Here at Eco Kids Planet, we believe that 2018 is going to the greatest year yet for ‘greening’ and ‘cleaning’ our planet ! Move over diets and financial aspirations, we’ve got five resolutions that’ll help save our wildlife!
Bags, straws, bottles, coffee lids - the list for single-use plastics is long and their accumulation in our land and seas are overwhelming. Since the 1950s, humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes of plastic – equivalent in weight to one billion elephants – that will stick around in our environment for hundreds, and even thousands, of years. Scientists warn that its prevalence (in everything from teabags to clothes) is destroying our oceans and having unknown health consequences for humans and wildlife. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic by weight than fish!
So rather than reaching out for the easy option, stop and think. Pack yourself a reusable set to take out and about with you - including a reusable drinks bottle, strong reusable bag, cutlery and a straw (made from either bamboo, metal or paper).
When raiding the shelves for your weekly shop, stop and find alternatives to products that are supplied in plastic packaging, e.g. glass jars for sauces and cosmetics wrapped in paper over plastic.
Sadly, burning fossil fuels, is one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution and climate change. By ditching energy suppliers who readily burn oil and gas (which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere), you can power your home using the sun, wind and waves, instantly reducing your carbon footprint by 50%. Good Energy, Pure Planet and Ecotricity are all paving the way in providing green and clean energy.
Being conscious of what you bin while out on the go is a good place to start. Most often, we grab snacks, drinks and products which can be recycled; however they are disposed at the nearest bin. Hold on to recyclables until you get home and even your food waste (yes, chuck those sandwich crusts into your compost bin).
Ditch any products containing microplastics (their ingredients are listed as Polyethylene and Polypropylene), which are most common in toothpaste and face scrubs. These microplastics end up in our oceans causing devastating impact on wildlife. If your child is given a helium balloon at a party, remember not to release it into the air.
Put those social media accounts to good use. Everyone is on the prowl for inspiration and guidance, so show them that you care about nature and share messages on how people can help! Do you go birdwatching? Do you embark on wild adventures? Upload your photos to Instagram and show the world how nature matters to you!
There are lots of hidden (and not-so-hidden) items in our products which sadly, cause great environmental damage. Palm oil is one to look out for and avoid putting into your basket, but be warned - it can be found in literally everything, from bread to shampoo! However, it’s most commonly found in chocolate products, so switching your indulgence to a company that is palm-oil free is a good place to start. Ethical Consumer’s guide to palm oil reports that Booja Booja and Divine chocolate are completely palm oil-free!
While it might not be possible to eliminate palm oil from your shopping list completely, look out for logos including Rainforest Alliance and UTZ. They mean that products have come from sustainable farming and land management, which is much better for wildlife and local communities.
When purchasing fish, try and buy products containing the blue MSC logo. This means that the products have been sourced sustainably, ensuring that impacts on wild populations and ecosystems are kept to a minimum. Supporting fisherman who care about our oceans means that marine habitats are respected and enough fish are left in the ocean for future populations to survive.
So there you have it! 5 simple ways you can help the planet! Which one will you add to your resolution list? Or will you challenge yourself to do all 5? Or do you have a different resolution or idea for helping the planet? We’d love for you to share with us below.