Today, 22 April, marks the internationally celebrated Earth Day, and this year’s theme is ‘Restoring the Earth’.
Since the beginning of lockdown, plenty of people have reported feeling more of an appreciation for the natural world around us, whether that’s nearby parks, surrounding countryside, or our own gardens. Many of us have taken up gardening, set up birdfeeders at home, and used the time to try to develop habits that involve less plastic, less CO2, and less harm to our environment.
At Mercer & Hole we have tried to make changes that will lessen our environmental impact. For example, we stopped offering bottles of water in our offices, instead providing reusable water bottles and reusable coffee cups to our staff to reduce the amount of waste produced from disposable plastic and paper cups and bottles.
We are also in the process of going paperless. In the last 40 years, paper usage has grown 400%. This means that a staggering four billion trees are felled every year for global paper consumption. This is a truly shocking number, and it’s difficult to imagine the scale and impact of this habitat destruction.
We are pleased to at least be able to do our part in reducing demand and use of unnecessary paper and plastic. However, we are certain there is more we can do, and we are always looking for further ways to reduce our carbon footprint and become more eco-friendly moving forward.
The realities of the climate crisis can be quite overwhelming. The evidence is clear: globally, we need a large-scale transformation. But this doesn’t mean we should stop making the smaller changes and trying to live more sustainably in our everyday lives. These changes are still important, and we have to continue to help and encourage each other to make them.
So, as part of Mercer & Hole’s celebration of Earth Day, we decided to create a shared resource of everyone’s best tips on how to live in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way.
Members of our team have contributed their best habits and tricks that they use in their own lives as well as at work. For example, Helen Geaney uses her own re-usable vegetable bags so that she can buy loose fruit and veg, rather than those wrapped in plastic.
Courtney Halifax told us how she reduces her food waste at home, by utilising her freezer wherever possible: “freeze everything you can’t use. Fruit that is about to go off for smoothies, excess bread, double cream which you can then pop straight into sauces from frozen, cake, herbs. I’ve decided there is nothing you can’t freeze, and no food poisoning yet…”
Helping to keep his local environment clean and rubbish-free, Sandy Bell invested in a litter picker and fills a bag’s worth at the weekend when walking the dog. Habits like this really do help to make it Earth Day every day.
These are just a few examples. We can all learn from each other in terms of ideas of how to live more sustainably moving forward. Whilst it might seem like these small-scale changes don’t make a difference, when they are practiced by many people over a long period of time, they really add up to making positive change. For individuals, the important thing is to do what you can – even if that means starting with tiny changes and building from there.
To view the Mercer & Hole team’s Best Eco Tips document, please click here.