This Friday (5th June) is World Environment Day. Since it was established in 1973, World Environment Day has, for 42 years, inspired people to change the way they interact with the environment.
Evidence is building that we are consuming far more natural resources than our planet can sustainably provide. By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same, and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our current ways of living.
A key message of World Environment Day is every action counts. Here at Center Parcs, concern for the environment is at the top of our list.
- We use electric vehicles on our Villages and have recently introduced charging points at Woburn Forest for guests who do the same (charges will be incurred).
- Electricity used on our Villages creates a by-product of heat. At Elveden, Whinfell and Woburn Forests, this is then used to heat the pools in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise.
- Waste food from our restaurants is put into anaerobic digesters which produce biogas – this is used as fuel.
- We actively conserve our natural environment, protecting plantlife and species including Whinfell’s cheeky red squirrels!
- We are aiming to reduce our overall carbon footprint by 20 per cent by 2020.
With that in mind, we’ve put together some quick and easy tips that you can incorporate into your everyday life without any disruption, but that could add up to a substantial reduction in your consumption of natural resources.
1. Ditch your disposable
It takes 10 litres of water to produce a one-litre bottle of water, and 90% of them end up in landfill. Plus there’s increasing agreement that refilling disposable bottles is at worst, dangerous, and at best, icky. So ditch the disposable for good and invest in a safe, BPA-free refillable water bottle like this stainless steel model or the popular bobble bottle.
2. (Car)share the love
Pairing up with a co-worker for your daily commute by car means company while stuck in traffic, saving money on fuel and fewer harmful emissions. In fact, some sources estimate that just sharing a daily 50-mile round trip would reduce your personal emissions by almost 10 per cent. Find a commuting buddy and save the planet together.
3. Tap out
Pumping, treating and heating water uses buckets of energy. So saving water doesn’t just save water, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. One of the easiest ways we can reduce the water we use is to simply turn the tap off while brushing your teeth. Leaving it running wastes a whopping 35 litres of waters a day per person!
4. Crack out the compost
You could be doing something far more eco-friendly with your kitchen rubbish, even if you don’t have a garden! Composting is the process of recycling nutrients back into the ecosystem through top soil, which keeps rotting food out of landfill and waterways. If you have a big garden- great! Get a composting bin and empty it into a corner of your garden when it’s full. But if you don’t, there are community composting programmes and options to compost indoors – without your house smelling like the local tip, we promise.
5. Get in season
The less distance your food has to travel to get you, the better. Right now, I can buy asparagus from my local supermarket that was grown in my county. But two months ago, it would have been grown in Peru. That’s around 30km rather than 10,000km. Find out what’s in season when and aim to eat from these groups as much as possible. In May and June, enjoy radishes, new potatoes, rocket, spring onion, mange tout, peas, nectarines and asparagus!
6. Stay pumped
Say you drive 12,000 miles a year. If your tyres are under-inflated by 15psi, you’re using 6 per cent more fuel than you need to – around £150 a year! Check your tyre pressure regularly and keep them pumped up to the optimal level to save fuel and, possibly, the planet.