There’s celebration in the air as we get ready for the four-day bank holiday to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee …
When it comes to big celebrations and extra holiday, it’s easy to drop some of the things we do day-to-day to cut impact. We can see it as a ‘one off’ or want to cut ourselves some slack. Which is fair enough! From buying last-minute food in single-use plastic, to running around in the car, or leaving waste by the bins for someone else to clear up; it’s an easy trap every one of us can fall into.
We’re creating a community that puts people and planet first. To do that we need to start taking our good intentions into the one-off situations too. So here are a few ways to keep up momentum …
Reduce, Reuse, Rethink
Refuse, reuse, rethink is a good mantra to take out with us. Reducing what we use over the weekend means there’s less waste to get rid of.
Taking a refillable water bottle, coffee cup or festival cup along with us will cut waste, and chemicals. Plastic isn’t just a waste problem, you see. It’s a huge health problem; for us, the soil and the ocean.
We can also pledge to avoid as much single use wrap as possible when buying party food or food at events. Bring a plate is a winner for events you may be organising, taking a refill tiffin tin or tub is perfect for festivals.
And when it’s all done? Grab any rubbish that’s left and take it home where you can recycle or reuse as much as possible. Bins in town and at the beach will be chocca – guaranteed. If a more of us take our own rubbish away, it helps.
If you’re heading further afield to celebrate or need to travel around, how can you leave the car at home? For one … you won’t need to be the designated driver! Bus fares have just been significantly reduced in Cornwall to encourage people onto public transport. Timetables are also improving so they match train and other bus services.
If it’s a shorter distance to go (we go on a 5K radius at the mo’ at SPZ HQ) could you bike it? Cycling round PZ is getting easier with more bike lanes and low or slow traffic zones plus a whole network of bike shelters, thanks to the Healthy Streets initiative.
It may be that you have mates heading to the same place; give them a call and see if you can lift-share? Check out Pasty Connection, the local lift share app too (they actually give out free pasties to festival goers who use the service.)
Food for Thought
Food and drink are central themes for extended bank holidays. In addition to looking at reducing supermarket packaging, we can look at buying locally produced ingredients and treats. If we’ve got time and inclination, making some dishes at home ourselves. It’s a money saver as well as a waste saver.
Food waste is a biggie here though. Gauging exactly how much food is needed is tricky, but it’s something to bear in mind to try and reduce leftovers. If there are leftovers, there are some great local organisations looking to redistribute food in the community to help combat food poverty. Check out Growing Links and the Community Larder at Redwing plus other groups on our Signposting page.
How can our excess help even up access to food locally?
… it’s what it’s all about. Time with each other and in our communities, whatever they look like to us. At Sustainable PZ we are working to connect and create a stronger community, which is inclusive, open and accessible to all. Working on a shared mission to try and do things in a better and kinder way to each other, and the place we live.
Community events are a great way to do this. By choosing to do things a different way to reduce our own contribution to pollution and waste, we can influence others around us. Tell your mates what you’re doing to cut impact, instigate lift shares or a cycle-in, take a few festival cups in your bag for friends who’ve forgotten theirs.
From small acorns and all that … we can influence more than we think by our own small actions and decisions.
Have a great time.
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