10 EASY WAYS TO GO GREEN
Worried you’re not doing your bit for the planet? Want to live a little greener? Go for it – every day is a new opportunity to do our bit for the climate. And the good news is; not all changes need to be dramatic. It’s possible to make just a few amendments to our daily routines and still ‘go green’.
Here’s our round up of 10 simple ways to do your bit for the planet:
- Go vegetarian at least one day a week
Not only can cutting down on the amount of meat you eat save you money and reduce the risk of potentially life threatening illnesses like heart disease, but it can also offer some major environmental advantages. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the livestock sector is one of the most significant contributors to environmental problems.
By cutting out meat just one day a week, you can help to reduce the gallons of water that are required by animals and animal agriculture as well as the grain that it takes to feed them. You can also help to cut down the huge gas emissions as a result of animal farming. Meat Free Monday is becoming an increasingly popular trend and is just one small step towards helping the climate and environment.
- Turn off your computer completely at night
It may seem like a faff to turn your PC or laptop on and off every day, but this simple act can save both energy and money (estimated at over £50 a year). Throughout the day, try turning the monitor off when not in use and make sure your printer and scanner are also turned off when not in use.
- Purchase some reusable bags and cut down your plastic bag usage
Thin plastic bags have long been known to have a devastating effect on the environment with around 500 billion expected to be used or consumed in 2015. Once used and thrown away, they tend to end up burned, which emits toxic gases, or dumped as landfill, where they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. They are commonly mistaken for food by animals, with around a million seabirds and 100,000 mammals killed each year. By carrying your own reusable bags (which are easily purchasable from many stores or online) you can cut down drastically on the impact your daily shop has on the environment.
- Wash clothes at lower temperatures
Simply washing your clothes at 30C rather than 40C can use 40% less energy and is still going to give your clothes a thorough cleaning.
- Wrap gifts in fabric
Britain throws out around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper over Christmas alone, along with over a billion greetings cards and packaging. Not only could these all be recycled, but you could help cut down on waste completely by purchasing some pretty fabric and ribbon to cover your presents rather than using wrapping paper – it can be reused and looks great!
- Take it slowly
Cutting your driving speed down from 70mph to 50mph could cut your fuel usage by 25%. This can mean big savings for you as well as the environment!
- Boil only the water you need
It’s tempting to fill the kettle up all the way when making a cuppa, but by using the notches on the side as a guide you can save on the energy it takes to boil and will prevent any water growing stale by the time you next return to your kettle. Another top tip: if you do boil too much water, pop the remains in a thermos flask and you can use it for tea or coffee over the next couple of hours.
- Turn off those taps
Turn off any taps when you’re not using them and be careful to not leave them running while you’re washing your face or cleaning your teeth. One great way to save while brushing is to fill a glass with a little water and use this to clean your toothbrush and to rinse. You’ll be conserving water and money!
- Use rechargeable batteries
Around 15 billion batteries are expected to be produced in the world in 2015, many of which are wastefully thrown away after use. By investing slightly more money in a couple of sets of rechargeable batteries and a charger you can be sure of a sustainable and far more eco-friendly power source.
- Move online as much as possible
Do you still need to receive paper bills or can you complete your accounts using online statements from your bank and utility companies? The same goes for travel – there are plenty of apps you can use to track all of your confirmations and travel plans without having to print off your tickets. By cutting down on the paper you can save on the vast number of trees that are felled each year. You can also help cut solid waste and greenhouse gases – and all with just a few simple clicks!
All images courtesy of Alamy.