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Author: Ronise, Red Ranger Volunteer

Do you know we use over 500 billion plastic bottles a year, and 1.2 million plastic bottles per minute!? Shocking, isn’t it?

But we don’t just generate pollution as a result of our consumer choices. Despite the level of knowledge and technology we have nowadays, many sustainable options are not available, or not affordable for many people. For example, biodegradable bags cost almost 3 times the price of plastic bags. Plus, organic food from local farmers (which would reduce pesticides in the air and fuel usage!) is also costly and not available in many cities.

However, there’s good news; while some sustainable options are difficult to reach or use, there are several ways to minimise our impact on the planet. This is why the World Environmental Day calls for awareness and activism: we CAN do something, and we SHOULD do something!

What can we do?

We can all make simple changes. For example:

  • opting for reusable bags while shopping
  • using refillable water bottle and coffee cups
  • putting the rubbish in the correct bin and recycling everything we can
  • offering a lift to our neighbour who’s travelling the same way
  • walking or cycling to work/school/small nearby shopping trips
  • combating food waste by simply buying what we need
  • having shorter showers/bath
  • turning off the tap while brushing teeth
  • collecting rainwater to water the plants
  • turning the lights off on leaving the room

…these are all good for our pockets too!

Plus, there are other things you can do to engage in some activism, such as:

  • engage in litter picking within your community
  • make a campaign to press your council to create more recycling centres and to recycle more materials
  • avoid buying products that are not sustainable when knowing there are better options
  • put pressure on the industry to change their production process and the government to make it more affordable
  • participating in wildlife conservation activities
  • volunteering to conservation organisations, such as Reclaiming Reds!

There’s a wide range of things you can carry out to do something positive for the environment. The time is tight, but we can still act to protect the environment and prevent further destruction. Around 9 billion of us can make a big difference.

So, what will you do this World Environment Day? Remember: We have Only One Earth. Let’s take care of it!