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Clean In… Clean Out… Clean Up…

Happy World Environment Day!... for yesterday ;-)

We’ll look back at today and our time in Lockdown (as we respond to the Covid-19 pandemic) with the glorious gift of hindsight - and remember this as the pivotal time when we chose a better way.

Change is coming, wonderful, epoch-defining change. We’ve already made the first steps even if they were born of necessity and chance, rather than prudence. 

Our skies are alive with bird song, not vapour trails. Our air is cleaner. Change is so dramatic in some parts of the world, experts claim they’ve not seen bluer skies in decades. 

Nature is running rampant and our priorities have taken a polar shift. At last, we’re living in the moment and we understand how fleeting, fragile and beautiful life is.

The genie is never going back in the bottle.

Where we go next is anyone’s guess. But it won’t be down the same tired road and as we look ahead with deserved optimism… it’s time for one last Spring clean.

Wouldn’t it be good to feel clean, inside and out?

Clean on the inside

Research says a plant-based lifestyle is better for people and the planet (as chances are you will feel better too). The planet would definitely be healthier if the livestock sector didn't generate 65% of human related nitrous oxide. This has more global warming potential than CO2 - which means a plant-based diet is definitely more sustainable.

It’s unlikely we’ll see a universal adoption of living life on the veg (not in our lifetime at any rate), but we are likely to see a swing towards it. Now, if you’ve been a vegan for fifteen years good for you. If you eat Quorn once a week instead of meat, then good for you too. Remember, you don’t need to change your entire eating habits to make a difference.

One argument for adopting a more plant-based diet, by those who've made the change, is that what definitely ends up cleaner is your conscience. Knowing you’re living in a more sustainable way and not causing any harm to animals. “This peace and clarity of mind is invaluable" say Henry Firth and Ian Theasby in their book BOSH! How to Live Vegan. "The way we were eating actually synced with our values. We suddenly felt like everything made a bit more sense, and it helped inform a lot of the other decisions we made in our lives”.

Clean on the outside

Many of us would most definitely like our homes to be cleaner. Look at the rise of social media ‘cleanfluencers’ from Lynsey ‘Queen of Clean’ to Nicola Lewis ‘This Girl Can Organise’.

A more plant-based kitchen, is a cleaner kitchen. The main foods that are likely to be contaminated with bacteria if not handled, stored or cooked properly are raw meat and poultry, raw eggs, raw shellfish, unpasteurised milk and ready-to-eat foods like sliced meats, pates and soft cheeses. Not plants.

Food aside, the household products we choose to buy also impacts the cleanliness of our immediate environment. In the bedroom, for example, traditional goose and duck down duvets and pillows are full of bad bacteria, and are harmful to animals. Oh, you don’t need to be an activist to care about how we treat our feathered friends in the first place. But there is a sustainable choice – a comfy one at that! We take recycled plastic water bottles and transform them into super-soft, extra-fluffy, washable duvets.

After all, waste isn't waste unless it's waste-ed!

We know better now and understanding that is the next step

The thing is every step, no matter how small, matters. We don’t need to be saints or martyrs. When you consider we’ve known for some time that air travel isn’t great for the environment. Yet none of us fancy missing out on a fortnight’s respite in the south-seas (if it’s an option available to us!). So, if you must have that bacon sarnie or a week in the Algarve why not even the scales? Sourcing free range locally produced meat is a simple step. And why not offset your carbon emissions from flying, by switching to a green energy supplier? Remember, Rome took a long time to get right and it’s not even finished yet.

Our future may have a smoother path than we first thought. We are aware of our climate and the crisis it faces. We have learned what is important to us, thanks to our current situation as we deal with the realities of living with Covid-19. So we now have a proper idea of what is really essential. Wherever we go from here, we’ll get there together, and we’ll be cleaner inside and out for our efforts.

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