Taking sustainable actions doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Small everyday adjustments can have a huge impact on the planet. Changing your attitude towards consumption can help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, pollution and waste, and preserve non-renewable resources. A lot of these small actions can also help you save money on bills and lead you to a healthier life.
We collected here 3 very easy to apply ideas that are not only beneficial to the planet, but also to your health and pocket. They will help you save on your energy bills, make the most out of the food you buy (also saving some money here!) and use healthier alternatives to toxic products.
1. Be smart about your energy use
We have already explained the advantages of changing your lightbulbs to more energy efficient options but you can also save on energy by unplugging your chargers and appliances from energy sockets when not in use.
When chargers are left plugged in without a mobile or electronic device it was intended to charge they still use some energy that is just wasted. Although the amount of energy wasted can be really small in this case, it can add up to a significant waste if you have several chargers on every day.
Many appliances have a standby mode and this also consumes some energy, especially old ones as new regulations have limited the amount for new items. Again, if you consider every machine you may have in standby mode, such as TVs, computers, printers, washing machines, dishwashers and microwaves, this can add up to a relevant amount of wasted energy.
Whenever you go away on vacation for a few days, don’t forget to turn off your boiler and, in case you have them, the small switches at sockets that don’t need to be left on or in standby mode. Those small switches save you time since you won’t have to plug back in all your appliances when you return home. Don’t switch off your fridge and freezer if you have food inside and next tip is all about preserving that food.
2. Be smart about your food
Reduce your food waste by planning your grocery shopping and storing fresh items correctly as we explain in detail in this post. In addition, prefer options that use less packaging material to reduce your rubbish.
You can also reduce your consumption of meat. The carbon footprint of animal products can be great, caused by the use of fertilizers, pesticides and fuel to feed these animals, the manure they produce and transportation required until final selling point. You can choose a day or a meal to be meatless every week or month and this will already have a huge impact. According to The Environmental Working Group, lamb and beef production results in greater GHG emissions, chicken and turkey emit less than a half of the first two. Consider this if you prefer to make smarter choices instead of eliminating meat at a certain meal.
3. Reduce the use of plastic
Although most plastic material can be recycled, only less than 25% of it in the UK is actually recycled. More than this, after each time it is recycled the quality of the final material reduces significantly and the process can only be done a few times. Other materials such as glass can be recycled an infinite number of times.
Take your own mug to your workplace and events to avoid the use of disposable plastic cups and glasses. Plastic is not a safe material to package food and drinks, leaching toxic substances such as BPA. By doing this, you will reduce plastic waste and also protect your health.
These are very simple actions to take that together can make a huge impact on the planet and your wellbeing. All you need to do is remember them and be aware of your behaviour towards energy and food consumption. You can have notes around your home to remind you about these attitudes. Choose at least one action exposed here and Green It Yourself Now!