Our Environmental Stories: Team Sing United!
In the final part of this term’s singer stories we have something a little different for you. This is usually where we we find some amazing links between one of our Green Heart Army and the theme of our show. Here we’ve pulled together all the singer contributions of how they have made changes to their lives to help the environment. This is a great chance to learn from each other and consider making some more adjustments ourselves. Many thanks to our main contributor, Anne Griffiths, who put considerable time and effort into pulling her ideas together. It was fantastic to hear from many other singers who are also doing some of this already.
Singer Ideas to Save the Planet!
Things you can do at home…
- Consider using a renewable energy supplier – you can switch easily. Just do your homework on which companies have the best green credentials – the Which Guide is a great resource for this.
- Try and save energy by having energy efficient appliances – turn off rather than leave on stand by, don’t over heat your home (put on an extra jumper!), have energy saving light bulbs, insulate your loft and many other things!
- Save water where you can. Shower rather than have a bath. Use an aerator on your shower head and taps. Have a water butt in the garden. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine when there is a full load.
- Help bees. Have part of your garden, or allotment if you have one, put over to wildflowers rather than sterile lawn. Do not use pesticides and herbicides.
- Change your diet. Consider a plant-based one. Meat and dairy production is responsible for 14.5% of climate change gases. Eat locally produced foods to reduce air miles. Good news, wine has a lower carbon foot print than you might think, especially if it is bottled in this country!
- Reduce or refuse single use plastic such as plastic water bottles, straws, crisp packets, unnecessary food packaging, plastic bags etc. If you have to use single use plastic, know what is and isn’t recyclable locally.
- Buy a regular organic vegetable box – North East Organic Growers is one but of course there are others.
- Don’t waste food. If you make too much, freeze the extra portions. Then when you can’t be bothered to cook, you’ve got a ready meal in the freezer.
- There are many environmentally friendly products that may just take a little bit more to seek out! Pauline Sibbald has swapped to using a different toothbrush and other dental hygiene products – instead of the plastic we’re used to, they are made from bamboo which is bio-degradable and 100% antibacterial.
Things you can do on the move…
- Reduce your car mileage where you can. Walk, take the bus or Metro, cycle or car share. If you are getting a new car consider one with lower CO2 emissions.
- Try to reduce your air travel. Air travel is a big source of CO2 emissions worldwide.
- Plant trees – get involved with your local park if you want to be hands on or join the Woodland Trust. You could switch to using the Ecosia search engine instead of Google. Ecosia is a Berlin based search engine that donates 80% or more of its profits to nonprofit organizations that focus on reforestation.
- Apart from the obvious health benefits, consider stopping smoking cigarettes. The stubs are made of plastic and are a major source of plastic pollution in our oceans.
- Get a reusable water bottle such as a Chilli bottle and refill it with tap water. Our tap water in the North East is some of the best in the country. So why waste money on bottled?
- If you like buying coffee from a coffee shop, use a reusable bamboo cup. Starbucks takes 25p off each cup if you use your own, and some other coffee shops are doing the same.
- Rather than buying new clothes look at what’s available in your local charity shops, or online. You’ll be supporting a charity, saving money and the planet. Donate any clothes you haven’t worn for over a year to charity. Have a clothes swapping party!
- Don’t litter. This you would think would go without saying but is still a massive problem. Litter from the land is washed or blown into rivers, and ends up in our seas with devastating consequences for marine life. Even if you don’t drop litter, things like over filled rubbish bins and skips can cause huge problems. So if you can offer up your time, do a litter pick or beach clean.
- Use a refill shop for food staples. There is a good one on Tynemouth Station in Eco Alley called Buy the Kilo. Bring your own food boxes and bottles to refill.
But what if I want to do more?
- You could join an environmental group and try and understand the issues. They are not straight forward.
- Lobby your politicians about things you care about – clean air, clean beaches, clean water.
This isn’t a list of orders! Just some suggestions that perhaps you could consider adopting or it might spark some new ideas of your own. I’m sure there is at least one more thing we can all do to help the environment and if we do something ourselves be part of the solution, not the problem it’s got to make a difference.