#TransformationTuesday

Is there anything more inspiring than transformation photos on Instagram? Photos showing a person who was at a low in their life and then one day they decide that enough is enough and so they take control. Then we see a completely new picture, a picture showing what all the hard work and determination has produced. A positive, inspirational and productive person.

I have decided to do the exact same…

…but for litter.

bench litter
Before: January 30th 2018.

If the Instagram hashtag can inspire more people on a daily basis that we can all control our health and fitness by simply showing people the difference we can make then hopefully, that same hashtag will inspire people to take charge and help protect the environment.


We literally walk past litter on a daily basis. For some of us, it is probably becoming a scene that we are all to familiar with so have grown accustom to it. What will it take for people to see the sad consequences of communities contaminated with litter and the problems it poses? Is it seeing a cat with their head trapped in a can? Maybe it could be seeing a Swan swallowing a plastic bottle cap? Well, if it’s none of those then maybe it could be seeing a young child pick up a plastic bag that was once holding a bag of cocaine and swallowing that…

They may seem like potentially unlikely scenarios but today while I was cleaning this particular area, I saw that all of these scenarios were very likely possible…

drug packets near a bench along the blackburn with darwen canal
A bunch of plastic bags commonly used to store drugs such.

On the surface, we see the littered cans and empty crisp packets but when we take just a second and look a little closer, the concern is much worse. To think that so many of these packets were found here along with the cigarette packets and discarded beer cans really is putting a persons life at risk. A cocktail of all these drugs is only an accident waiting to happen, especially next to a canal.

the end result of 1 hour litter picking 2

In the space of an 1 hour, it was great to see what a difference was made. An area now free of rubbish (for now anyway) where animals are less likely to be harmed by others ignorance.


Anyway, here are some more of the photos from the first #TransformationTuesday and I hope this can inspire you to even pick up once piece of litter today, tomorrow or forever to help make this planet just a little bit cleaner.

transformation tuesday bench.jpg

After also nearly falling in the canal (twice!), I also helped out as best I could to clean the bottles so that there were little chance of the animals getting their hands (or beaks rather!) on any materials that shouldn’t really be there.

transformation tuesday canal

Clearly, the after pictures look much better than what was here before. It would be great to see that the area is still kept clean next week but if not, then I will be back again until the area is litter free..

Even if you only pick up one piece a day, you are still making a massive difference so give it a go. Help be a part of the solution.

Michael Peel borderline going in the canal for a plastic bottle
Feeling myself on the verge of going in the canal. Fortunately I didn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

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5 easy ways we can start helping ourselves and the planet.

Sir David Attenborough. A national treasure. An inspiration worldwide. A name that will live on long after he’s gone due to his life long passion with nature and dedicating his life to promoting the need for an environment that is clean, sustainable and spectacularly diverse. Is it surprising that his speech during the NTA awards was the only speech to receive a standing ovation from celebrities and move the entire nation to tears?

When you see a man of 91 years old give a speech that captures every person regardless of age, race, religion, gender or other groups, we can clearly see this is something we all care about so we really need to stop and ask…

What can I do to help?

After all, pollution isn’t something that anybody wants; I have never met a person who has been in favour of an ocean full of plastics or streets littered with crushed cans. Here are 5 easy steps that we can all start from today to save us money but more importantly, help protect the planet.

1. Be conscious of the difference we can make and change consumption habits.

One of the biggest differences and easiest ways we can help the planet as consumers is simply by stopping and not purchasing plastic bottles.

Benefits

+ You will save money not having to keep purchase a new bottle. Simply keep refilling your long lasting bottle.

+ You will be healthier. (If you drink your water from a steel water bottle like this then you will not be consuming micro plastics like most people sadly do when they drink from plastic bottles).

+  You will be helping to stop the rise in the use of plastic. Right now, plastic use is growing at a rate of around 4% every year in Western Europe. An increase is definitely not benefiting the climate due to the amount of oil it takes to make plastic (which we only use for around 12 minutes on average).

+ You will feel better. By drinking from one sustainable bottle shows an increase in productivity, awareness and happiness.

plastic bottle by the sea

Check out a whole different range of sustainable drinking bottles here. Perfect for hot or cold drinks!

 

2. Recycle. Upcycle. Just don’t end the cycle.

Ripped clothes, empty coffee cans or unwanted shoes. Rather than allowing them to be thrown away or collect dust in a wardrobe, why not try see if you can do something creative with these materials? Or better yet, see if anybody else can do something creative with these unwanted materials.

