‘What do you do at home to make yourself sustainable?’
This was a question asked in school in my daughter’s geography lesson – and it turned out to be quite revealing. She came back amazed, twice over; first because many of her classmates didn’t have an answer and second, because she realised just what it takes to make a move in a sustainable direction.
Answers in the class covered a range of things, like:
- ‘I reuse plastic bags’ or ‘I take my own bag to the supermarket’,
- ‘I wash out plastic bottles and reuse them’,
- ‘I don’t eat so much meat anymore’.
‘So, what did you say?’ I asked.
‘We’ve got an electric car’ she replied.
This was met with incredulity by the teacher. ‘Really? Completely electric? How far does it go? Has it made a difference to your electricity bill?’
‘No, not really – we use the solar panels on our house to charge it’.
‘Wait – you’ve got solar panels?’
The conversation went on like this. What she didn’t say was that she was raised in washable nappies, we rarely fly, we’re altogether quite conscious of our carbon footprint and we’re running a sustainable sports apparel business in order to present a wider choice to the public!
Of course, there could be plenty more answers to this question:
- I buy products made from bamboo and not plastic.
- I choose to buy items like brooms made from wood which will decompose, rather than metal or plastic.
- I buy bars of soap rather than liquid soap to reduce to packaging.
- I mend the holes in my jumper so that it will last a little longer.
- I go to a local store where I can take my own jar to fill with rice or pasta to reduce the amount of plastic in the packaging.
- I ride my bike to work for my commute.
But… our family are not, and should not be, unusual. I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there who mind about the environment and are making heaps of choices, all the time, about how to protect the environment and make it more sustainable.
So, here’s the challenge: what exactly are you doing to be more sustainable? What choices can you inspire the rest of us to make that we haven’t actioned yet?
How big a lifestyle change are you prepared to make?