I’m Abby Button, I’m a student currently studying heritage in Bath, and hoping to go into natural heritage conservation after uni. I’ve always loved spending time in nature, both in Uganda where I grew up, and in the English countryside when we moved back here. However, I’ve really started to be more environmentally conscious with my lifestyle during the last couple of years.
I remember beginning to feel overwhelmed by what was happening to the earth; feeling fearful about the future, and so ashamed about what we were doing to God’s beautiful creation.
I felt I couldn’t possibly do any good as one individual. But then I realised that cliché as it is, we need to be the change we want to see in the world. I realised that it’s more about our hearts and our attitudes than anything we can practically achieve.
However, there are some things we can do practically. In my family, we’ve started making a lot of small lifestyle changes to be more environmentally conscious. For example, we are trying to reduce our plastic consumption, which food-wise means going to a refillable shop for pasta/rice, buying loose fruit and veggies at the supermarket, having milk bottles delivered, and using reusable water bottles and coffee cups. We’ve also made changes to our toiletries, such as bamboo toothbrushes, shampoo bars, bars of soap rather than ‘squirty’ ones, reusable feminine products and makeup wipes etc. Aside from plastic, we’ve been trying to reduce waste by installing a water butt to harvest rainwater, having a ‘wonky’ vegetable box delivered, and buying clothes second hand. We’ve also been trying to be more nature-conscious in the garden, by building a wildlife pond, letting the grass grow long, planting native flowers, and providing food and homes for birds and hedgehogs.
Although making changes like these can be expensive, inconvenient and time-consuming, it is also a fun challenge that makes mundane daily routines far more interesting!
The most encouraging posts I read about living sustainably are the ones that say you don’t have to do it perfectly or change everything about your lifestyle, but to do something little is better than nothing. Thankfully we don’t have to fix this problem by ourselves, but in partnership with God, whose power is greatest in our weakness.
An encouragement from Mother Theresa is that ‘not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love,’ and I believe that you can’t love like God without loving his creation.