After what feels like a never-ending winter filled with lockdowns, stressful uncertainty, and the pandemic looming over us, it’s safe to say we’ve never been more excited about the summer. As the national restrictions begin to ease and we can start bringing some normality back to our lives, it’s important to think about how this is going to affect the environment.

As much as we’re excited to get back out into nature, see our friends and enjoy the simple delights of a BBQ or family gathering, we are also already devastated to see the effect plastic pollution is having on the coast with overflowing bins and plastic floating in the clean blue sea that we’ve been blessed with this last couple of weeks.

So here are our top tips on how to enjoy post lockdown life and protect the environment at the same time. Because you CAN have it all!  

Keeping Beaches Clean

With summer just in sight, everyone is looking forward to getting to the coast and enjoying some much needed Vitamin Sea. As much as we love the beach, we want to keep the coastlines clean and keep plastic pollution to a minimum.

Our top tips for a clean beach:

Take a packed lunch – if you are taking food to the beach, try to pack a lunch in reusable containers that you can take home after. That way you won’t have leftover plastic to carry around or have to dispose of.

Bring a bag for rubbish/recycling – if you are buying food in packaging, make sure to bring a bag to take your rubbish home to properly recycle.

Do a #minibeachclean – the beach is definitely a place where we want to sit back and relax, but if you make it a rule to pick up three bits of plastic whilst you’re there, then you’re reducing the amount of plastic going into the ocean that day. Make it a ritual to do a mini beach clean every time you go to help keep the coast and ocean clean.

If you want to find out more about being responsible at the beach, Surfer’s Against Sewage have launched a handy Responsible Beach Guide.

Shop Local

With many local businesses being hit hard from the impact of the past year, with some likely to struggle to financially recover, so more than ever it’s important that we support local shops and stores where we can.

As shops start to properly open in the next few months, you could switch up your usual supermarket shop by exploring local stores instead. There is an excellent selection of shops to buy locally grown fruit and veg, as well as local, high quality meat and fish. We have over 130 Plastic Free Champions in Penzance, so opting or one of those means you’re less likely to walk away with single use plastic in your bag and you’re also supporting our local economy.

The supermarkets will survive. Let’s make sure local families and businesses do too. Get details on our champs here and check back regularly as we’re always updating.

Reduce Single Use Plastic

Whilst we might have got used to spending time with our households only, restrictions will start to ease soon and we will be able to enjoy events with family and friends (hooray!). As much as we’re looking forward to the freedom of group gatherings again, it’s important that we remain mindful of our plastic usage at events and in the home.

Try to reuse and refill as much as possible. At Plastic Free Champion stores like Archie Browns, The Weigh Inn and The Granary, you can not only reduce buying plastic bottles and containers, but you can also refill and bulk buy products to save money as well.

Remember that recycling the packaging from BBQ’s and gatherings is integral to lowering the amount of plastic that we have going up in flames in Cornwall’s incinerator every day. If you’re confused about what you can and can’t recycle, then you can read more in our recycling and reuse blog post here.

Enjoy It!

One of the benefits of lockdown has been a renewed sense of place and lots of people getting out and about to connect with our beautiful environment, be it walking, swimming, cycling, watersports, foraging, wildlife trials … so much that we have been able to enjoy for free on our doorstep during restrictions.

Research has shown that as a result we all feel we want to do more to protect the environment. So let’s do just that! Post lockdown freedom and celebrations don’t need to mean that we forget the importance of what’s kept many of us going through this. Reduce single use plastic, refill, reuse and rethink … and have a blimmin’ lovely time!