World Environment Day 2021 - CarTakeBack Blog

Posted on Saturday 5 June 2021 by CarTakeBack

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The climate crisis, the extinction of species, natural disasters… the issues around environmental damage can feel all-consuming and overwhelming. But the worst response we can have, whatever generation we are, is to assume that what we do as an individual doesn’t count. That we can’t make a difference on our own. Or that the little positive things we can do, don’t matter. How you choose to live does affect the environment.

We can’t all move into eco-friendly pods built into the side of a hill, make fuel from banana skins and do our commute in a pair of bamboo shoes on a recycled bicycle. However, there are hundreds, if not thousands of things we can do that will help our environment. All we need to do is stop making excuses about doing them.

The official World Environment Day campaign has stated that we might not be able to turn back time, but we can take action to restore the planet and be part of #GenerationRestoration

To celebrate this World Environment Day and hopefully provide a little inspiration and encouragement for us all doing ‘our bit’, here’s some easy environmentally friendly ideas from the CarTakeBack team to help make us all green!

Go wild!

Go wild!

You don’t have to travel further than your garden, or even a small backyard to ‘go wild’ and make a difference. From growing trees or your own vegetables to bug hotels and bird feeders, any little effort can have a great impact on your local wildlife and environment. Insects such as bees have been found to prefer gardens to open spaces, so planting wild flower seeds are a great addition to your borders or tubs.

It’s not exactly wild, but if you have the space, why not invest in a compost bin – you can help reduce the waste going to landfill and create some lovely mulch for your plants at the same time!

Unusual recycling

Unusual recycling

Many of us have been enthusiastic recyclers for years. Councils have made it relatively easy to recycle standard items on a weekly basis and as long as you follow the guidelines, such as rinsing items properly, it’s an effective way to help the environment. However, when it comes to other items we’re not quite so good at making the effort… consider everything! Clothes, furniture, electricals, building materials – virtually everything can be re-used or recycled now. Why not get together with friends and family and each person help with one type of collection. You may even find some re-useable ideas at home (flares are back in you know!).

A massive 95% of your old car can be recycled, and we even do the sorting for you! Making sure your end-of-life vehicle is recycled responsibly by an Authorised Treatment Facility means it will also be thoroughly de-polluted before recycling – ensuring hazardous materials don’t end up leaking into the environment.

Transform your transport

Transform your transport

It might be obvious, but that shouldn’t be a reason to miss out this huge category. Simply getting from A to B in any fuelled vehicle plays a part in harming the environment. We know many people have no choice to drive certain journeys, but choosing to walk, cycle or use public transport whenever you can is worthwhile. Even if that’s only one journey out of ten. Every time you plan a journey consider your method of travel and pat yourself on the back whenever you can get there under your own steam!

Shopping and eating green

Shopping and eating green

It’s still odd for a lot of us to link the food we eat to environmental harm, especially tucking into our favourite meaty meal. But it’s an area we can no longer afford to ignore and there are so many small changes you can make that will help the environment.

Even if you have no desire to go vegan, we’ve been warned by scientists that the environment cannot cope with current levels of meat consumption, with 5.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide associated with the industry. Simply reducing the amount of meat you consume will help and you’ll have fun trying out some alternatives along the way as well as enjoying the health benefits.

Ideally buying local will make a difference to several environmental factors, including the reduction of transportation of goods.

When you’re picking your fruit and veg, try to choose loose produce to reduce the impact of plastic packaging. Some stores are even selling cereal, pasta and other dry products loose, so you can empty the amount you want into a reusable container from home!

Clean up your cleaning products

Clean up your cleaning products

Developed countries have become reliant on single-use cleaning products, but if it doesn’t need to be single use, it shouldn’t be! Rather than wet wipes, dish cloths and paper towels that all end up in landfill, give some new eco-friendly options a go… There are plenty of tried and tested alternatives available now including organic cotton or bamboo cloths, which can be used and washed as many times as you need.

Don’t forget the chemicals you are using to clean with too. We know it feels like a huge switch - ditching the disinfectant - but it’s not good for your personal health, as well as the environment. Simply reducing how much of these harsh products you use (often following the guidelines rather than putting in extra ‘for good measure’) can really help. If you are ready to embrace the change completely, then look to avoid any products that have warning labels. There is a vast choice of environmentally friendly products available now, usually in re-usable containers.

Water for wellness

Water for wellness

Where do we start with the big W! First, just use less whenever you can. Most modern toilets have a half-flush option and if you contact your water provider they will help you with efficient taps and shower heads that reduce the amount of water you use. If you have the time and resources there are bigger projects you can try at home such as collecting rain water for car washing or even toilet flushing!

When it comes to drinking water, over a million bottles are used every minute and over 90% of those end up in landfill! So even a tenth of those people switching to re-useable bottles could have a massive impact. There are brilliant insulated bottles you can buy now, which keep water lovely and cold as well as helping the environment.

Of course, anything you can replace with a reusable/sustainable alternative is worthwhile and there are so many amazing eco-friendly products out there now from shopping bags to toothbrushes, loose tea to LED lightbulbs!

Talking of lightbulbs... 

Switch it off!

Switch it off!

Did we just remind you of your Mum or Dad twenty years ago?! As much as we’d be delighted to help reduce your electricity bill, the reason we’re reminding you of this now is that there is still a huge environmental cost for power. Until the world is running exclusively off sustainable energy, which is still a long way off, making that effort to turn off lights, heating, and not leaving every device on stand-by, is a really easy way for you to help the environment.

It’s also become apparent in recent years that light pollution is hugely detrimental to wildlife, so you can help two birds with one switch!

Clean up rivers and coasts

Clean up rivers and coasts

We’re not suggesting you start trailing the oceans for plastic on your weekends (unless of course you already do!) but volunteering to help at clean-up events or just doing your own litter collections when you’re out and about can have a huge impact on wildlife and the wider environment. The organisation Clean Coasts has lots of suggestions.

Obviously it would be fantastic if you can do something from all of these categories, but every single one of these things helps the environment, so just do as many as you can and know that you are making a difference. Make World Environment Day the first day for change…

We can all be part of #GenerationRestoration.

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