A couple of weeks ago Eva, my favourite partner in crime at the office, shared a post from the Embassy of Sweden in Cyprus, (in collaboration with Let’s Make Cyprus Green, an amazing organisation doing great work on saving the planet) asking for participants to take part in a challenge living sustainably for a week.
I do my bit to protect the environment, but I feel there’s still more I can do and A LOT more to learn, so I decided to sign up, as Eva also did so we could take up the challenge together.
Last Friday, the 16th of July, we got together at Home For Cooperation to be given more information about the challenge, an unexpectedly informative and inspiring evening.
Let’s Make Cyprus Green gave a short and also shocking presentation with some horrific statistics that shook us all up.
Did you know that only 9% of plastic does get recycled and that after the first time it gets recycled the quality drops so it doesn’t really get recycled again?
Did you know that traces of microplastic have been found not just inside us but also in embryos?
Did you know that not all paper drinking cups are 100% recyclable?
Did you know that is predicted that by 2050 there will be more trash than fish in the ocean? That trash has been found in the deapest of the oceans already?
These are just some of the terrifying facts about our planet and why we have to act now. We may recycle as much as we can but that is not the solution. We need to do more than that. We need to work more on prevention. Let’s Make Cyprus Green has already started a few great initiatives, such as water refill stations installation and organising regular beach cleanups but it’s everyone’s responsibility to save the planet, we are the ones who have been destroying it after all.
After the presentation we all brainstormed ideas on what we should include in our challenge and ways we can eat, move and live more sustainably. The point of this exercise is not to torture ourselves or cut all plastic from our lives and anything else harmful all at once, that’s not feasible or sustainable (although how we wish it was!).
The point is to gradually adopt more sustainable, green habits and this challenge is an opportunity to try some of these habits when it comes to eating, moving and living sustainably. Every little we do helps.
So what I’ll learn/try/attempt this week?
- No meat (should be easy considering I don’t eat much meat)
- Reduction of my cow milk consumption, I’ll replace it with oat milk (almond milk leaves a large ecological footprint).
- Eating locally produced vegetables and fruit (I personally love using RescuedBox, who save perfectly fine but ‘too ugly for supermarkets’ vegetables and fruit and sells them to customers across the island).
- Use my car as less as possible (e.g. walk to the supermarket or kiosk).
- Car share (if possible)
- Use public transport (not that easy/convenient when carrying three bags)
- No takaway food or coffee
- Buy and use reusable, refillable water bottles until I find out more about water filters and whether is possible to install one at my flat.
- Use of glass straws
- Use of dish washing water to water the plants
- Park clean up during exercise/walks which is called plogging, Swedish for plocka upp (pick up) and jogga (jog)
- Find out more about composting in Nicosia
In a week’s time we’ll all meet again to discuss our experience and get our diploma for participating.
If you decide to participate pick up a few ideas or come up with your own and join us!