Opinion: Tryna be Green

By Abi Purvis

Climate change. It’s a topic we are all concerned about right now, but how can we really make a difference?

I’m always trying to think about how my actions will have the least impact on the planet. As a university student this can sometimes be hard as the budget is…small. I really wish I could be writing this article giving you five easy steps to leaving the smallest footprint on the planet but in the society we live in, it’s hard! Everything is wrapped in plastic, the shops we use are doing little to reduce this and bamboo toothbrushes are pricey. But recently, after thinking for a long time about this, I’ve realised it’s important to remind myself that even the little things make a difference.

I recycle. I use my own reusable cup. I use my own reusable shopping bags. I walk everywhere (admittedly this I because I don’t have a car, but even at home with the parental taxi service, I walk anything that is under thirty mins). The point is that the small and simple changes do make a difference, and you and I should be proud of making these changes.

In the last year it has been amazing to see people making these differences in their diet too. I have been a vegetarian myself for well over eleven years now. Recently, two of my housemates have become vegetarian, my Mum has become vegetarian, two of my friends have become vegetarian, and one has become vegan. I also have friends who are consciously trying to reduce their meat intake, and it’s really wonderful to see people making these small tweaks to their diet to help the planet.

Although, I am still having the debate with people who think, “I am one person, if I cut out meat it won’t make any difference” Yes, yes it will. An average person may eat meat four times times in a week, that’s at least sixteen times in a month, that’s at least one hundred and ninety-two times in a year. So, if they were to reduce their intake to twice a week that’s then ninety-six times a year. Even that is reducing the number of animals farmed and the pollution to the environment in that year.

Now imagine that over a person’s life time.

Even as a uni student these differences can be made. A bag of Quorn Mince is typically around £2, whereas minced meat is typically between £3-£4. So really you can be saving the planet and your bank account.

After successfully completing Veganuary, I have also been trying to make the next step and reduce my dairy intake. I now use oat milk and try to only buy vegan meals. It has actually been going quite well. Yes, I have the occasional slip ups when Dominoes have a deal on. or after a long day when I really want some Galaxy Chocolate or when my boyfriend makes us Nachos. But the point is, I am cutting out dairy and making a small difference.

It’s really easy to put yourself down when you do make slip ups (for instance, when I forget to put my reusable cup in my bag and end up grabbing a coffee in a takeaway cup), but it’s important to remind myself that the rest of the time I do remember my reusable cup, and all of those times I have been helping the environment.

If you want to make a difference just remember small things add up over a life time and any little thing you do will contribute towards that. For me that is continuing towards becoming vegan, for you it can be as simple as walking to uni or having a meat free lunch. Let’s help our planet.

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