Happy Earth Day from our family here at The Butterfly Patch!
We believe that eco-consciousness is the way forward and Earth Day is a fantastic opportunity to spread the message.
Our planet is amazing! But it does need our help to keep thriving. This is why each year on April 22, more than one billion people celebrate Earth Day – spreading the message to help protect the planet.
So we are celebrating Earth Day today because it is our children's future we are helping to improve and secure.
So, what can we do to help?
To raise awareness, we’ve curated a list of 6 things you can do at home to reduce your carbon footprint:
1. Be Energy Conscious
Energy is one of the biggest pollutants our planet is currently combating, creating what is called the greenhouse effect (or as you might more commonly know it, global warming).
This is incredibly damaging to our planet – changing the weather so much so that we are seeing animal species die out or migrate causing the loss of biodiversity and increasing chances of global pandemics in the future.
So what can you do to help?
· One way is to not use energy when it’s not needed! Switch off lights, turn down the heating*.
· Another way to contribute is by switching your suppliers to renewable energy sources. Over 30 years ago we’ve begun our dive into the use of renewable energy but only 40% of homes in the UK use it today.
By switching to a supplier that uses renewable energy you can reduce your carbon footprint by 70%. I know, a whole 70%!!!
For more information on renewable energy sources click here.
* All homes are also entitled to a free smart meter – this will help you monitor your gas and electric usage and not just help the environment but also save some money!
Recycling sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it? The UK has a recycling rate of 45% at the moment. Yet still, 14 million tonnes of household waste are still sent to landfill every year.
For comparison, Germany, Austria and South Korea recycle 60-70% of their household waste. So, recycling can have a huge environmental impact, we just need to put in the effort.
Why not turn recycling into a game with your little one? Together decorate different wastebaskets and create a list of what can go into each one, make filling these up a race!
Please see your local council recycling guidelines for more information.
This one sounds rather strange... we’ve touched on recycling but upcycling? Isn’t that something for tradespeople or carpenters? Nope! It’s something you can easily do at home and what we do in our nurseries.
Upcycling can take on a wide range of meanings – from big DIY projects to repurposing small items. Let get to some examples:
· You can upcycle furniture – if you are looking for a new chest of drawers and have a spare afternoon why not make something totally unique, you can even get your little one involved.
The How-To: Head over to a local charity shop to pick up some basic drawers. Sand it down and paint when you get home and ta-da!
You got yourself some super cheap, super unique drawers. You’ve also helped the environment along the way.
P.S. you can do the same thing with your furniture from home to give it a refresh.
P.P.S Why not get your little one involved in the process – painting together is fun!
But we can’t all be DIY stars but there are easier ways to upcycle, still making a big impact:
· Looking to throw away an old t-shirt?
Why not repurpose it? Cut it up to make a dishtowel, use it for a craft project with your little one or sew it together to make a reusable shopping bag?
· Going to throw away that Bolognese jar?
Why not save it for a crafts project (like making jar animals with some pompons and paint) or re-purpose it as a plant pot?
Anyways to re-purpose and upcycle things around the house will help drastically reduce the amount of household waste ending up in landfill – and saves you money along the way.
If you have any old objects or bits of furniture, we are always open to re-purpose them at one of our amazing nurseries – just contact your nursery manager to discuss.
4. Buy Reusable
These are all extremely helpful around the house, helping you clean up, store away, save leftovers - all fab things that we can’t really live without in 2021. But there are ways to make this an eco-friendly process.
· Beeswax paper is a great reusable alternative to foil (cheaper in the long-term too)
· Reusable freezer bags to cut out cling film or single-use freezer bags
· Use dish towels (or even old cut up bits of material) to save on the use of paper towels.
All of these are available on amazon – again a fab way to help you reduce your carbon footprint and saves you money in the long run!
5. Eat more veggies or plant-based foods
“The climate impact of meat is enormous – roughly equivalent to all the driving and flying of every car, truck and plane in the world.” – Green Peace
If Green Peace say eating meat is bad for the environment, you know it’s for real. There are also health risks associated with long term consumption of red and processed meat so we should all make an effort to eat more of our veggies!
Some healthy recipe ideas which you can make with your little ones are coming to the blog soon so stay tuned!
6. Grow your own
Finally, if you have space and the time then why not grow your own? A patch (or plant pot) of tomatoes or cucumbers or even herbs are seasonal but a great way to get your little one involved in nature, save on money and plastic waste!
Top Tip: Harvest your own seeds: take the seeds out of a cucumber or tomatoes or strawberries, dry them and plant when it’s time = free fruit and veg in the summer.
These are just six different ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint. Of course, not all of these are for everyone and there are plenty of other ways in which you can contribute. But as long as we all try to do our best, we can help reduce pollution and help the planet thrive.