We messed the planet up so we must fix it – Verity Lush

A sea robin, one of many marine species facing the threat of global warming.
A sea robin, one of many marine species facing the threat of global warming.

I have been thinking this week about the wasteful years in which we live. It is far too easy for many of us to read or hear the word ‘environment’ and start muttering about patchouli-wreathed hippies and people currently causing a nuisance to others by protesting on the streets of London. 

But – and it’s a massive ‘but’ – it is now an unavoidable truth.

The planet is clearly in trouble and there’s nobody to either blame, or help it, but us.

Unless we honestly do not care at all about our families, then we all need to step up a gear in our stewardship of the Earth.

It’s not some big conspiracy to get people to turn their engines off or stop chucking plastic about. 

Facts such as 60 per cent of vertebrates having become extinct in the past 50 years, speak for themselves.

And it’s all down to how we live.

I do my bit for recycling, I turn my engine off if I’m waiting in the car, I nearly always take bags with me to shop (nearly being not good enough).

However, there’s so much more that we can all be doing.

We live in an age of ease and laze.

Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol about want and ignorance, and we’re now reaping the repugnant gains of that, soon to suffer the losses.

In an age of throw-away fashion, where folk can buy clothing online for a fiver, wear it once, then chuck it, we are metaphorically light years away from our very recent ancestors.

I’m not suggesting we return to a war-state of frugality, but we chuck stuff out at an insane rate.

We buy too much. We eat too much. The supply and excessive demand of our times is killing us – and neither softly nor slowly.

Buy less, remember your bags when you go shopping, recycle your coffee cup if you get a takeaway one. 

Don’t use wipes, just use a cloth and wash it properly, turn your electrics off when not in use.

Little things.

So many of them.

We simply must all step up.

For the measure of people, read their social media posts

Facebook and all forms of social media should come with some kind of widget whereby you are prevented from commenting on a post without thinking time beforehand. 

 There is much to be said for sleeping on an issue – the brain has time to calm down, and remember the written word does not always convey tone or mood correctly.

The amount of people who simply slam out responses is quite an eye-opener. In this way, social media has also ‘outed’ some folk for what they truly are in terms of bigoted views and a discriminatory approach to the world and those in it.

Social platforms have enabled us to see the sides of people that we might never have known otherwise.

I hope steep car wash charge is reflected in staff’s wages

I had my car cleaned last week and couldn’t believe how much the cost had risen over a couple of months. 

Depending on what size car you have, you are now paying more for a 30-minute car clean than you’d pay for an hour of maths GCSE tuition for your child 1:1 with a fully qualified teacher. How is this possible?

Kids used to clean neighbours’ cars when I was young. Admittedly it was a bucket, hose and vacuum on an extension lead approach, but they only charged about a quid.

The guys certainly did an outstanding job, but I very much doubt the company are paying them anywhere remotely near the exorbitant fee they are charging.