So with a new year comes change! Folks are a few weeks in to their new years resolutions now and whilst I’m no environmental activist by any stretch lately I’ve got to thinking about the world we live in and what it’s going to be like when my three boys grow up!! With the likes of Greta Thunburg being in the news lately and sharing with the world her environmental concerns (yes she may be young but she knows her stuff) I thought I’d start taking personal responsibility. I decided to make a few little changes which whilst may only be small, may help long term in the grand scheme of things and so here they are…my 5 simple changes you can make to help the environment (and your bank balance!)…
1) Bag yourself a Bag for life (and take it with you!)
Plastic, as we all know is a HUGE problem for the environment. It’s clogging up our oceans, being found in the fish that we eat and is now being found in melted arctic snow!!! We all use far too much of it and whilst often we as consumers don’t have too much of a choice when it comes to buying products and food which are covered in plastic, we can do our bit by reducing the amount we use, where we can! For me, taking reusable bags shopping with me means that I no longer need to use/buy new ones! I keep some in my boot for those unexpected shopping trips and some in the house for when I walk to the shops. Since the 5p charge was introduced it seems we’re going in the right direction as according to The Guardian …
Overall, sales of single-use bags by big supermarkets have fallen 90% since 5p charge introduced.
Good work guys! Let’s keep it up!
2) Take away Coffee cups are for mugs!
If like me you love grabbing a coffee, you can find yourself easily having 3-4 take away coffees per week. That’s up to 16 take away polyethylene-lined disposable coffee cups per month alone. That’s just me but there are some who drink more than one per day. In the UK apparently we use 7 million disposable coffee cups every day – that’s 2.5 billion every year. Mind- Blown!! That’s a lot of single-use cups. Instead, why not treat yourself to a reusable cup that you can take with you. There are loads available – even ones that collapse flat so can be popped in your handbag – Check this one out in Waitrose! Hey, in some coffee shops they will even discount your coffee for you as a ‘thank you!’!
Why take it one step further? Why not fill a flask with coffee at home and take that with you instead of buying one out? Save the environment and the £££’s!!
3) Rewear, Reuse and Recycle!
Fast fashion costs our environment immensely. I heard a fact recently that stunned me… It takes 2,700 litres of water to make one single cotton T-shirt! That’s enough water for one person to drink for 2 years!! Think about how many times we have worn something once and thrown it away! We need to change this…
- Firstly Shop smarter – Only buy things that you don’t already have. Buy things that will go with other items in your wardrobe and ask your self ‘How many wears will I get out of it? Make a list of what you need and when out and about, look for those items instead of ‘impulse buying’. Also, Consider the products you buy… Are they made from sustainable fabrics? Could you buy from a brand that works sustainably like H&M’s Conscious range…
- Rewear your old gear over and over. Instead of buying whole outfits, mix some older past season items with a few small new buys to bring it all up to date if you follow fashion instead of buying whole new outfits. Have a rummage in your wardrobe, I’m sure you will find things you had forgotten about!
- Recycle your old clothes. Either take them to a charity shop, give them to a friend or recycle at a high street store. Shops like H&M and Zara offer a recycle service where you can take a bag of unwanted textiles (old/worn/new/damaged etc). H&M exchange 1 bag of textiles for a £5 discount voucher off your next shop…Check it out here.
4) Switch off to avoid Air Pollution!
Air pollution is real. It may not feel real as we can’t see it but it is! One of the ways we can all help the quality of the air we breathe is to turn off our car engines when parked, especially outside the school when on the school pick up. I’m guilty of it…Sitting waiting. Wanting to keep warm with the engine running but by doing that it is having a negative impact on the air we breathe resulting in environmental issues as well as health risks (stretching our NHS even more!)! As part of a cleanup operation, fines are now being enforced in certain parts of the country to try to stop it.
According to The Guardian…
Drivers who repeatedly leave their engines running while parked could receive instant fines under proposals being considered by the government to give local authorities more power to reduce pollution.
Public Health England (PHE) predicted in May 2018 that there would be 2.4m new cases of disease by 2035 if current air pollution levels persisted.
Read more on ‘Idling’ here – Patience exhausted: UK drivers who sit with engines idling could face instant fines
So… switch off! Or better still walk … I walk to do the school run every day!!
5) Go paperless!
With global warming on the rise and with the abundance of CO2 polluting the world we live in, going green has never sounded better! Trying to minimise the amount of paper you send and receive can improve your carbon footprint. Switch to go paperless on bills, receipts, and invoices. And why not switch to paperless cards aswell. Not only will it have a long term impact on the number of trees being cut down, it also saves on so many other areas too. Time, Storage, Logistics, etc.
So those are my top 5 super simple changes you can make to help the environment…
Will you make any of these changes?
I’d love to know!!
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