This week looks at my use of national days as inspiration of what to do, doing my bit for planet earth, and starting to live below the line.
- Monday 22 April – Made a pledge for Earth Day to recycle e-waste. The pledge was made through Earth Day network. See feature for more.
- Tuesday 23 April – Inspired by Monday being Earth Day (and not at all running out of ideas!), I decided to continue on with the national day’s theme. As it was St George’s Day, I did a Google search for English charities, and found a comprehensive list of British based charities. Looking for something slightly different to do, I signed up to help through the professional network of CVS. It seemed to fit My Charity Case project like a neatly knitted glove.
- Wednesday 24 April – After seeing a campaign on Facebook, shared by a University friend, I text donated £2 to the Nightline Association.
- Thursday 25 April – I wrote and sent press release to local papers, magazines and online news sites with the Exeter fundraising group Marie Curie daffodil total. Since you asked (I’m sure you didn’t, but I’m telling ya anyway!) we raised £2337.68. This will help provide over 116 of Marie Curie nursing hours for terminally ill patients in Devon.
- Friday 26 April – In week 3, I made contact with my local Business in the Community scheme. They suggested a variety of places I could volunteer, so today I contacted Shillhay Community regarding volunteering in their befriending or mentoring schemes.
- Saturday 27 April – In week 7, I signed up to the big beach clean. Today I got to put that into action, and went to Redcliffe Bay to, well, clean a beach! See feature for more.
- Sunday 28 April – Knowing that I had a business lunch on Friday that I couldn’t very well ask for tap water in, I started Living Below the Poverty line one day early. This day in itself was fairly entertaining, but I will do a full run down of the full Living below the Poverty Line experience in week 12.
Feature: Monday 22 April and Saturday 27 April
It’s almost as if I planned it (I really didn’t, it’s just a very happy coincidence!) Earth Day and the Big Beach clean happened within the same week. Earth Day was just a continuation of the cogs already turning, what with the litter bugs I stumbled across in week 11, that actually we all have something we can do to reduce the damage being done to the planet.
Now just to clarify where I’m coming from – you are about as likely to find me in a science lab as you are hugging a tree. I’m just someone who is starting to realise that unless we collectively take action, then there could be some pretty big consequences down the line (ok, starting to realise may be an exaggeration. I did my dissertation on climate change, but even I hold my hands up to admitting sometimes it’s easier to be ignorant). I know, shocker. I am human.
There are a few things that have come to my attention of late that have really got me thinking about it. One is coming across this 4 degree map designed for the Met Office by the creative team I work with day to day. Looks ok at a glance, but when you start reading what the different coloured circles represent, it gets a little scary.
The second thing that jolted me was what I thought would be the perfect opportunity to view some stunning pieces at the Wildlife Photography exhibition, became something wildly different. Ok, don’t get me wrong, the photos are absolutely incredible. But, unsurprisingly, as the exhibition is sponsored by Veolia Environment (a world leader in the environmental services sector), the photos become more a visual representation of how in many parts of the world wildlife are suffering as a consequence of human action. Some photos are, again, a pretty accurate representation that we are on a path heading towards some serious consequences unless we collectively get our act together.
So, with this in mind, celebrating world Earth Day, and taking part in a Beach Clean were two events that proved, at least to me, that if we all did a little something, it would make a massive difference.
Looking at the website, since Earth Day, the Earth Day network has received over one billion pledges. Why don’t you help them get to 2 billion? That’s a lot of people pledging to make a difference.
The beach clean was a fantastic experience too. There was around fifty volunteers who got together to clean the beach. Myself and another volunteer ended up near the back of the group, and after a while we felt as if we were more critiquing everyone else’s work, as there was next to no litter left for us to collect when we were following in their tracks. I was kind of amazed by the stuff we did find (needles within the first three minutes!), and just how much there was to pick up was pretty shocking.
The message of this week’s post is really to give across the notion that more hands make lighter work, and if my charity case has inspired you in any way so far, I would urge you to have a think about what you could pledge to do to help our dear old planet earth.