Change is in the air
As the Cop 26 meeting was held in Glasgow last November I got to thinking of the massive scale of the challenges our planet is facing and began wondering how we would ever overcome them as a society.
Such thoughts can quickly become overwhelming; a feeling of a total lack of ability to change anything takes hold. But if we individually throw our hands up and say, "There’s nothing I can do", then nothing will be done.
In the words of Henry Ford, "If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right."
So I got to thinking about what I could do as an individual, right now, today, and I was amazed at all the simple changes I could make to help the planet.
I started small and planted a tree. According to Google, a mature tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon a year. My little tree will take a while to get to maturity but if everyone planted a tree – or two or three – what a great difference we could make.
I also started composting, which cut down the amount of waste my family of four was throwing out each day. I compost everything food-related – paper, cardboard and leaves – and the kids have just gotten into the habit of doing it with me.
I asked the family to eat at least one totally vegetarian meal a week, an idea which didn’t go over well at first. But after the initial meal, a veggie lasagne, everyone was on board and now the family looks forward to making new flavourful creations in the kitchen.
In the UK, the average daily meat consumption has reduced by 17 per cent over the last decade. If each family decided to eat one or two veggie meals a week, that would have a significant impact on our climate. And it is something we can all do, now. It’s just a choice and it’s good for your health.
The vet clinic produces a lot of laundry every day, towels and blankets for the animals, surgical drapes and such like. So instead of tumble drying them, I hung them out on the line. According to Google, if all households with a tumble dryer dried one load of washing outside each week instead of by machine, they would save over a million tonnes of CO2 in a year. With the beautiful sunny weather we have in Bermuda, I’m sure many of us could make this change, today. It will also help lower your Belco bill as an added bonus.
There are many other changes to be made – no plastic bags at grocery stores, reduce, recycle, reuse, renewable power, the list goes on. But if each of us made a few small changes to our daily lives, the combined impact would change the world, and the future of our planet would look brighter. It is possible for every person to make a difference so let’s do it, today.
Lucy Richardson graduated from Edinburgh University in 2005. She started CedarTree Vets in August 2012 with her husband Mark. They live at the practice with their two children, Ray and Stella, and their dog, two cats and two guinea pigs. Dr Lucy is also the FEI national head veterinarian for Bermuda