I enjoy taking unwanted materials from broken chairs to wine corks to anything else I can get my hands on then handmaking gifts that will give these materials a new purpose, helping to keep the cycle going rather than have even more materials end up in landfill or even worse, the ocean. Be creative and have fun with it!

You can see my handmade gifts here. If you are or know somebody who enjoys eco-friendly gifts, then there will be something you will love! Also, there is free postage to anywhere in Europe for a limited time.

 

3. Help your health by Changing your toothbrush

eco friendly toothbrush
£2.75 for a toothbrush that WILL add value to your life. Check them out here.

 

This literally sounds barbaric. How can changing your toothbrush help the planet? Right now, the majority of people use plastic brushes to brush their teeth. Not only is this bad for your health but it could also be harming the environment with the amount of oil it takes to produce billions of unnecessary brushes every year along with the microplastics going down the sink.

Saying that, why just stop at your toothbrush? If you can find any eco-friendly alternatives to plastic products, then give it a go as it will give your possessions much more worth which will give yourself more value. The only reason I say toothbrush is because when you brush every morning and night (well I hope so) then you will be starting your day and ending your day in a positive way by reminding yourself what an amazing difference to the environment you are making.

I have purchased a number of eco-friendly products including my toothbrush from this site so check it out if you want to also make a difference.

 

4. See the difference you can make by becoming a Volunteer.

Most people will say “I don’t litter so I am not part of the problem” and their right. If nobody littered, then we would have a clean environment which would save the UK government hundreds of millions every year. The sad fact is, billions of items are littered around the world and that means they get in water ways, rivers, streams, streets and every other place you can imagine.  This has a greater impact that people may realise.

While I am not saying that you must spend every second of every minute picking up littered items, you can still make a difference by getting involved when you have some free time. Even if you picked up one item a day, over a year that is 364 materials that are less harm to animals all over the world. Maybe you could make a fun activity from volunteering; I spoke to one woman who picks litter with her children. Not only is this a way of spending time with her children but she also told me “it helps me stay active and teach the children the importance of a clean environment”. Parents reading this may think ‘picking litter with my children, that could be dangerous… no way!’. Well, if you are living in the UK, you can actually apply to be a volunteer in your own time and you will receive a complementary pack (shown below) which will allow you to pick litter safely. You can also log your hours, what you have found and feedback for helping to make your local area cleaner and safer.

litter picking welcome pack.jpg
Litter pick welcome pack: You can’t complain with a box full of PG Tips!

What you get in your Welcome Pack

  • Litter picker
  • Red Bags which you can leave at any public bin for collection.
  • Hand sanitation gel
  • Protective gloves
  • Reflective jacket
  • First aid kit
  • Circle ring for easy litter picking
  • Box of PG TIPS!!!

 

Applying takes 30 seconds. If you live in Lancashire then check out this link to apply a volunteer and receive your free welcome pack.

If you do not live in Lancashire, then you can easily apply online by sending an email to your local council or searching “volunteer litter picker (YOUR TOWN/CITY)”.

 

It has been proven in a study that people litter less in areas which are free of litter. What would be a better way of getting to know people in your community than all coming together to help clean your neighbourhood?

 

5. Save money by not purchasing bags from supermarkets.

There is now a minimum charge 5p on plastic bags in the UK in certain stores; rather than hand over a minimum of 5p to companies who are the major culprits for plastic pollution in the first place, take your time to invest in a bag that can not only be used in your day to day life but can also be used to store your groceries in. Plastic bags are so unnecessary, yet they are one of the biggest dangers in the ocean (more dangerous than those Great White Sharks we are warned about! Read about the dangers of plastic bags here).

I think these bags are good as they are strong, light and just much more practical than a plastic bag which really is just making us walking billboards for 12 minutes! (plastic bags are only used for an average of 12 minutes, how crazy is that to think they will be here hundreds of years after we are gone!). Due to amount of harm plastic bags are having, It really is no surprise that more and more companies are avoiding plastering their logos on plastic bags anymore.

Thank you message.jpg

As many people have said, “These are not unreasonable steps. They may only be small steps but if people make that effort to help the environment then in just a short amount of time, we will see a huge difference”.

Share this post and like the page so that you can encourage others to get involved.