the change has made a comeback and I am so fired up right now and I love it!
My changes so far have been so simple and easy but there was never enough awareness. Reusable nappies and wipes, beeswax wraps, eco sponges, going back to soap and ditching the shower gels etc, swapping to paper straws, using homemade cleaning products, planting the right flowers and plants for the bees, using reusable water bottles, shopping in charity shops, not picking up fruit and veg in plastic bags… the list could just go on and on and I am still learning so much each day from so many inspiring businesses, bloggers and media figures.
We are now in a state of devastation and it is a fact that if we do not make enough changes within the next 12 years we will be heading for extinction. Scary word eh? But it is the truth. We have warmed our planet and climate change is very real (Yes Donald Trump, it really, really is!) As I sit and write this we have had the hottest Easter on record. It’s April, it isn’t right. Yes, we may all think it is lovely to have the sun but let’s face it, it shouldn’t be this hot in the UK right now. How much longer is it going to be ignored for?
Thankfully there are some making a stand…
Extinction protests have been taking place all week in order to make the Government stand up and take notice. I watched a 15-year-old lad cry his eyes out talking to the news because he wants to be able to say he at least tried. He broke my heart. And then I look at my boys and I worry about their future. Will they have to sacrifice things because generations before were too greedy? Will their kids have a safe planet to be born onto? Will there be enough food? Will there be suffering? I cannot even begin to imagine it all.
It may seem all doom and gloom but if enough of us made changes right this moment, we could have an impact. I am by no means going to force anyone into anything, all I can do is talk about it and raise awareness because if I sit back and do nothing I could never live with myself. I want our planet to have a bright future, I want the species we are wiping out to stand a chance and I want the next generations to be able to enjoy life as much as previous generations have done.
So, there we have it. My passion reignited to help to try and save the planet and I am ready to fight for what I believe in.
What steps could you make towards saving the planet?
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