LAST week Sir David Attenborough’s latest Netflix documentary, ‘A Life On Our Planet’, brought the increasing importance of tackling climate change to the forefront of my mind.
If you haven’t watched it yet I would definitely recommend, but be warned it is no easy watch; it’s hard-hitting, brutally honest and emotional.
Tackling the environmental challenges our world faces can sometimes feel overwhelming; we hear terrifying facts and figures on the news, practically everything you buy in a supermarket is wrapped in plastic and I often wonder how much difference one person can really make. But if everyone makes small changes, it all adds up.
One of Sir David’s suggestions on how we can individually help to tackle climate change is to eat a more plant-based diet. So this week I took his advice and challenged myself to cut down on meat and dairy.
Growing up we ate home-cooked meals so traditional that I often poke fun at my mum and dad for still eating ‘wartime food’, so trying to cut down on the classic ‘meat and two veg’ dinners has been a challenge – but a rewarding one.
I can’t promise I’ll never eat another of my mum’s famous bacon sandwiches (and I did cheat when Lyme Regis Butchers generously offered me some of their award-winning sausages to try this week!) but I have made a concerted effort to cut down and have enjoyed trying lots of new recipes along the way.
I even managed to get my hands on some hard-to-find Asian ingredients from Lyme’s brilliant street food takeaway Red Panda (if you haven’t tried them yet, where have you been?).
Going vegetarian or vegan is not for everyone so if you feel that’s a step too far there are lots of other ways you can become more environmentally-friendly – increasing your recycling, re-using or upcycling clothes and other goods rather than buying new, cutting down on plastic waste, growing your own fruit and veg and shopping locally.
Turn Lyme Green’s blog on the LymeOnline website offers lots of great, simple tips on how small changes can make a difference.
In Lyme Regis we are spoilt for choice when it comes to outstanding food shops – from Lyme Regis Butchers to the recently-opened Monmouth Pantry.
Independent traders such as these source their produce locally, unlike major supermarket products which quickly rack up the air-miles. They also use less plastic packaging, offer a more personal service and your money will be supporting the local economy rather than national chains.
There’s never been a more important time to shop local, as our traders do their best to pull through the coronavirus pandemic. And this week you can find some real bargains on the high street, as more than 40 local businesses are taking part in Fiver Fest – offering customers special £5 deals.
On Saturday I headed into town with local cameraman Max Redwood and we had a great time meeting some of the traders taking part in Fiver Fest, finding out what they had to offer and why it was so important to them to take part in this ‘shop local’ campaign.
You can watch our video by clicking here and find out more about Fiver Fest and the businesses taking part in our special feature in this week’s LymeOnline newspaper.