Big or small, we can all do our bit to care for planet we live on

Sunset in Budleigh picture by Tony Velterop

Sunset in Budleigh picture by Tony Velterop - Credit: Tony Velterop

I am a very positive person but even I have been feeling a bit deflated with the constant barrage of bad news, especially around climate change.

Like many of us, I desperately want to see our planet thriving and healthy for future generations but I often feel flummoxed as to where to start. Can I make a difference, isn’t it the responsibility of our leaders to make sweeping changes on a global scale?

The enormity of the issue and the perceived lack of international co-operation or indeed real action seems to make the whole thing overwhelming and unattainable by the likes of you and me. I watched the Earthshot programme and when it was over I commented to my husband that it was such a welcome change to watch a programme where I actually felt at the end of it there was hope. It was amazing to see and hear about initiatives that I didn’t know existed and it was also brilliant to see that this was being tackled on a global platform, not just what we need to do in the UK.  

For the first time I thought that we stand a chance of saving and preserving our world and it was so refreshing to see these real life examples that offered glimmers of hope and positivity. I was filled with admiration for all the nominees mentioned on the programme some of whom were as young as 15. It filled me with renewed optimism that we can all help and contribute in keeping our world habitable for all the species it supports, we just have to be clever and actually take action. 

Last week I wrote on making do and this theme is very much part of it. We can all contribute in our own small ways. From switching off unrequired electric lights to recycling whatever we can. Efficiently using the refuse systems as well as the recycling centres within our communities.

We can upcycle our own things to prevent the needless destruction of some working and useful items. Second-hand shops should not be the abode of our poor or the place we get our fancy-dress outfit from, we should all start there if we are looking for something. Ebay, Gumtree, Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace, Depop, Vintage cash cow and many other sites are available online. For those of us keener on the full retail experience there are second-hand charity shops, vintage shops, car boot sales and antique stalls and shops. I have been known to say “I have nothing to wear” but when I really look I always find an outfit that is perfectly acceptable.  

The clothes production industry is responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas omissions this is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined and that was prior to covid restrictions being in place. Synthetic clothing accounts for 35% of primary plastics being released into our environment. 

Most Read

We can all do something, whether it’s buying products more locally or choosing local products from a restaurant menu. Walk to the shops on a more regular basis, good for you and the environment. Make your next car an electric one or cycle to and from work where possible. Ask your employer to look into the Bike2Work scheme. Remember your shopping bags and buy products that are more environmentally friendly.  

The best part of last night’s programme was seeing Costa Rica win a prize for reversing the deforestation of its own lands. That country should be a true inspiration to us all both individually and globally. This Royal initiative, so marvellously lead by our own future King, Prince William afforded real positivity and a brilliant start to the vitally important 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference which we are hosting in Glasgow at the end of this month. Come on East Devon, don’t wait for the politicians, let's all try and do our bit for our world and our future. 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter