ONE of my first votes when I turned 18 was for the Green Party, so naturally I thought it would be good to explain why I think it’s important to go green. As a student, I don’t really have any other option than to be economical because let’s face it, we have to do all that we can to survive. And so I thought, considering our environment for a change was the way to go about it.

In my new house alone, we have already begun this process. Ensuring that we recycle anything and everything that we can, especially in London, where recycling is strict, with each household having to use see-through bags to keep an eye on the materials you are trying to recycle. Even doing a little bit can play a part. 113,204 is the number of cans that are recycled each minute of the day and from just one of those cans, three hours of energy is created to run a computer. So that in itself is something.

As well as this, walking everywhere and using public transport all contributes to a greener and less polluted world. And it feels good too; you might even make a new friend on your new way to work rather than sitting alone in your car.

Simple things in your household can help too. Switching your dishwasher and washing machine down to 30 degrees or putting it on an eco-wash is a small element that you could do every day and I know that this certainly is something that anyone can do. Using recyclable bags or re-useable bottles and all these small changes have almost become second nature to me now.

We have even decided to not put the heating on and use extra blankets instead, which is lasting for now, but I’m not sure if we will make it through the whole of the winter! But for the time being it suits us well.

Of course, most people know about these things but then when it comes to putting them into practice, it is very often forgotten. If I can do it, then you can too! It is all about saving as much money, time and effort as you can, whilst helping the community.

Being aware of our environment is so important. We are so busy focusing on the smaller things in our life and not taking the time to think about the bigger picture and what may affect our generation down the line or even generations to come.

The area that I now live in is very open and green and it got me thinking about how lucky I am to be in London, but still in an area that feels green.

Compared to Wiltshire, it is quite a jump, but there are still some elements that remind me of home and so I want to protect the environment I now live in and remind you that your area is important too.

Parks are so vital, because they represent just some of the limited areas of greenery that are not being taken over by housing or industrialisation. Forty-five per cent of local authorities are contemplating selling parks to other businesses, which in itself is staggering. These natural environments will soon become a novelty because if we carry on, soon there just won’t be any left.

Being green, politically or just in your everyday life, is not a selfish thing. It is about caring for others and for what is around us and hopefully having an impact on the future. For after all wouldn’t you rather be contributing to all the wonderful natural things in this world and not ignoring them?

By Nia Powell