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its_the_green_queen blog... Who Knew...?
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! It means so much to me to have a minute or two of your time. For a while now I've wanted to share some things that really matter to me. In 2018 I took my first trip to the slums of Nakuru, Kenya with Derby County Community Trust. Ever since that week I feel more aware of the impact we as humans are having on the planet, not only here in the UK, but somewhere as remote as Nakuru. Meeting the local people taught me so much about how we live our lives and that things can, and need to, change. We met the most wonderful children, with the most unassuming natures, who are so happy despite the poverty they faced daily. We came to understand that the children just want to have an education at a school, where they feel safe, happy and fed. It's not much to want in life, yet, it's something that I know we can take for granted in this country. School for the children was sometimes more than just education. It’s the only place they had someone to care for them; the children are often homeless and living on the street or orphans. We witnessed the poverty that the children have to live in, that not every child has access to charity funded schooling, meaning they don’t always get food on a regular basis. They could, heartbreakingly, live on what was known locally as "The Dump". This site is where rubbish was often taken from the surrounding areas and dumped. It is the only area in Nakuru that the government doesn't charge rent, and therefore, this space is "home" to around 3000 families in small shacks, who have next to nothing. One of the most horrifying things to me, was that not only do they live amongst the rubbish from the surrounding towns and cities, but also amongst rubbish that we, as a country, have sent over to Kenya as part of our government lead 'recycling scheme'. We saw Tesco bags, Hula Hoop packets and even charity recycling bags from the UK! This totally disgusted me; it was upsetting enough to see people having no option but to live on “The Dump”. But for us, as a nation, to send our rubbish to a country that had no way of disposing of it - adding to the problems they face daily - was abhorrent. Who knew? Without seeing it with my own eyes, I’m not sure I would believe it...It is shocking that they have to live amongst waste that we spend so much time cleaning, sorting and recycling in our country. This is the scandalous truth! Thousands of tonnes of rubbish getting sent abroad (not only to Kenya) so that it isn't our government's problem to deal with! Life when I returned home could never be the same again. This trip to Kenya had such a profound effect on me. The detrimental effect we are having on our planet is astronomical, and even when we think we are doing good by recycling products from our homes, we might not be . I’m so grateful for this journey, the opportunities and life altering changes to my perspectives that have happened since I made this trip to Nakuru. I met such wonderful children and people, and I realised I could begin to make changes. We ALL need to be accountable to help sustain our future. We need to try to alter our use and misuse of plastic and single use goods; that small changes in the home could make such an impact. I wanted to do this for the sake of these children, for my children and for the future of our planet. Little by little, over the few years since my trip, we as a family have made changes to how we get rid of rubbish in our home, how we recycle and what kind of plastic we bring into our home in the first instance. We have learnt so much about what can be recycled and about how we should shop. It isn't easy when so many companies, brands, supermarkets and global players, have a massive opportunity to make a difference but they do very little! I've found a lot of the problems with plastic pollution begin with education, existing habits and what we are "told". For example, only recently we've realised that plastic bags are causing massive problems and that a lot of plastic can't be recycled. It's up to us to make a difference. What can we do with this plastic? What little changes can we make at home to make a difference? It may not feel like one person can make a difference, but if we all do something, it amounts to something a lot bigger. To help I started this blog, my instagram page and eventually suggestions of places to shop for environmentally friendly products. If I can help, even just one person who reads this, to make a change they didn't know they could, that didn't know about alternative options, then we are all winning! I'll be sharing tips and tricks that we do at home and how I'm learning to make our planet better for the future. Thank you for reading and here's to the Harris-Rose Eco Revolution! Spread love and be kind :) Nicola xxxx