With the pandemic forcing us to live simpler and slower-paced lives, presenter and Gumtree ambassador Angela Scanlon reveals how lockdown has shifted her attitude towards sustainability
1. Show love to your community by shopping local
Lockdown forced us all to shop a bit more locally at first, engaging with shops that were close by and discovering things that we could have otherwise bought online for ease. It's helped me create relationships with my local greengrocers and butchers - bringing back a sense of community that I haven't experienced since childhood.
2. The 'little' changes actually make a pretty big impact
I’ve been filming a lot recently and bringing my own lunches. It's not until you stop doing all the takeaway coffee and food runs that you realise the amount of waste attached to them. It's empowering to see how much waste you're actually saving - and makes it a lot easier to introduce other small changes.
3. Having a child keeps you in check
As a parent, you become so much more aware of the fact you're handing the planet over. Everything I do, from my behaviour to the words I say, my two year old daughter repeats, so it's obviously up to me to lead by example when it comes to living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
4. You don't need to hop on a plane to enjoy holidays
I’ve had some of my favourite little breaks (when it’s been appropriate), in the UK and Ireland. When we went to Ireland, although we were isolating, I saw it in a way I hadn't in years and appreciated it more than ever. It makes me realise I don't have to get on a plane and go wildly exotic. It's way easier to chuck things in the car and head to the beach, particularly when you have kids, rather than packing and dealing with all the stress that comes from travelling further afield.
5. Living within walking distance of nature is a real privilege
We’re really lucky that we live close to a woods - it's become a little haven we can escape to. I don’t know if it's the reduction in traffic and air travel, but everything feels quieter. The slightly slower pace of life make it easier for us to see the seasons change, and allowed us to see the value in nature that we perhaps haven’t done in a long time. We've started bringing the kitchen table outside to my little garden and having dinner there more often - we're so lucky to have it.
6. Living more sustainably is not just for lockdown...
With a third of UK households becoming more eco-friendly over the past few months, it's clear there's been a real shift in our attitudes towards sustainability. Having now seen the impact our pre-lockdown lifestyles had on the environment and how much positive change has happened since lockdown, my outlook and commitment to balance definitely won't be the same again. That's why I definitely plan to stick with the changes I've made.
Angela Scanlon is a Gumtree ambassador and championing their campaign. Join the Gumtree #20DaysToBetterWays challenge to see how making a small change to everyday choices can build a greener world and save money.
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Niamh McCollum is Features Assistant at Marie Claire UK, and specialises in entertainment, female empowerment, mental health, social development and careers. Tackling both news and features, she's covered everything from the rise of feminist audio porn platforms to the latest campaigns protecting human rights.
Niamh has also contributed to our Women Who Win series by interviewing ridiculously inspiring females, including forensic scientist Ruth Morgan, Labour MP Stella Creasy and ITV’s former Home Affairs Editor Jennifer Nadel.
Niamh studied Law in Trinity College Dublin. It was after enrolling in a Law & Literature class on her year abroad in Toronto that her love of writing was reignited. In no particular order, her big likes are Caleb Followill, hoops, red wine, sea swimming, shakshuka and long train journeys.
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