It’s official - nations all over the world have declared a climate emergency, the scientific studies and severe weather conditions are being recognised, and people such as Sir David Attenborough are actually being listened to!
We as humans can be better to the planet with each and every one of our actions in any given day - from choosing to use a more eco-friendly alternative product, to taking responsibility for our own carbon footprints! In this blog post, we’ve identified some small changes we can quite easily make in our day to day lives to help us all live a little more sustainably!
Walking to the shop, cycling to work and skipping on an unnecessary car journey are all simple ways to reduce our carbon footprints, and public transport offers us a more eco friendly option when we have to go a little bit further!
Sharing the car journey can also mean sharing the cost!
Of course, we should all be switching off lights when we leave the room, but we could also ensure we're letting in a much window light as possible in the day time, so they don't need to be on at all! A great change to make would be switching to an electric provider that generates renewable energy! As for water use, it’s all about only using what you need and not wasting what you don’t need to be using… You know - taking shorter showers, only half-filling the washing up bowl and washing your clothes less frequently. Other tips would be to get a water saving shower head, switch to longer lasting, more energy efficient light bulbs or even your very own solar panels!
What To Do About Waste!
At this point, we’re already recycling, right?? But it’s important to remember some of the other R’s too… REFUSE any single use plastic, REDUCE any unnecessary purchasing, REUSE what you already have and REPURPOSE what you don’t need any more. From old clothes into new kitchen cloths and from old towels into new tea towels for example!
Roughly 24% of waste produced in the UK comes from offices!
Whilst at work and at home, try to save scrap paper and use both sides, and also start using a 'no junk mail' sign to save paper too! Use recycled products like paper and toilet paper where you can as well, and always opt for reusable items such as water bottles, coffee cups and cotton tote bags when on the go. Quality products are definitely going to be the way to go when you need something new - a product that is built to last and isn't going to break or only last a few weeks.
Globally, food waste amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes every year!
Sending food waste to land fill causes it to decompose in a way that emits harmful greenhouse gasses including methane, and is also a waste of all of the land, water and energy used in it’s production, transportation and storage... What was once a very popular practise but is now often forgotten, home composting provides the answer here, and also provides nutrients back into the land and into people’s back gardens.
Provide a safe space for nature by allowing a wild area to grow when mowing the grass, help with the declining number of bees by planting pollinator friendly flowers and reduce your carbon footprint by growing your own veg! What better way to give back to the planet?? Alternatives include window boxes, allotments and even house plants to purify air around the home!
Eat More Plants!
Avoiding animal products and eating less meat can be much better for the planet and the environment! It's been shown that a plant based diet can have as much as half the carbon footprint of a meat-heavy diet! There's also much less required land, water and resources to produce plant-based meals, a reduced demand for deforestation and you might even find some new favourite foods whilst giving it a go!
Go For Organic!
Organic farming is especially great for eco-systems around the world, as wildlife won’t be harmed as much by the likes of unnatural herbicides and pesticides used in the process! Organic farming also only uses natural fertilisers, not synthetic petroleum based fertilisers that can lead to chemical contamination of water ways, wildlife and marine life. Plus, it requires less energy to farm and results in a higher soil fertility!
Shop For Second Hand Stuff!
Not just a money saving tip, buying second hand is actually a great thing to do for the planet! For example, buying a second hand pair of blue jeans can save as much as 1,800 gallons of water - yep, that's the amount of water that it takes to make a brand new pair of blue jeans! It’s yet another reason why it's great to shop at charity shops and makes a lot of sense considering the rise in vintage fashion and change in attitude towards fast-fashion.
Recycled clothing can require just 3% of the energy it would take to make it new!
Websites like Ebay and the mobile app Depop, have made it easier than ever to buy and sell second hand. However, it is important to bare in mind the energy needed for the postage and packaging process... Shopping locally is definitely the way to go whenever possible and this of course isn’t limited to just second hand clothing - we’re talking anything from furniture to tech, which Facebook Marketplace can be fantastic for!
Vote With Your Money
It's now more important than ever to live more sustainably, and perhaps even more importantly, for businesses to be run more sustainably! Fortunately, although some of us might not know it, we each have a secret superpower that can actually be super easy to use! By choosing to shop locally - at charity shops, organic food markets or vegan restaurants - you can choose to support local businesses, small-scale businesses and ethical businesses. You can choose to not support fast fashion, giant corporations and animal agriculture. You can choose who and what you want to support and who you want to help make a difference!
Trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle yourself and have a great tip of your own? Leave a comment below to let us know!