Is the rest of the world more eco-friendly than Britain?
It seems in recent years that Britain has been making huge efforts to become a more eco-friendly nation, but how much effect had this really had?
There are numerous nations who are more eco-friendly than Britain, perhaps most notable of recent times Tokelau (a small collection of islands near New Zealand) becoming the first nation to become entirely solar-powered. This is of course something to be celebrated, and Britain with its high energy consumption and cloudy days can’t quite compete with that sort of green attitude.
Britain Hasn’t Made The List
Britain has never made the top of the list, beaten by the likes of Switzerland for its use of geothermal energy sources, Austria for strict regulations on driving and rubbish creation, and Costa Rica due to their immense conservation efforts. Though according to the latest published results from the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) from Yale University, Britain is ranked twelfth in the world, scoring a possible 77.35 out of 100, roughly ten points behind Switzerland.
Though our ranking has slipped behind other nations, our score has improved on the 2012 index, and for health and water/sanitation we rank top in the entire world, making the British quality of life excellent. It is however a serious slip from our initial score in 2006, where we scored an impressive 85.6. It will take a lot of hard work from everyone to get back to those heady times.
Environment Is The Key
Our major stumbling blocks to raising higher in the EPI ranking and score however are all environment led: our fisheries, agriculture, biodiversity, climate and energy and forests are rather poor showings, as all rank outside of fifty, while air quality only scrapes a rank of forty-five.
Though not everyone is a farmer that can make an alteration and improve their farming to help the nation, there is something to be done at home that can help improve aspects of British living, such as the quality of the air we breathe.
Reducing our carbon footprint is a major step to improving Britain’s environmental position. Some steps are easy enough, and have been repeated forever: don’t leave the telly on stand-by, switch lights off and don’t leave your phone on charge overnight.
Most of us still commute to work, and long distances alone in the car can eat into the atmosphere as well as your wallet. In recent years, the UK has introduced a number of carpool lanes on motorways to attempt to reduce the number of cars on the road, and London has introduced congestion charges to try and offset the number of cars filling London. Increased pedestrianisation of city centres has also reduced carbon emissions population centres to improve air quality, which are usually a focused hub of pollution. And as unpopular as the idea may be, a bit of public transport, if possible, isn’t the worst thing in the world!
Britain Needs To Put The Environment First
People are also increasingly getting solar panels for their own homes, plugging electricity back in the main grid and reducing their energy bills in the process. Though installation can be expensive, the beauty of these is that they will eventually pay off themselves with the energy provided. There are some critics who point out that they may not look the most attractive thing in the world, but then again when has the roof been the most attractive feature of a house? If the effect of saving yourself some money is to not have an attractive roof, then it seems to be a fair trade off.
We can also become more intelligent about our purchases. Though supermarkets are becoming increasingly committed to reducing the packaging of their food, there are things at home that can be done as well, such as being that much mindful about our recycling habits, even down to the cardboard sleeves you occasionally get on your new DVD. The separation of recyclables from your food waste from your main waste can even lead to a reduction of your main waste overall.
A Little More Effort
Britain may not be the greenest nation on the planet, but it is taking many steps, both in legislation and at home, to improve our place on the planet. A little more effort from everyone, and Britain could become the greenest, pleasant land once again.
For more information about the steps that Polythene UK has taken to improve our green credentials, call 0845 643 1601*. You can also contact us online.