This week has been a long one, a really long and fantastic week. I think mostly because I’ve crammed it full with lots of talks and meetings, not to mention working on my assignments. I couldn’t really take you through everything I’ve done this week because I’ve done so much so instead I’ll just talk about a particular highlight. On Tuesday I went to a debate at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The motion was whether or not our individual choices could influence climate change. It was in relation to the latest Living Planet report being released. The debate itself was very interesting, the panel speakers had very unique backgrounds making for an interesting discussion. There was a couple of different ideas I took away from the debate which will be coming to ThatBiologist soon. Although one overriding message was that although our individual choices do make a difference to climate change it can be terribly complicated to know what to do to help.That got me thinking, what would be a simple change people could make that would make a difference.
Cut to two days later and I was on an early morning commute to uni. Firstly I go past a particular branch of my favorite coffee shop, urm lets call them, Moonbucks. Now I go into this shop about 3 times a week (probably more but I don’t want to admit my addiction to Moonbucks). I now use a refillable plastic cup that gets me money off my drink but also saves me from throwing away their non-recyclable cups. When I’m on the tube I always see a fair few people with coffee in hand in those (let me stress again) NON-RECYCLABLE cups. Then once at university I saw a delivery truck unpacking thousands of plastic bottles just with water. I again carry around a water bottle (that I got for a pound from SMASDA) to refill during the day. This is two cases where a small change to an individuals lifestyle can make a big change to the environment.
Moonbucks and other coffee shops that give out these cups contribute a huge amount of waste every year. It was estimated in the UK alone that 2.5 billion coffee cups go to land fill a year. Now for the plastic water bottles, although these are recyclable it still takes a lot of energy to produce them. So I decided to then find out how many people do use refillable containers. So I put out a poll on my twitter and put up a status on my personal facebook. I do tend to live in a bit of an echo chamber filled with environmentalists however these were the results I got. Most people carried a refillable water bottle (YAY) but only a few carried a container for their hot drinks.
So where do we conclude with this, by making a simple change to your life you can help the environment. There were lots of other topics covered at this talk but I thought this one would be the most applicable to your lives. So perhaps think about picking up a reusable container for water and your hot drink of choice. The other thing you could do is if you do go out for coffee and you are drinking in house make sure you get a mug rather than a takeaway cup. It really does make a difference!
Thanks for reading this, sorry it was late! Busy busy busy! Have a great week everyone!