Easy ways to live more sustainably – part 2
Following on from part 1 of this mini-series of blog posts, here are some additional easy ways to live more sustainably that we can all do to help the planet.
Be water conscious
Reduce water usage by having shorter showers, using an energy-efficient shower head and turning off the tap when scrubbing dishes to just name a few. It all adds up!
See meat as a treat
Giving up meat completely isn’t appealing to many. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to become vegetarian or vegan. However, it is possible to cut down on meat and make more conscious food choices.
Reducing beef consumption is the greatest individual contribution you can make to shrinking your footprint. A study by Oxford University in 2020 found that even if fossil fuel emissions stopped immediately, emissions from the food system alone could raise temperatures by more than 1.5°C.
Avoid fast fashion
The bulk of returns simply ends up in landfill. Fast fashion is a big issue for the planet but one of the areas where we can take back control. Play your part by buying second-hand clothes in shops or online at Depop, Vinted and eBay to name a few. Buying second-hand clothes is an easy way to look stylish at a fraction of the cost and protect the planet at the same time.
Unsubscribe from junk emails
Spam emails are irritating and surprisingly, waste energy. Sending one email has the carbon footprint equivalent of 4g of CO2. Those thousands of junk emails stack up. To reduce pointless energy waste, unsubscribe from spam mail and clear your inbox.
Try out a zero-waste store
The average home throws away 66 bits of plastic packaging every week with the majority of that being food and drink packaging.
That’s a whopping 100 billion pieces of plastic waste a year in the UK alone. Food packaging waste is one of the trickiest to get rid of because a lot of it is not recyclable. A number of zero-waste stores have popped up in the past few years. You bring a container and fill up on cereals, pasta, rice and nuts to name a few.
Buy fewer but better quality items
If you need to buy something new, it’s worthwhile to invest in an item that’s more expensive but better quality. It will last longer and save you money in the long run.
Switch to energy-saving light bulbs
Lighting makes up 11% of the average UK household’s energy consumption, according to The Energy Saving Trust. Switching to LED bulbs can make a big difference. A household using a dozen 40W incandescent or halogen bulbs for four hours a day could spend about £238 per year whereas LED equivalents would cost £41.70 – a saving of £196.30 a year. LED bulbs can cost more, but have a longer lifespan and will save money over time.
Lose the single-use plastic
Single-use plastic is destructive to the planet. Reduce your disposables in small ways: opt for reusable towels for washing your face/removing makeup. Use beeswax wraps rather than cling film for covering food in the fridge. Take a reusable water bottle whenever you leave the house.
Choose an environmentally friendly bank account
A massive £150 billion has been invested in fossil fuels by UK banks since the Paris agreement in 2016. Banks like Triodos and Charity Bank only invest in green projects. Done collectively, withdrawing accounts from banks that fund fossil fuels sends a powerful message.