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Do you have an innovative idea to make our future greener and more sustainable that you’d like to see become reality?

Or do you work for a charity or organisation that’s committed to tackling climate change?

Or have you already introduced a green action into your everyday life that contributes to improving the environment? Maybe you’ve swapped some car trips for public transport, walking or cycling? Are trying to reduce your reliance on single-use plastic? Maybe you’re growing your own vegetables? Trying to shop only secondhand? Trying to eat more plant-based meals? Or something else?

Well, you’ll want to hear about EU Green Week. EU Green Week, running from the 13th to 17th of May by the European Commission is the largest annual event in the European environmental calendar. Bringing together policymakers from across Europe, the week seeks to investigate how EU environmental laws can successfully be implemented to benefit the environment.

What’s that got to do with us citizens? Well, as part of the implementation process, the policymakers want to know about your #MyGreenAction – your ideas, actions or projects that contribute to and create a greener, more sustainable Europe, on your own or collectively, because by sharing our knowledge and experience with each other, together we can help tackle climate change.

Through #MyGreenAction, EU Green Week will share the most innovative ideas and projects suggested on their social media channels, and the top 10 contributions will star in a video shown to European policymakers at the EU Green Week conference, that runs from the 15th to 17th of May in Brussels.

To take part there are four simple steps:

Step 1: Take action – do something on your own or as a group to help the environment.

Step 2: Capture how you’re contributing to a greener world in a picture, drawing or short video that’s no longer than 30 seconds.

Step 3: Post it on your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the #MyGreenAction hashtag and remember to make your account public. Make sure you include the European Commission social account by tagging them – on Instagram, it’s @OurPlanet_EU; on Twitter it’s @EU_ENV; and on Facebook, it’s @EU_Environment – so that they can see the post.

Step 4: Inspire others to take action – nominate 3 members of your friends or family, over the age of 14, to share their ideas between now and the 12th May, too.

#mygreenaction

My own #MyGreenAction is reducing my impact through travelling. We try to fly as little as possible and haven’t flown anywhere in nearly 6 years. This year will be no different. We’ve already booked our summer holiday in the Scottish Highlands – it takes 2 hours to get there from our home, but if you consider that when flying you have to hang around for at least 2 hours in a busy airport before you can go anywhere, then it means we’re already winning!

We are also planning some weekend camping trips in our local area throughout the summer. We camped last summer, our first camping trip as a family, and we had such a great time that we’re keen to do it all again. It can be really cheap to camp and between sleeping outside and cooking outside, my kids feel like they’re on the biggest adventure ever – they still talk about last year’s camping trip with great fondness.

Also, between a mix of life changes and spring weather I’m hoping to be able to cycle to work, which is hugely exciting! Until recently, I’d lived too far to be able to cycle to work and back, but now, with a more sensible commute coupled with my youngest starting nursery school, this all means that cycling to work becomes a much more feasible (and fun!) option. There’s nothing quite like cycling to work to wake you up in the morning and feel ready to take on the day.

I’m nominating Jen from Sustainablish, Jen from Little Birdie and Jen from The Sustainable Edit (all the Jens!) to share on social media what they are doing to have a positive environmental impact, and I’d love to hear yours too via the hashtag – #mygreenaction. You never know who you might inspire to make a positive change!

weekend links

Ten Things

Hello! I have read a lot this week so it’s been hard work picking the best 10. Let’s cut the chit chat and get to it!

This week’s links:

1. Firstly, did you see Climate Change: The Facts on BBC One on Thursday evening? If not, stop what you are doing, go and watch it on iPlayer and come back and tell me what you thought of it. I watched it, and then watched it again – David Attenborough was superb, and hits the nail on the head time and time again.

And if you’re not in the UK, you can watch the programme on YouTube instead – it’s too important to only be available in the UK.

2. Greenpeace is calling on the UK Government to declare a climate emergency now and act on it. You can sign the petition here. At the time of writing, over 143,000 people had signed it, leaving it just 7000 signatures shy of the 150,000 target.

3. It was reported that half of the UK population is willing to pay more to avoid plastic packaging, with half of all respondents saying they would be happy to pay an extra £2 a week – £104 a year – for their food shopping if all the packaging used was eco-friendly and did not include any single-use plastics.

Whilst it’s great that so many people are serious about cutting back on plastic, what struck me most from this was that we’ll never solve anything if plastic reduction is only open to those that can afford to cut plastic from their lives. £2 a week extra is huge when you don’t have any money. Reducing plastic packaging on products, in theory, should be cheaper in some cases as pointless plastic packaging is removed from products – and the Government should be taking stronger steps so that it’s more expensive for manufacturers to produce items wrapped in plastic. That’s my rant for this Sunday.

4. Greta Thunberg is incredible – watch the speech she made at the EU Parliament:

You need to listen to us, we who cannot vote. You need to vote for us, for your children and grandchildren. What we are doing now can soon no longer be undone. In this election, you vote for the future living conditions for humankind. And though the politics needed do not exist today, some alternatives are certainly less worse than others“.

Something to mull over before we all head to the polls in May for the European elections.

5. Climate campaigners may sound naive. But they’re asking the right questions.

6. I had to applaud this Facebook post made to the Tesco Facebook page after one shopper got annoyed about why all their swedes were shrink-wrapped in plastic. I would have linked to the original Facebook post, but Tesco deleted the post after it was shared over 10,000 times and rising – perhaps not liking the bad publicity the post was generating. However, it’s a useful reminder to constantly call-out businesses and politicians over failure to act on plastic and climate change despite the rhetoric they spout.

7. Like a phoenix from the flames. Some serious good news.

8. As Attenborough says, we all should eat beef and lamb less, and eat more plant-based foods. Think plant-based is another word for expensive? Hopefully, these £1 vegan meals (that look so incredibly delicious) can convince you otherwise! There’s even a book: Vegan One Pound Meals that is very much on my wishlist.

9. Emma Thomson was criticised after flying from LA to London prior to taking part in Extinction Rebellion. This is a fantastic response.

10. Finally, do you feel like the polystyrene packaging that comes with large appliances is unavoidable? Hopefully, it won’t be unavoidable for much longer, thanks to the wonder that is the mushroom.

That’s it from me – have a good one!

Wendy.x