Treepoints Monthly challenge: March
Spring is in the air. March brings a new season, the first day of spring, and with the days getting longer it’s hard not to feel optimistic about the month ahead.
At Treepoints HQ we’re getting excited about Spring and the prospect of outdoor picnics in the sunshine. Now, the last thing we want is to ruin the fun, but we’ve all seen the park bins absolutely overflowing with trash from picnic waste. It’s not pretty. And it’s not good for the planet either.
When rubbish goes to landfill, it releases greenhouse gases like methane as it decomposes. And it uses much more energy to make products from new materials rather than recycling old ones. By throwing things away, and indeed buying them unnecessarily in the first place, we’re basically wasting precious resources.
So this month’s Treepoints challenge, to us and to you, is to do a little planning ahead and make sure your picnic isn’t bad for the environment this spring.
How to keep your picnic green this Spring
Head to the market
Buy your picnic produce not in plastic packaging to save on unnecessary waste. Fancy bread, pick it up fresh from the bakers in a brown paper bag. Tomatoes? You’re going to wash them anyway, so why not buy them loose?
Think about what you might want to snack on and make it ahead
It’s all too easy once we’ve had a couple of drinks to dive into the supermarket and buy everything in sight. But you can save waste and money here by thinking ahead about what you might fancy to eat and making it in advance. Plus we all secretly want to be the one who shows up with a homemade focaccia to impress our friends.
Wrap food in beeswax wrap instead of plastic film
Beeswax wrap is becoming increasingly popular, but there are still plenty of diehard clingfilmers out there. The great thing about Beeswax wrap is that you can reuse it almost endlessly, and it sticks to itself to wrap your food up securely and keep it fresh.
Take your waste home with you so you can recycle it properly
Remember that if it’s not washed out it can’t be recycled. This will also help prevent the public bins from overflowing, which poses a risk to wildlife. Those poor little ducks can easily choke on rubbish or be poisoned. And no one wants that on their conscience.
Take your reusable coffee cup and glasses
Whether you’re out for after drinks or a morning coffee, there’s really no excuse for disposable cups in 2021. We particularly like Frank Green’s cool range of reusable cups that finally eliminate all the annoying spills and leaks.
Pack your water bottle
This won’t come as a surprise, but it’s important to stay hydrated, especially in the warmer months. Taking a reusable bottle of water will keep you refreshed outdoors and means you’re less likely to buy a drink in a plastic bottle while out. Brands like Chilly’s and Ocean Bottles have designed their bottles to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, meaning that whatever the weather, you can bring the perfect beverage with you.
Don’t litter, it’s bad for wildlife
Littering is bad for two reasons. Firstly when litter decomposes it can release toxic chemicals into the soil which damages plants. And secondly, any number of animals might be tempted to nibble on your litter, risking either choking or being poisoned. It’ll only take you a minute to do a quick sweep of your picnic area before you leave and make sure you haven’t left a mess.
So there you have it, our top tips for an environmentally conscious picnic. Share your pictures on Instagram and tag us @treepoints.green.
Also look out for this month:
It’s Fairtrade Fortnight across the globe from the 22nd February to 7th March. For two weeks each year at the end of February and start of March, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to share the stories of the people who grow our food and drinks. mine our gold and who grow the cotton in our clothes, people who are often exploited and underpaid.
You can get involved with the online festival – everyday there will be online talks and discussions ranging from how to eat ethically in a climate crisis to a masterclass in baking fairtrade brownies. Browse the full lineup here.
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is a focal point for the movement in women’s rights, celebrating the social, economic, political and cultural achievements of women all around the world. This year it’s on the 8th of March and the theme is #ChooseToChallenge. We’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions every day, and we can choose to callout unacceptable behaviours and recognise the achievements of women.
You can keep up to date with everything that will be happening for IWD this year on their Instagram page. And take some time to reflect on the intersectionality of gender and climate change. Because women are more vulnerable even under stable conditions, women face greater risks when climate-related impacts disrupt their communities.
As a starting point, we recommend reading Why Women Will Save the Planet, an essay collection borne out of a unique collaboration between C40 and Friends of the Earth. Including essays by key voices in the environmental and feminist movements, this book explores the need for women’s empowerment for climate action and the powerful change it can bring. For more resources, this is a great reading list on women and climate change.
How did you get on?
How did you find the February Treepoints monthly challenge? We challenged you to go without something for 28 days that would benefit the environment. This included flying, meat, and new clothes. Was it easy? Or did you struggle to stick to it? Let us know in the comments below.
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