Winterwatch presenter Michaela Strachan shares FIVE simple tips to help the environment…

As a regular presenter on BBC2’s Winterwatch, Springwatch and Autumnwatch, Michaela Strachan is keenly attuned to changes in the environment.

We caught up with Michaela ahead of the new series of Winterwatch, starting on BBC2 this week, and discussed the everyday ways we can all  positively impact the environment.

“The Watches are moving to beautiful The Cairngorms National Park this year and it’s one of the few really wild places left, and that really excites me,” says Michaela about the new series with Chris Packham and Gillian Burke. “Last year Springwatch did a big feature on plastic and I was really surprised by the amount of Tweets I got from our audience saying they were inspired to do beach clean ups. A lot of our audience like to be empowered and make a difference, which is great!

“We’re now in crisis with the plastic situation, but we’re beginning to change our attitudes because we know we can’t go on like this,” adds Michaela. “People think the little things don’t make a difference, but if enough people do them, they do!”

Here Michaela Strachan reveals FIVE simple tips for making a difference…

1. The last straw

MS: “If you ever do a clean up you’ll know how many single-use plastic straws are on a beach. If we start with straws hopefully it will build and we can look at the next thing, like plastic in clothes. Be the one in a restaurant who says, ‘please don’t give me a straw.’ Refusing straws is a statement.”

2. If in doubt, do without

MS: “The next one is coffee cups, because coffee is such an everyday thing for people. I like a daily cup of coffee from a takeaway, but if I don’t have my reusable cup with me I’ll just go without.

“We’re all going to have to ditch our handbags and use backpacks instead for our reusable coffee cup, straws, water bottles and sporks!”

3. Clean up and repeat!

MS: “Springwatch last year inspired people to do beach clean ups. We constantly need to get involved in clean ups as a matter of course. You can join citizen science projects if you want to be empowered and make a difference.”

4. Bagging revolution

MS: “I’ve not used plastic bags for years. I’m the sort of person if I forget my reusable bag I’ll wheel my trolley to my car and put each individual item into it! It’s shocking how much plastic is out there, but great this kind of thinking is becoming part of everyday life.”

5. Money motivator

MS: “As a kid I don’t remember having a water bottle in my bag at all times like I do now. Maybe we didn’t drink as much water! When we did, I remember we used glass bottles. The thing is, if we go back and do some of what we used to do, so many things will save us money in the end. Not using as much water, electricity, going solar – all those things save you money. It’s win-win for the environment and your pocket.”

Michaela Strachan co-hosts Winterwatch with Chris Packham and Gillian Burke on BBC2 this week.