With the threat of climate change becoming more and more apparent, it’s more important than ever that we try to live sustainably.
It can be difficult, though, to know exactly what to do in order to live a sustainable life, and a lot of the time people don’t realise that what they are doing could be damaging the environment. We’ve put together a few pointers to help you give back to mother earth, and maybe save a few quid along the way.
One of the biggest ways that you can help reduce your carbon footprint and waste is by being conscious when shopping. Small changes, like bringing reusable bags to shops, and trying not to buy anything with unnecessary plastic, can help reduce the amount of rubbish that will end up in a landfill. In terms of reducing emissions, buying food that was sourced locally is a really good way to start. Getting yourself down to a local farmers’ market is a great way to do this, and you might even enjoy yourself picking out some oddly shaped veg. In terms of clothes shopping it’s important to make sure that you buy from shops rather than online, and if you do decide to order online refrain from ordering a large amount that you know you are going to have to return.
People need to get around, and there isn’t a huge amount that anybody can do about that. It is however important to try and travel in ways that reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. If you do need to drive for you then try to carpool, you might even save money with petrol contributions. If you don’t know anyone going the same way as you, there are services that you can use to carpool with strangers, meaning you can either pick up people on the way or leave your car at home and jump in someone else’s. Buses and trains are better than driving, though, and even better yet is cycling or walking. While it isn’t always feasible to walk 10 miles to work every day, investing in a good bike is a great way to save money, help the environment, and stay in shape.
Save Energy at Home
Cutting down on the amount of gas and electricity you use to keep your home lit and warm is a great way to not only do your bit for the environment, but also to save some money. Investing in energy saving lightbulbs and making sure that all appliances are turned off when you’re not using them are two easy ways to reduce the amount of energy your home uses. Getting double glazing and insulation are slightly more expensive but will also be valuable in the long run.
Some energy companies will put money towards this kind of work so before calling someone in, it’s always worth checking with your provider to see if they are happy to contribute. Putting your heating on a timer will help as well. With most houses empty during the day, having the heating blaring is a huge waste, and setting it so it only comes on during peak occupancy hours is a great way to cut down your energy usage.
Sadly for all the meat lovers out there, an animal-based diet just is bad for the environment. As well as causing huge amounts of deforestation, the transportation costs of moving meat from farm to shop are huge, with many experts claiming that we will need to significantly curb our addiction to meat in order to survive as a species. If the idea of going without meat is too much to bear then you can always try and just eat a bit less. Going a couple of days a week without meat might not seem like much but can have a huge impact on the world if we all did it.
Don’t throw things away
We live in a society where as soon as something stops working as well as it could do, we are inclined to chuck it away. There are numerous shops cropping up where you can take in appliances like old toasters or microwaves and pay a small fee to have it fixed and brought back to its former glory. If something really does need to be disposed of then do some research as to what it could be used for – pretty much everything can be re-used or recycled in some way. Freecycle is a great website where people post things they don’t want anymore and all someone needs to do is pick it up.