Do your bit for Earth Day in East Anglia

Our beaches are strewn with plastic washed up from the sea, like this at Thorpeness.
Picture: Andy

Our beaches are strewn with plastic washed up from the sea, like this at Thorpeness. Picture: Andy Abbott.

Thrifty living, with Sheena Grant

Hundreds of millions of people across the planet marked Earth Hour, from 8.30pm on March 24.

The annual initiative, led by conservation charity WWF to highlight climate change and other environmental threats, involves turning out the lights for an hour and doing something different, perhaps going stargazing, eating dinner by candlelight or spotting local landmarks that are taking part (globally these included Buckingham Palace, Edinburgh Castle, the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House).

This year, 9 million people in the UK got involved. Sadly, I wasn’t one of them. I tried but one member of the household just ‘had to’ watch The Voice on TV while another suggested driving to a local beauty spot for a hike in the dark. Neither seemed appropriate so I dozed on the sofa for an hour, in a fit of pique.

However, all is not lost as on April 22 it’s Earth Day, another global environmental movement that is this year focussed on plastic pollution, an issue that affects us all, as evidenced by a walk I took along the Suffolk coast the day after my Earth Hour debacle.

After storms brought by the Beast from the East, the tide-line was strewn was more plastic than ever. I found what looked like an old helium balloon and used it as a bag for collecting some of the rubbish. After walking just a few hundred yards it was full.

You can support Earth Day in many ways, including making a pledge to reduce your plastic use; something I’ll definitely be doing.

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Another litter issue that refuses to go away is that of rubber bands dropped by postmen and women, which I’ve also written about recently. Many readers have shared their own stories about this. I’ve also been contacted by one Ipswich family, who have written to Royal Mail about ‘a trail’ of bands in their road, asking staff not to drop them.

Julie Young, from Great Yarmouth, also wrote in, saying: “I used to own a dog that would eat rubber bands, so the topic was dear to my heart. Perhaps we should all be brave and report (the culprits) for littering, instead of just moaning.”

Royal Mail, by the way, says it does reuse bands and asks posties not to drop them.

Email your thrifty tips here.