By guest contributor Vivienne Alexa.
Climate change and sustainability can feel overwhelming. We get it, we feel the same! It can be easy to point the finger at world leaders, governments and businesses, and look to them to take action. However, there is another way. What if we all did just one thing to tackle these issues? These actions would start to add up, and most importantly, make a difference.
There are five key areas where you can make major changes in your life in order to be more sustainable and all they were all covered at the recent Just One Thing event. We asked local holistic health coach Vivienne Alexa, a speaker at the event, to share tips on simple switches we can start implementing right now. Here's what she told us...
Did you know that the fashion industry accounts for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, and that on average, we only wear an item of clothing 10 times? The quickest way to make a change is to only buy what you need, and even better, buy a pre-loved item from one of the island’s many second hand shops, or why not borrow from a friend. For more sustainable fashion advice, turn to Sustainable Stylist Kay Davidson who shares tips and ideas on how to 'wear your values’. The Repair Cafe is another local favourite, with skilled volunteers on hand to help give clothes a little TLC and help refurbish broken or worn-out goods.
Our food choices contribute to 25% of carbon emissions, devastating deforestation and a major loss of biodiversity. Not to mention the waste that occurs throughout the growing, harvesting, transportation and retail processes. Luckily, we have regenerative growing experts The Soil Farm here on the island, providing local, chemical-free, nutritious fruits, vegetables and herbs. Together with Fairtrade Guernsey they share how we can support producers of some of our favourite foods. Plus, The Guernsey Weigh provides ideas for simple, plastic-free and sustainable swaps. Guernsey Seaweed is another local enterprise who share how we can harness one of the island’s most regenerative resources and I, Vivienne Alexa, offer up ideas to make planet-friendly and healthy food choices.
Do you know how your money is used by your bank, pension provider or investment? Why not ask the question of them - are they using your money to fund the economy that led us to where we are, or are they using your money to fund a sustainable future? Expert Justin Sykes has a wealth of experience on ‘Impact Investment’.
Two years ago, a survey highlighted the island’s unsustainable reliance on vehicles, when nearly one million vehicle movements were recorded in and out of St Peter Port, in just one week! Cycling and walking not only reduce our carbon footprint but also improve our health. The Better Journeys Project has created a monthly challenge for us to travel differently on the first Friday of every month. Walk, cycle, car share or catch the bus to reduce traffic on the roads - and your carbon footprint. For inspiration on how you can get involved, the Health Improvement Commission and the Better Journeys Project is on hand to get you back in the saddle.
As well as energy usage being the greatest contributor to human carbon emissions, rising costs mean that there’s never been a better time to review our consumption. Making conscious decisions about the amount, and timing, of our electricity usage can make all the difference to our bills. Can clothes be air-dried instead of tumble-dried? Which appliances/devices/lights are plugged in and on when they really don’t need to be? The Little Green Energy Company are renewable energy experts, offering practical advice and solutions.
Already ticked these actions off your eco-checklist? Then why not take the Sustain-Ability challenge, where you’ll find a list of 40 actions towards a more sustainable lifestyle.