Sustainable development from theory to practice: my little green adventure

by | Feb 12, 2022 | Blog, MakeAPledge, Nature and climate, Society

Hi everyone!

Here is my last update for this incredible #MakeAPledge initiative! I hope you all had a great end of the year celebrations and a fresh start to the year 🙂

two girls recycling

First of all, I have focused on little daily changes. 

In November, I volunteered to be a steward for the NGO Stop Climate Chaos Scotland with a friend at the COP26 Global March for Climate in Glasgow. That day was incredible. My friend and I walked with so many people who shared and fought for the same values, that was a very strong and unique feeling. I felt powerful and more determined to take stronger actions than ever. I recommend to everyone who can to go protesting on the streets as much as you can. Before, I didn’t really believe in protests and never really took part in one. I felt that it was not as efficient as I wanted it to be. But, watching Greta Thunberg and so many others protesting made me realise that this could make a difference and show your values to the rest of the world in a pacific way. So, From now on I am ready to take part in more protests for climate as much as I can.

Two days before the COP26 Global March in Glasgow, I also recorded my first podcast. As you may already know I am also a volunteer at the UN House of Scotland and part of the Climate and Gender Podcast Team. The whole podcast is about connecting women’s voices over climate justice and is out on Spotify. I was so proud to invite two amazing guests over –  Nicole Dextras and Karen Hackenberg – to talk about women’s voices and the role of art and activism. 

I have also tried to implement a more responsible Christmas this year. 

I have also tried to implement a more responsible Christmas this year. I did not manage to avoid the traditional Christmas tree, but I have found a place where I should be able to rent one next year. Also, I have decided to buy each year some alternative decorations, home-made Christmas balls for instance to build up an eco-friendly tree over the year. Finally, I succeeded in getting my family and friends gifts from local businesses in Scotland. I went looking around the shops in Edinburgh looking for the best ideas. For this purpose, I have sometimes used the Edinburgh Reuse and Reduce map. It is a newly developed website from Edinburgh Council that helps you to find the most eco-friendly addresses in the city depending if you’re looking for a new gift, or if you want to repair something. I have also somehow managed to avoid single-use plastic wrap and used some small scarfs or recycled paper to wrap my gifts! My first eco-friendly Christmas was not a total success nor a total failure. Little steps always will help me build up an eco-friendly life over the years. 

More recently, I went to a small cooperative shop that sells coffee, second-hand clothes, items, and food that has been given away to avoid waste. I discovered it when I participated in a workshop they were doing and helped me fix it by sewing an old jumper I love. Moreover, I decided to become a member and was able to give away some clothes and get some tokens in return to buy some new ones from the shop. I think it is a very smart initiative full of lovely people and full of ideas on how to be more responsible.

These past months, I have also kept on trying to reduce my food waste. For example, for Halloween, instead of throwing away my pumpkin I made a pie out of it and used the body to light a creepy Halloween candle. I am also trying to be more careful on the expiry dates and organize my fridge and shelves.

Therefore, to conclude this adventure with European Footprints, being more aware of eco-friendly living has changed my mindset. When I now go shopping for clothes, I go 95% of the time to second-hand and vintage shops. If I go shopping for groceries I am looking for alternatives to plastics and for local food as much as I can. If I would like to buy a specific item I will look at its eco-friendly alternatives. I am also trying to reduce my own consumption and consume less and better and focus on experiences. Because in the end, memories matter more than items no? 😉 

Of course in my little green adventure, I did not succeed all the time. And sometimes I had to go back to where I was because the eco-friendly product did not fit me. The zero-waste toothpaste and deodorants are still not working for me, so let’s see what happens. But I am not giving up and I feel better about it, since I now know I keep on making efforts daily.

Finally implementing sustainable development in your daily life is also about showing your voice and fighting for your values and the people around you. It is going on the streets and protesting when you need to, meeting people who share the same values, it is creating or joining initiatives to make your values matter and raise awareness around you. Making little changes in your daily life can make a difference if you are joined by others. It is making your voice heard and voting when you can. Being more responsible for the planet is all of this and more. It is finally getting a better world for the future generations and not making them live on the credit you started to build your own life when they weren’t even born yet.

On these deep thoughts, I wish you all the best and the greenest for this new 2022 year, and thank you for following me in my adventure through videos or blogs. I really enjoyed being part of it and want to thank the European Footprint organization for letting me be a part of this.

 

Au revoir et merci 🙂

Hélène

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This website has been funded with support from the European Commission. Its content reflects the views of the author (The European Footprints initiative) only, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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