Like most things during ‘lockdown’, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day is going digital. Participants are encouraged to share the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE on Wednesday 22nd April in a collective call for transformative action for our planet. Here, The Jockey Club’s Sustainability and Corporate Social Values Manager, Kirstin McEvoy, explains how we can help from home.
There’s no doubt that one of the accidental silver linings of ‘lockdown’ in the face of this public health emergency is the reduction in air pollution. Cleaner air and cleaner streets means cleaner living and a cleaner environment.
We’re also spending more time at home than ever before and the likelihood is that most of us have got a little more time on our hands – even if it’s just the time you would have spent commuting to and from your place of work.
So why not use that time to explore what you could be doing to help from the comfort of your own home? The unexpected breather the environment is currently taking can be good for us all. Now’s your chance to your bit, ranging from recycling clothes to using up that (edible!) food in the back of your cupboard.
Here are 5 simple tips designed to help us all become greener in lockdown:
The usual energy-saving tips that we suggest at work can help with reducing your energy bills at home. Simply switching off your laptop rather than shutting the lid on it can save a lot of energy over time and remembering to turn off any other appliances and lights is the easiest way to reduce energy waste. It could be you’ve already noticed a smaller laundry pile as we’re not needing so many outfits to get us through the week. We can make the most of that by washing the loads that we need to on a cooler cycle and taking advantage of the perfect drying weather to avoid the use of the tumble drier.
GROW YOUR OWN
Mine won’t be the only set of tips that encourages you to get digging. With this extra time we have on our hands, have a go at growing your own salads, herbs or vegetables. Most of the supermarkets are selling packets of seeds or even seedlings, so that some of the work has already been done for you. You can pick these up when you are doing your “essentials” shopping and have them in the ground before you know it.
Rather than adding to your shopping list, see what’s lurking in your kitchen already. What’s the oldest or weirdest thing you have? Set yourself a challenge to make something delicious (and edible!) out of it. Look up the ingredients online and see what recipe suggestions there are. Don’t allow yourself to buy any new tins until you’ve used up the ones that you’ve already got. Herring fillets with butterbeans in coconut milk anyone? Perhaps not, but you get my point.
JUST LIKE NEW
Rather than going online and ordering new items to be delivered, we’ve all got things we’ve forgotten we own. So, whether it’s clothing or things to entertain us and the family, it’s time for a stocktake. Pull out your wardrobe and have a good rummage around. And what about the tired looking boxes of board games that haven’t been played for years? Or that 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle that’s still in the cellophane? Then there are the books and DVDs you never got round to reading or watching. Have a good look. You’ll have more than you think.
GREEN GROCERY (SHOPPING)
If you can walk to the shops, try to leave the car at home and combine the shopping with your exercise. If the shops are too far or the shopping likely to be too heavy, buddy up with a neighbour. Suggest you take it in turns to do the shopping and hand over your list. This has added benefits – if they want a couple of oranges and you want a couple of oranges, you can share a net of oranges and split the cost. If it’s their turn to go, it might also mean you buy slightly less wine than you would have done if you were going yourself!