A lot of people believe that their small actions can’t make a big difference but the reality is, it can really make a big impact to the environment. Yes, companies need to do (a lot) more but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything. The sad truth is climate change is real, and as humans we are destroying our planet. I have been really making a conscious effort to try and be more environmentally friendly and thought I’d share some of the small swaps I’ve made if you’re feeling the same way.
Cut back on animal products
This doesn’t mean you need to become a vegan (unless you want to) but by cutting back on animal products can help make you live a more sustainable life. We’ve tried to do at least two nights plant-based meals and it’s actually been really delicious and packed full of flavour – Deliciously Ella is a great resource, full of recipes that don’t require strange ingredients.
This can make a big difference as it takes a lot of resources to produce those animal products – one gallon of milk uses 2000 gallons of water due to the amount of feed that the cow needs. Plus, by eating a diet full of plants (vegetables, legumes etc) you may find yourself feeling generally healthier!
Filter your tap water and drink it
My partner really doesn’t like tap water in London and we were using so much plastic buying bottled water so we decided to get a filter and my partner actually likes drinking it! This saves money on buying bottled water and also cuts back on the waste – landfill sites are a huge problem so every item you don’t send to them is a good thing.
Unplug unused appliances
Many appliances use a dribble of electricity when they are plugged in, even if they aren’t doing anything. By unplugging them when not in use, you not only save a little money on your electricity bill but help cut back on the demand for fossil fuel created power resources.
Use public transport
If you can use public transport to get to work, the shops or anywhere else, try to do it or if your commute is walking distance, you can try and walk a couple of times a week. There is also the option on Uber to use Uber Pool which is essentially car sharing and is cheaper than getting an Uber to yourself, just make sure you let someone know your location. This all cuts back on car use and all the pollution and fossil fuel use associated with it.
Use those stairs
Since Covid, I’ve tried not to be in confined spaces such as lifts as much in public places but have realised using the stairs has a couple of benefits. Not only does it get that extra little bit of exercise into your routine, but it also saves on the energy needed to run the escalator or lifts. These take a lot of power to run and if people used them only when they needed to, this could save on electricity and therefore fossil fuel use.
Turn off the water while brushing teeth
This was something I carelessly did and water waste is such a big problem and one of the top causes of wasted water is when we brush our teeth. I now make sure that I only run the water to rinse my brush before and after brushing and turn it off in between.
Switch to LED light bulbs
Conventional light bulbs waste around 95% of the power that they use. New LED light bulbs are more expensive to buy but also far more energy efficient. They last much longer – some as much as 25 years depending on how much you use them.
Try to buy second hand
Social media may have us thinking that we need a new outfit every time we have a special occasion but instead of using fast-fashion, why not try shopping second hand? You can try sites such as Vinted, eBay, Vestaire, Depop, Facebook groups or even clothes rental sites. This reduces how many clothes that go to landfill sites, which is currently a staggering 700,000 tonnes in the UK, every year. You can also do the same when you are clearing out things – it’s a win-win, less clothes to landfill and make a little money in the process!
Try a reel lawnmower
A reel lawnmower is one that doesn’t use any electricity or battery and is very simple to use. They need a little more effort than electric mowers so might not work for everyone but if you can, it can be worth considering it.
These are just some ways I’m trying to live a more sustainable life and cut back on the resources that I use. If everyone put two into action, the difference on the planet would be huge, which two could you start with?