No doubt in your busy lives you've said to your children or students or partner etc... "I just haven't got time!" Let us support you and take the pressure off.
Hello! Three years ago, with some AMAZING friends, I entered a team running competition called the 'Wolf Run'. You know the sort of thing where you leap into action across the wild countryside leaping obstacles and getting strangers to help you get your floundering body over a vast wall. " It'll be fun" I thought, "it'll get me fit again". My mind was reminding myself of the time when I was footloose and fancy free and ran a couple of half marathons. Yes, I ran (I am really not a runner), and I crossed the finish line and it was an immense achievement, but it took work to get there. Regular lunchtime runs, long runs on the weekend, dedication and planning. But, life was simpler then - I didn't have children, I didn't have a small business to develop and yes, I do have those running medals hanging up. BUT, and this is a big but.. the last half marathon I ran was in 2015, SEVEN YEARS AGO, before childbirth, before Covid, before life got complicated!
Anyway, fast forward by three years and our entry (having deferred for a year or two whilst people on the team were growing their families and a cancellation due to lockdown) is active and the event is at the beginning of June, NEXT MONTH! I have two toddlers and one-year-old twins. How on Earth am I going to start running again? Can my body even do it any more? I looked into Couch to 5k but the timeline was too slow and anyway, the distance that I have to run (plus obstacles!) is 10km. And anyway, I feel exhausted from having had Covid. And anyway, there just aren't enough hours in the day! And anyway, I have too many other priorities. And anyway, how am I going to complete my business course? And anyway.... I could go on (but I'll spare you!)
May arrived and I had still not been running at all. Then, I got my trainers ready, realised I could go whenever I had a gap - I only needed half an hour! I got our team to sign up for a Strava challenge so that we could get support from each other. I charged up the batteries of my headtorch and set things up so that I could listen to my business training whilst I ran! So, it turns out that I can do it. Since then, I have been on runs every day and I am already feeling so much better for it. Plus I have learned that I'm not as unfit as I thought I am, my body can take it, it's good for me AND, best of all, it is adding value in my life, which is helping other areas, my children and making me feel positive that I can do something I thought I couldn't.
So, how does this apply to the classroom? Or at home when you are trying to make sustainable changes and inspire your pupils or children to change their mindsets? Well, just like running, there is pressure to do it soon. Just like running, by being efficient, we can do more than we thought. By just starting now, we can make positive changes in a way that makes the other things that we are doing more valuable. Just like running, being environmentally friendly is not something we just don't have time for. It is essential to act now and make changes. Just like running, I don't have to follow the perfect training programme or do it perfectly, I just need to create the space and start!
What are our top tips for being time rich?
1. Prioritise the things that matter - the environment matters
2. Plan - it's surprising how much time we can create by doing simple things like time-blocking and simply thinking more cleverly about how we use our time.
3. Start - we don't need a few people to be environmentally perfect (if there is such a thing!), we need millions of people to be sustainable imperfectly, so start today.
4. Get Support - If you don't have the support in the traditional ways, i.e. a teaching assistant etc, be more creative, get support online, get outside help, reach out to others in the same position.
5. Ask - There are always things that block us, no time, no budget, too busy etc. If this is something really important, and I think we've said it before, the environment is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING (without it we wouldn't even exist!) then reach out. If budget is a blocker, ask us if there's a way we can help. If timing is a blocker, ask us how we can adjust or what might suit best when. If a workshop is not what you need right now, ask us what else we might be able to offer instead.
There you have it, our top tips for being time rich, and saving the environment too - wow! If you would like to learn more about us and get our free 'Ten Top Tips For Setting Up Your School Eco-Committee', simply have a look at our website, www.planetandpeople.co.uk. Oh, and if you fancy seeing a bit about what we've been doing over the past few months, have a look at our little video !
Thanks for reading,
Planet & People empowers the next generation by inspiring a positive and proactive response to the climate and ecological crisis through educational workshops and online membership as well as offering practical solutions for schools and businesses to reduce their impact on the environment.