In partnership with The Clean Earth Trust
Restore Our Earth is the theme for World Earth Day 2021. With a focus on local communities, we’re looking at ways in which we can do our bit to help here in Guernsey. Together with The Clean Earth Trust, we’ve come up with a list of 4 ways to limit our negative impact on the environment, right here, right now!
“Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that.” - David Attenborough
We live in a throw-away society where repairing rather than replacing household items is often actually more difficult than it sounds. In theory, it should be cheaper and easier to fix a broken appliance rather than throwing it away and buying a new one, but have you tried doing that lately? Finding someone with the skills to identify the fault, finding the parts, getting them delivered to Guernsey... we all know what it’s like. And then there’s the matter of “built in obsolescence” where manufacturers deliberately design their products to fail after a certain period of time so that we will rush out to buy their new range (audible groan, we know). The Apple investigation around the release of the iPhone 8 brought this into focus a few years ago. It can feel all too easy to just order new and move on.
But now for the good news - it doesn’t always have to be that way! The Repair Café runs monthly workshops where volunteers are on hand to help you repair small electrical items and household goods, from kettles to wicker baskets and (almost) everything in between. The team was recently awarded a grant from Guernsey Electricity Limited and they are using this to expand by purchasing equipment and parts needed for repairs, as well as training more volunteers. The Repair Café will also be able to PAT test your electrical items once they’re fixed! Excellent work, Guernsey!
We all have a favourite jumper or a go-to pair of trousers that we turn to time and time again. That is until there’s an ironing disaster, the fabric tears, the cashmere catches... and it’s all over. Or is it? The Clean Earth Trust is encouraging us to try to repair damaged clothes rather than throwing them away, again with help from The Repair Café. Their volunteers will work with you, sharing their knowledge and skills to give your clothes a new lease of life. They run regular sessions (Tuesdays 12pm-2pm and Saturdays 10am-12pm) out of Health Connections' PreLoved shop in Smith Street, and while you’re there, if you find a vintage piece of clothing that needs to be adjusted they can help with that too. Ideal, right?! Plus, their sewing and mending skills aren’t only for fashion, they’ll help you mend all sorts of textiles: cuddly toys, favourite blankets, even blinds.
There are also many local initiatives that focus more directly on supporting our planet, with the Trust's litter picking events taking place regularly. Did you know that there are organised beach cleans taking place every weekend around the island? You can pop along to these events to tackle littering, or go solo wombling with a little help from the Trust. There are Litter Pickers dotted around the island in places like the Guille-Allés Library, so you can borrow them like you would borrow a book and walk with purpose as you do your bit to help the planet. You’ll also find Litter Pickers in a number of beach kiosks so you can gather up some rubbish as you walk with friends or in between ice creams while you enjoy a family day at the beach. If you’re out and about collecting litter, don’t forget to tag the team @cleanearthtrust using #pickitupguernsey so they can see.
There are so many great reasons to volunteer and take part in the local initiatives… where to start? For many of us modern life can be busy, but also lonely. Popping along to take part in the occasional beach clean or tree planting session can be a great way to connect with like minded people and make new friends. We all know the Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors, right? Combining that with a sense of purpose and community, knowing that you are making a difference in our community and helping the planet will definitely give you that feel good factor.
It’s also a great way to learn a new skill… get involved with the repair workshops and learn the skills to pass on to others. Or maybe you already know how to sew? Tap back into those skills and share your knowledge with others in a friendly and rewarding way.
We started with a David Attenborough quote, let’s finish with one too:
"Surely we all have a responsibility to care for our Planet. The future of humanity and indeed, all life on earth, now depends on us."
In partnership with Guernsey Electricity. When it comes to living more sustainably, lots of small changes can have a big impact on our wellbeing and our local environment. As Guernsey Electricity moves forwards with plans for a more sustainable future for our island, they share some ideas with us on how to live a greener life.