So, this is a list post with some ideas of what we all can try to do to help the environment within out own houses.
DISCLAIMER: I have a lot to say about the recent news that came out about global warming becoming irreversible in the next 12 years and how this is completely on the 100 companies who contribute over 70% of pollution and I will eventually write about this somewhere or somehow. But todays post is just for people who want to improve upon their own personal impact on the environment.
(I’d appreciate it if people didn’t get aggressive in my comments about this, because I am aware and am gathering research to write a useful post regarding the 100 companies, so please just enjoy this for what it is)
Ways to start helping the environment
- buy less meat, milk, cheese, and butter. Buy more locally sourced seasonal food. Throw less away (eat your left overs another day or meal prep) or start compost.
- Drive electric cars, walk or cycle.
- Public transport over driving. Trains, trams, busses, coaches. Try to take these over planes as well if you can.
- Use video conferencing over traveling long distances for meetings. (becoming more popular now, let’s hope it stays that way)
- Use a washing line or hanger over a dryer. Maybe even hand-wash some items over using a washing machine, or use a lower heat.
- Insulate your homes.
- Solar panelling. It will also save you money in the long run.
- Reusable water bottles, try to avoid plastics particularly ones you aren’t capable of recycling. (Found out recently there is an app called ‘Refill App’ which shows you where you can refill your water bottle around the UK)
- The ‘Refill App’ is quite new so there are not many taps everywhere, but if you’re looking for a project, I think it is possible to set up a tap in your local area and put it on the map! Look into it!
- Reusable canvas bags (again, avoiding purchasing plastic and buying something that is strong enough for all kinds of carrying uses, easier to fix if they do break!)
- Reusable straws, best to try and buy from a small, and eco-conscious business than amazon. Amazon is literally killing the planet. Straws come in a range of styles, materials, and sizes so shop around.
- Using cloth instead of paper towels (particularly for kitchens or bathrooms within domestic housing)
- Reusable coffee cups (most cafes now give you a discount for bringing your own cup so you’ll also save money in the long run)
- Plant trees. Even just one in a pot in your garden. They take a long time to grow so by the time it is big enough, you can find a more permanent spot for it. Maybe see if there are local schemes that will take the tree. Maybe work with a school.
- Growing your own produce, anything you can. It’s understandable you may not be able to have a full garden due to housing or work life, so have a google to see what plants you could easily take care of that could add to your cooking. Lots of people have small herb gardens as a start that are easier for small housing situations.
- If you buy any cans that are linked together, make sure you at least cut up the plastic holder so that it doesn’t entrap and kill sea animals or birds.
- Reuse scrap paper for writing notes, i.e. shopping lists, before you then recycle the paper. You can also put scrap paper in compost heaps if you have one. (Recycling in the UK is very hit or miss and they may not accept all kinds of paper but you can put any of them in the compost)
- Turn as many letters into email subscriptions (bank statements and bills are the main ones)
- Unplug electronics when you’re not using or charging them
- Where you can, if you have extra food, create new meals for yourself (and anyone in your household) or if it’s possible, give your leftovers to someone not as well off as you. There is a lot of food waste in the world that could be feeding poor and starving families, or people on the street. If you know anyone struggling and you have some food spare, give it to them or search for your local food bank. I recommend looking into Sean Roy Parker who is part of the Brixton Pound Cafe, the only pay-what-you-can cafe using surplus food!
- Self check-out and supermarket check-outs now give you the option of printing your receipt, maybe choose to not, or some clothing shops only do email receipts now.
- Reusable food storage. Good quality Tupperware, jars are good for holding all kinds of food items, thermos for hot food or drink on the go. Splashing out for some quality items can lead to savings overall, invest in something you will continue to use and enjoy. Lots of people have been buying bamboo knives/forks/spoons for their lunches but… you already have cutlery at home, just use that?
- Going to a library and signing up. It’s better if you prefer reading from a physical book because any books you read can then be read by others, it’s also much cheaper. Sometimes libraries have to get rid of some of their stock so you might even be able to pick up some books for keeps for free or cheap. Some libraries have tonnes of online resources that can be really helpful for work or learning something new, and tend to have magazine subscriptions. Save tonnes of money and trees!
- Replace paper napkins with cloth ones (Christmas etc.)
- take empty printer ink cartridges and dud batteries to local specialised bins. (these are at super markets most of the time but also some charities accept ink cartridges for raising funds too)
I hope my list has helped someone think of something new to try. These aren’t for everyone and you don’t HAVE to do any or all of these. My aim was just to inspire and open up possibilities for people who want to be more proactive. Check out my Gift Guide, my friend who runs Sew Last Summer uses deadstock fabrics and never throws away a single thing, everything is reused in some way.
Leave any of your tips in the comments below, I’d love to read them!!