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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Guildford parks, Surrey, England


Guildford parks, Surrey, England
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Registered: December 2021
City/Town/Province: Guildford
Posts: 1
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If you could do one thing every day to help protect the environment, what would it be? We all have our daily routines and habits: wake up, brush teeth, eat, go to work, watch TV, eat again, brush teeth again, sleep. However, daily habits and eco-friendly additions to your daily routine is one thing I have learned can help our climate, and this is the thinking behind my project that is more of a challenge than a project within itself. It’s something simple anyone can do, but has taught me a lot about how to go about conservation as the biggest impact on our environment comes from habits that if enough of us stick to them, can hugely benefit our local and national communities.

My name is Sophie, and I’m a 16 year old A level student from England studying Biology, Psychology and English Literature.

For a while I believed I was a drop in the ocean for the fight for conservation and climate action. I wondered what was the point of me doing anything if it’s only going to have a minute impact in comparison to the huge changes we needed to see up in governments and the top stories of huge company offices?

This belief system was before I started my litter picking project last June, and it has completely shifted my opinions and outlook on wildlife conservation. It began with a bet from a friend of mine, after we were walking back from town and noticed so much trash scattered in the park that leads to my house. She asked out of sarcastic frustration ‘why the hell can’t people just put their trash in the bin that is literally right over there? Like honestly what is this’. This moment is where my small project was born, as I then jokingly suggested I just pick up trash and put it in the bin that was, as she said, literally right over there. We were semi serious but also laughed it off and continued on our day as she never thought I’d ever do that because one of my main personality traits is i never stick to anything. To the point where it’s an inside joke in my circle, that I can’t do anything for more than a week without giving up.

Being the petty soul I am, I decided to commit. I walked to and from my waitressing job all summer and every time I did, I made sure to pick up every piece of litter I saw on my way and put it in the trash, or if it was recyclable and there weren’t any recycling bins around I would put it in the bin bag I had with me and put it in the large council recycling bins in town. I stuck with it for more than anyone thought, and even expanded this habit to just picking up trash whenever I left my house because if I didn’t, then who else would? The answer was no one since there was always trash for me to pick up. I’m not a registered volunteer, I don’t do this for any service or charity. I just do it because someone has to care enough to pick up the plastic water bottle or else it goes into the river and poisons the water supply with harmful microplastics.

I’ve been doing my project daily in my local area of Guildford, but always try to apply it to other places I visit. Guildford is a town in Surrey, England just outside London which has a decent balance of green spaces and urban areas. I noted the date I began this project, which was June 17th 2021, and as I am writing this essay it’s been 5 months since and I’ve never given up. A little routine, a simple change or alteration in habit can actually go such a long way in helping the climate and can have the chain reaction effect we need right now to help conserve the environment.

Before I started this scheme, I was passively aware of the litter in my town but never truly acknowledged the scale of this issue until I started picking up litter every time I saw it. This is what motivated me to write to my local MP and councilors to query what is being done about our local environment and requesting more recycling bins be implemented in parks and busy areas in town, as a major takeaway from my experience litter picking was the fact that most bins were for general waste to go to landfill, and were overflowing onto the floor with some obviously recyclable material.

A more recent knock on effect of this project is how it helped inspire me to create my own climate based blog where I have taken my passion for conservation and climate action even further than just litter picking in my small town. At the time of writing this essay, the blog is very new (in fact I only published it last week!) but looking to the new year, I plan to write weekly posts informing others about the climate crisis, and about how people like me can create a new eco-friendly lifestyle by forming habits and swapping products to help protect our planet.

Not only have I personally learned to stick to something in a routine without giving up, I’ve found a new passion for environmental justice in undergoing this project. I always cared for the planet but never actively took action in the ways I am now until I started doing this. I’ve learnt more about conservation in the research I’ve done while building my website, and I feel like I’ve actually found a voice in my community as I can use my experience to talk to people with authority who can implement ways to save the local environment at a legal level. Finally, I can show others how easy it is to help protect the environment if you just take a simple step each day, add something to the routine since we’re stronger in numbers and the more people forming eco friendly habits like I did, the more chance we have of conserving our environment.
Date: December 19, 2021 Views: 2926 File size: 16.0kb, 956.5kb : 2325 x 1814
Hours Volunteered: 40
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16
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