8 Easy Steps to Save The Environment and Your Bank Account!
It’s easy to think that as one individual person, your daily habits don’t have much of an impact on the world around you. But it does! Just a few simple steps can make your life more environmentally friendly & could save you money too!
1) Save energy and money!
A light left on overnight can cost £24 as well as creating unnecessary carbon emissions which contribute to climate change and global warming. Switching lights off when you leave the room can help reduce the environmental impact as well as bring down your energy bills! Putting on a jumper can also be a good alternative to turning the heating up, especially if you are going out soon!
2) Take a reusable bag when you go shopping
Between January and March 2017, over 1 billion plastic bags had been produced, with 160, 000 being used every second. These bags take 700 years to break down and cause a lot of damage to the environment on their way. Reusable bags can be fun, colourful and way more comfortable to carry!
3) Avoid those straws!
Straws are among the top 10 items littering the sea and cause a lot of harm to fish, turtles and other animals. Next time you’re grabbing a drink, try asking for no straw or have a go with reusable straws!
4) Buy a reusable tea/coffee cup
Did you know that take away coffee cups are not recyclable? And 2.5billion cups are thrown away in the UK every year! Buying a reusable cup and carrying it with you is a great way to reduce this number as well as save you money. Plus most high street coffee shops offer a discount for reusing a coffee cup, or using a reusable one! You can find out more about waste by looking at Hugh’s War on Waste.
5) Go natural!
Many products such as soaps, shampoos and body washes now contain harmful chemicals and plastic microbeads. Not only are these extremely harmful for the environment, they don’t necessarily do your skin any favours either. There’s an app to help you find products that are better for both you and the environment, or try brands that use all natural ingredients.
6) Choose local
Grabbing a banana from the shops can be a great quick breakfast but did you know that the banana has probably travelled thousands of miles to get to you, by plane or boat? Transportation of food contributes massively to global use of fossil fuels, so try to choose British food when you go to the supermarket and have a look to see if there are any shops that sell locally grown food near you.
For more information on how you can eat local, eat seasonal the easy way, check out this article.
Thanks to massive improvements in the recycling industry, we are now able to recycle almost anything. As well as the obvious things like paper, cans and bottles, H&M have recently set up a scheme where you can take in old clothes in exchange for a £5 shop voucher! Charity shops are also always looking for donations, so anything else that is unused but still in good condition can help them raise money for a good cause.
8) Spread the word!
You now have all the basic steps to living more sustainably so all you need to do now is encourage those around you to join in too. Tell them to read this article, buy them some reusable straws or a reusable bag as a quirky birthday present, or get a group together and see what you can make using only food from your local area! Getting other people involved is great as you can share ideas and challenge each other to see who can do the best!
If this has inspired you, here are a few websites to have a look at if you are ready for even more of a challenge:
- http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/ Have a look here to get some information on trying to go a whole month without using any plastic.
- http://treadingmyownpath.com/ Check out this example of zero waste, sustainable living as well as some great tips on where to find plastic free alternatives.