Back to basics: recycling, short showers & checking carbon footprint

If you are not recycling, you are not a good person. It’s that simple.

It will perhaps not come as a surprise that I am writing this blog post in a somewhat angry state, and it does, admittedly have a target audience. If you lack access to education or awareness of environmental issues then it is unreasonable to expect people to start calculating their carbon footprint out of nowhere. However, I am a university student, as are most of my friends. In fact, I am privileged enough to go to an excellent university, and we have no excuse. Students have time, and are educated/ aware enough, that not recycling is simply out of laziness. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is pure narcissism and an assumption that the world revolves around you and your needs. It does not.

This is not a science paper and I have no intention of regurgitating what, I hope, are well known facts about global warming and the environmental damage humans are conducting everyday. If you are not familiar with these facts, educate yourself. Stop being lazy, this matters, do something about it.

So, lets return to the basics.

Or rather, some things that I assumed were basics before attending university. I was lucky enough to grow up in a left wing, loving, supportive, educated family where it was assumed that we should try to use our privilege for good and give us much back to people/ the planet we live on as possible. I thought this was normal. Turn’s out it’s not. Most people seem to undergo an education in selfishness that I worry is fundamentally hard to undo. Let’s try though. Here are the basics. (The bare basics, believe me this is just the start.)

Recycle

Almost EVERYTHING  can be recycled now. I don’t care where you live, or how much effort it takes- look up you’re nearest recycling point and go to it- regularly. (Preferably not in a car, use public transport/ walk/ cycle or your somewhat negating the point.) You can recycle plastic, cardboard- and yes, if a product has both those parts, you can pull it apart and recycle both separately. In fact, if you don’t you’re showing a blatant disregard for the planet we share. The one people always seem to forget about is food recycling; there’s a bin for leftover food/ flowers/ organic waste- use it!

Water usage/ electricity  

Don’t waste water. I thought everyone knew this but apparently some people have never been taught… (Yeah, our education system has a way to go.) Do not take long showers, get in and out as quickly as possible. Try not to take baths (I confess this is a treat I succumb to, but don’t make it a regular thing.) Don’t fill up the kettle more than you need to. Think, before you use water/ heat that water.

Turn the lights out

Please god, turn the lights out. It’s so simple. I’ve spent my whole uni life going around after people turning out the lights. Why isn’t this second nature? It takes a fraction of a second, so just don’t leave any lights on unnecessarily.

Travel 

If you claim to travel because you love the world, and yet are destroying the world with your flights, you are a hypocrite. Not every family member needs a car, that is nonsense- coordinate your schedules better or use public transport. In fact, do the latter whenever possible or walk/ cycle.

Calculate your carbon footprint

Most of us need to get a shock to start caring. Calculate your carbon footprint, face up to the damage your doing, and change it. Here is a link to one site, but there are many that can be used: co2.myclimate.org/en/footprint_calculators/new?gclid=CKaAgbrT8tMCFemd7QodbTUKZg

Not doing these things is unacceptable, and you cannot possibly claim to be a good person if you’re not bothering with them. There is more we could all do, there is SO much more I could do, but not even bothering with the basics is unforgivable.

~ Jo ~

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