One of the most common things that Nathan and I squabble about is our recycling and rubbish (dramatic I know)! Taking out the bins and recycling is his main “household chore” and as a busy mother I sometimes forget what can and can’t be recycled and at least once a week will lob all of my chopped tomato tins in the bin, instead of rinsing and recycling, or will keep the milk top on the bottle when I put it in the recycling bin.
I am getting better, but there is certainly room for improvement!
Whilst on some days I argue the point that “does one or 3 tins really make that much of a difference not being in the recycling?”. I know deep down that small steps like this each day can make a massive difference to the environment, but seriously – on some days I just get so busy and a little slack that that goes out of my mind and I lob it all straight in the rubbish! I fail to remember that it is the job of each and every individual to look at their own ‘Social Spirit’ and understand how their impact can cause a negative or positive effect on the environment.
Have you ever wondered about your own social spirit and the things you are or are not doing to encourage a more sustainable life and protect our world? I don’t think about it too much if I am honest, but recently I have been reading all about it from an ebooklet produced by Glasdon UK, which aims to offer tips and advice on how each person can make changes to their everyday life. It looks at the global goals for a better planet, then brings it to a level that we as individuals can implement to have a positive effect on the environment, from now and for generations to come.
The idea is that whether you’re at home with the family, at work in the office or out and about in your local community, there are many ways that your social spirit can spring into action to help generate a more environmentally friendly world. It might be reminding your kids to use bins if they have a tendency to drop litter. It might be being more vigilant with the recycling at home (guilty), turning off lights and plugs to save energy or only eating ethically sourced fish!
It was a wonderful concept that had me reevaluating my social responsibilities and how I can better improve. I love the term “Social Spirit” and the idea of working to improve it to collectively help accomplish global goals! There are many ways we can radiate a social spirit from refusing plastics like straws at fast food restaurants, to getting involved in community projects. Each small and simple step, encourages others to join in the cause of protecting and looking after the world and communities we live in.
With this in mind, I have evaluated my own social spirit and here are 5 goals I have taken from their booklet that I hope will help us to increase social spirit and encourage more environmentally friendly behaviour from our family.
As already mentioned this is a working progress. We are pretty good at recycling in the home, but to be better at it I aim to be more attentive to what packaging I am buying and, recycling everything that can be recycled. I think by shopping smarter too we can cut down on the packaging that we bring into our homes.
I also want to use less plastics when we eat on the road, and try to choose things that will reduce the amount of rubbish and things that need recycling in the first place.
2.Teaching the Kids to Respect their environment
This can be hard sometimes as kids naturally have a curious streak and if not watched could disrupt habitats. We try to encourage our kids to stay on footpaths when we are out and about, but other things like reminding them to use bins or put rubbish in their pockets untill they get home will be huge in helping nature. Also teaching them to respect plants and wildlife (not picking stuff from gardens) are all small ways they can show respect to our world and local environment.
This is kind of an ongoing reminder so that as they mature they will naturally have awareness for their community and keeping it clean and respected.
3. Make use of recycling bins when out and about
When we are out/Eating out/In the car, we tend to just bag up all our rubbish and throw it in the nearest litter bin. Anyone who has kids will know how hard it is to keep a family car clean and so getting the rubbish out as soon as possible helps maintain some level of order.
To increase our social spirit, we are going to work on using the recycling bins that are out and about. This way we can help our planet by recycling even more!
4. Use reusable water bottles
This is something we have started this Summer and hope to continue. I have bought all of the kids a reusable water bottle, so that we are not buying as many bottles of water and consequently producing more wast/recycling! Reusable water bottles are way more sustainable and budget friendly.
5. Remember canvas shopping bags
I am pretty good on the weekly shop at remembering my reusable bags. But where we fall short is with quick top up shops or clothing/charity shopping midweek. I have made a point of putting my canvas shopping bags in the changing bag, in a hope I will buy less plastic bags.
I love the world we live in, the countryside that is now our home. We try to walk and bike as much as possible, eat less meat and encourage our kids to use bins (to name a few). There are so many small ways we can respect the beaches and nature, our homes and community. Your social spirit can be incorporated into everyday life and decisions and by implementing small changes to your daily routine, not only will you ensure you live a more sustainable life, you will help to protect the environment as well as inspiring those around you to become more environmentally friendly.
What steps do you take to improve the environment? Share them below, or online – Don’t forget to join the conversation by using the hashtag #MySocialSpirit and lets come together to make our world a better place!