Not easy being green…By Emily Drake-Knight
When it comes to environmental issues, there are two main camps splashed across the media – the climate-change deniers (complete with gas-guzzling cars, private jets and secret oil investments), and the hemp-wearing activists, disrupting traffic in major cities with their protests.
But what about the rest of us? Those who care deeply about the state of our planet but feel they don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to make a real difference?
Electric cars are great but if you don’t have thousands of pounds sitting in the bank, or your own driveway to charge the thing, it might be admirable but impractical to trade in the reliable old diesel. Solar panels could be an efficient way to save money and help the planet, after all this is the Sunshine Isle, but unless you have some cash available, you own your own house and it happens to have a south-facing roof, it’s probably not ideal.
The UK’s recent push towards getting rid of single-use plastics is brilliant and it’s great to see more independent Island shops embracing this approach, with the recent opening of Peach Vegan Restaurant and Zero Waste Store in Newport, Lesley’s Nutshell in Ventnor and, of course, Easy Weigh, which has been refilling our kitchen cupboards for decades.
My struggle with all things green is that I’m a sucker for convenience and if I can get all my shopping done in the same place I will. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I am often time poor (yes I know, Greta Thunberg would argue the planet is pretty time poor right now, too). So, what can I do to make an impact without exhausting my weekend searching for plastic-free Lego?
A quick browse online provided me with some key advice. First up, use what you already have, don’t throw out your perfectly good Tupperware in exchange for a trendy new bamboo set, as you’ll just be adding to landfill. Try to change the things that make the biggest impact first, consider switching your energy provider to one that only uses renewable energy sources (this way you still get to feel smug without having to install your own wind turbine), most comparison sites have an option to just compare green companies. And, if it all feels a bit overwhelming, you can always take inspiration from the Maya Angelou quote being banded around online, ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better’.