Happy New Year! We hope you had a great time over the last couple of weeks and are feeling rested and ready for all 2023 holds.
We’re looking forward to getting stuck into more actions and events locally which help us all work together to create the kind of town and community we want for the future. One that protects, restores and puts us and our amazing environment first.
Our individual actions are so important in this. Those little things that ripple out to big impact. Not just through the actions themselves, but also in how those around us start to do the same things.
So, we’re kick starting 2023 with five simple things we can all do right now to lower our impact. Starting with…
Meat Free Mondays
It’s pretty simple. Don’t eat meat on a Monday! It’s a great way to try new, healthier dishes and with the meat industry causing 60% of all greenhouse gases from food production it’s a fab way to reduce our own contribution. Not to mention the ethics of meat production.
We’re not saying all meat is bad here. It’s industrial meat that’s the issue. And swapping to a plastic packed, industrial diet of vegan cheese and meat replacements isn’t a solution either. It’s more about thinking about where our food comes from and how it’s produced. How we eat in tune with nature. Which is what we’re built to do, and one of the reasons we’re facing a health crisis.
Ditch Plastic Bottles
Yes we’re still banging on about this one. But how many of us can truly say we’ve stopped buying plastic bottles of drink? 38.5 million plastic drinks bottles are bought each day in the UK alone. Around half end up polluting the environment through incineration, landfill or directly ending up in blue and green spaces.
Recycling is important – but it’s not the solution. If we all decide not to buy plastic drinks bottles anymore it makes a huge difference. Here’s how:
- Drink tap water in a refill bottles
- If you can – invest in a Soda Stream for fizzy water and drinks
- If you can’t – get fizzy drinks in cans or glass bottles. Score health points by reducing the amount you buy.
- Refill. You can refill bottles all over town. Not just water but cleaning products, shampoo, soap, hair conditioner and more. Check out the Refill PZ map
- Add your voice to national calls for tighter policy on single use plastic. Find out how here
Reduce car use
Did you know? Cars create almost a quarter of Cornwall’s carbon emissions.
If we are to make any difference on air quality and at least try to mitigate some of the worst effects of climate change on our community … we need to reduce personal car useage in Cornwall by 80%. That’s huge for a rural area.
It’s OK though right? We can all swap to electric or hydrogen cars? Not such a golden bullet. Bit like veganism. It really needs a rethink on how we move around.
We need brilliant communal transport solutions and while they’re in the pipeline … we still need to get away from using our personal cars. It’s a tricky one so we’re breaking it down. Try one car-free day a week and see how you get on. How?
- Lift share whenever possible – maybe set up a WhatsApp group on your street or with friends & family
- Check out Pasty Connection for lift sharing longer journeys
- Use your bike or hop on an electric Beryl Bike for local journeys. Things like meetings, getting to the cinema, popping to the shops or to the bank.
- Use publish transport. Buses are super cheap right now. £5 to go anywhere in Cornwall and £2.50 for a PZ day rover ticket. Times are more in line with connections and train services now too
- Support initiatives trying to enable more sustainable ways of moving to & from and around the town. Take part in consultations. There are some really cool projects coming up for PZ, but they’ll only happen if we tell decision makers that we want them.
Wake up and smell the coffee
Seven million disposable coffee cups are used each day in the UK. 99% end up polluting environment in one way or another through incineration, landfill or being discarded. (The other 1% get recycled) Don’t get us started on compostable alternatives. They’re just as bad. So, what to do? We’re back to refill … this is an uber simple switch and it’ll also save money. All we have to do is remember a refill cup when getting a takeout drink.
Nothing more to say here. Other than it would be great to support local coffee shops rather than the chains 😊
Starting buying fruit and veg from a local grocer or farmer
‘But that’s really expensive’ we heard someone say? It actually isn’t. Supermarkets have done a BRILLIANT job of convincing us all they’re easier and cheaper. Having said that, we’re also realistic at SPZ HQ. We are busy working people with families, bills and ‘real’ life stuff to deal with too.
But, a small shift to get fruit and veg from a local supplier instead of the supermarket is totally doable and makes a big impact.
It can lower food miles, supports local businesses, we’re more likely to eat seasonally and it also reduces plastic waste. We also get more for our money on meal prep, as it kickstarts more cooking from scratch using quality home-grown produce
Here are some things you can try:
1. Check out the local grocer and farm stalls. How can you build a weekly visit into your routine?
2. Check out labels. Where has the produce come from. First and foremost opt for seasonal, local and British.
3. If you have the budget, go organic. If not – swapping to local produce is an amazing first step
4. Veg box schemes are fab and there are a few locally. It needs a shift in how we organise food prep and budget, but it’s doable and will mean we’re eating more in line with what’s actually available locally.
Read more here on food and how its impact stacks up on your plate
As always – we love your tips, ideas and insight too. Hop on to our Facebook and Insta pages to get involved.