Finding the first step towards a greener lifestyle isn’t always easy. That’s where we come in. The need to live a more sustainable lifestyle is becoming more important than ever. Many small lifestyle changes can have a greater domino effect. And what a better time to start, but in the new year.
1. Choose greener toiletries
As we all know, toilet roll was in high demand in 2020. But did you know it requires at least 17 trees and 90,921 litres of water to make only 1 tonne of toilet roll. As the average person uses 100 rolls in a year, using regular toilet paper is not a sustainable habit. Switching to eco friendly toilet paper, which is made from bamboo instead, is a greener alternative. Bamboo grows at faster rates compared to trees. In fact, bamboo can grow 39 inches within just a 24 hour period. This essentially means it is a more sustainable material. This also makes switching to bamboo toothbrushes, hairbrushes, plasters and earbuds a lot greener too!
You can also start the new year by adding plastic free soap, shampoo, and conditioner to your shopping cart. Solid soap bars and capsules are a much greener alternative as they reduce the amount of non-sustainable packaging.
3. Buy Recyclable Clothes
The world consumes 80 billion pieces of clothing every year. The more trends created, the more we buy and the more we throw. The fashion industry is responsible for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater. However, there are many ways we can change our shopping habits to help combat this.
- RENTING CLOTHES: There are many online platforms that allow you to rent clothes, for example Onloan, Hurr, Endless Wardrobe and Girl Meets Dress. Many offer a monthly rental service, where you can order new clothes at the beginning of the month and then return them the next. Others allow for next day delivery for those fashion emergencies. This way you no longer have to spend money on an outfit you’ll only ever wear the once.
- BUY LESS AND BUY BETTER: Even though buying cheaply may sound attractive at the time, in the long term you are purchasing a low quality item. Garments workers are known to be exploited to make these low prices in the first place. It is important to support brands which are both ethical, and prioritise sustainable materials.
- THRIFT SHOPPING: Thrift shopping is a great way to give to charities whilst boycotting larger unethical corporations. Purchasing second hand can be a fun hobby. Almost like a treasure hunt. You are also likely to find a more unique wardrobe at a lower cost.
1. Invest in Renewable Energy for Electricity
Most households are on a grid that provides energy through non-sustainable fossil fuels, such as oil or gas. This year, why not invest in renewable energy sources such as Solar Panels instead? By investing in a Solar PV System, you are investing in clean, green energy. According to the IEA, Solar is officially the cheapest electricity in history. So it benefits both your pockets and the environment.
If installing Solar Panels is out of you budget. You can always make the switch to a green tariff from a supplier such as Green Energy UK, Good Energy, Octopus Energy and Ecotricity instead. This way you’ll be relying less on fossil fuels and more on green energy.
4. Use Your Electricity Wisely
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but turning off lights, avoiding leaving appliances on standby, and boiling the right about of water for a cup of tea, can really reduce those forever rising energy bills. Other tips and tricks include:
- Changing the settings of your devices to lower power/ eco mode. This includes your TV, laptops, tablets and phones.
- Switching to LED light bulbs. They are both more cost-effective and efficient.
- Washing your clothes at a lower temperature.
- Installing a smart thermostat.
- Buying appliances with a high energy efficient rating.
5. Adopt a plant based diet
Meat and dairy are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gases within the agriculture industry. From production to packaging, the Methane and Nitrous Oxide Emissions make meat consumption one of the leading causes of climate change. Animal agriculture not only kills wildlife and contributes to deforestation, but it also exploits its workers. By simply being more “meat consciousness”, and shifting towards a more plant based diet you will be doing your part to help combat climate change. Even if that means not having red meat for just 2 to 3 days a week.
6. MAKE YOUR GARDEN GREENER
Growing your own crops, isn’t just a good way to save money, but could also be a great new eco-friendly hobby for 2021. Whether it’s small plants around the house to brighten up your day, or a vegetable patch, gardening can improve both air and life quality. Sometimes foods are transported in from all over the world, a process that relies on fossil fuels cutting. By growing your own food, you will be reducing your reliance of long-distance transportation. Also, by growing your own you can ensure pesticides or chemicals that harm the environment are not being used.
7. Move Online
Make the change to online banking, to avoid paper bank statements stacking up inside your home. This way you can keep copies of important documents digitally instead. Take any opportunity to avoid printing receipts, and get them sent to your email directly instead.
8. Stop buying single use products.
As the need to live more sustainably grows, more reusable products are being released onto our shelves daily. Here are a few everyday disposal items you can easily substitute for reusable ones:
- Switching to cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.
- Switching to reusable nappies and paper towels.
- Purchasing a reusable water bottles.
- Using a reusable carrier bags.
- Switching to a menstrual cup, from pads or tampons.
- Switching to lunchboxes instead of plastic bags.
- Using stainless Steal straws instead of plastic.
9. Learn to think greener
Why not take the new year to become more knowledgable about the environment. Here are a few recommendations to get you started.
DOCUMENTARIES: Food Inc., Our Planet, Before the Flood, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, This Changes Everything and The True Cost.
BOOKS: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Food Rules, and The Backyard Homestead.
BLOGS: You Grow Girl, Zero Waste Home, The Good Trade, Curiously Conscious, The Earthbound Report and The Sustainable Edit.
INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS: Futureearth, Earthrise Studio, Climateincolour, myecoresolution and of course Deege Solar.
10. Make your home greener
As The Green Grant in the UK, has been extended until March, it’s the perfect time to start making some greener changes to your household. The Green Grant offers vouches towards home improvements that will help insulate your homes and reduce your energy usage. This includes solid wall insulation, solar thermal, air source heat pumps, double glazed windows and so on.