Up your eco-game this year, with these 10 essential tips to support the planet
When it comes to being environmentally-friendly, small changes really do have a big impact in the long run. Making adjustments to some of your daily habits, and a few conscious decisions, can set you up as a much better supporter of Mother Earth, so why not make this the year to fully commit to your eco ambitions? Let’s begin.
1. Buy waste-based.
Many brands are turning trash into treasure these days, such as Rens trainers which are made from recycled coffee grounds and plastic bottles, and Naturally Fresh’s cat litter, created from discarded walnut shells. Choosing these types of products means you can support eco-innovation and reduce waste, encouraging more brands to consider their impact.
2. Do your research.
Investing time in looking into the places you shop, and the companies you support, could be really enlightening. You can find out whether your bank is investing in clean energy, or fossil fuels, or how ethical your go-to makeup brand is. With so much choice out there, whether we’re the consumer on the street, or the big brand at the top, we all have a responsibility to do our part to protect the planet – make sure you put your customer voice behind those that do.
3. Grow your own.
While this is a longer-term investment, getting green fingered can save you money, reduce waste, and means you get the freshest produce. Plus, tending to your own mini-allotment, and getting your hands dirty, can really benefit your mental health, with horticulture found to reduce depression, anxiety, and symptoms of stress.
4. Choose energy saving bulbs.
This is a simple switch in your home that saves significant energy (70–80%), and in turn money, but also makes life easier. These more environmentally-friendly bulbs typically last between 10 and 25 times as long as traditional filament bulbs, meaning the chances of you being left in the dark are much slimmer. The benefits really are illuminating.
5. Air dry your clothes.
Using a good, old-fashioned washing line to air things out rather than a tumble dryer can, again, save a lot of energy and money – in fact it’s reported that swapping to a clothes line for a year could reduce your carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds. Plus, hanging your clothes typically protects them a little more so they last longer, and when spring is in the air, who wouldn’t want that fresh air infused into your clothing?
6. Ditch fast fashion.
Focus on quality staples over quantity, with a capsule wardrobe that can save you a lot of time, space, and reduce waste. You could also consider second-hand shopping when a new outfit is needed, either through finding hidden gems in charity shops, or apps such as Vinted and Depop.
7. Walk it out.
Remember how much you valued time outside during lockdown? Keep that love alive by considering each journey, and whether travelling on foot or by public transport could work instead. Whatever way you look at it, it’s a step in the right direction.
8. Invest in a food waste caddy.
Separating your food waste and scraps frees up space in your general waste bin, can prevent that main bin in your house from smelling after a day or two, and can be used for composting – benefiting your garden, too. You can put both cooked and uncooked items in your caddy, including meat, cheese, pasta, even eggshells and coffee grounds. Be sure not to include any plastics or packaging though!
9. Shop small.
Supporting small businesses benefits the community, and often means you’ll have a more personal and beneficial customer experience – you’ll have the positive feeling of knowing you’re helping someone achieve their dreams, too. Plus, if you can shop local, you’ll reduce carbon emissions to help the environment as well.
10. Buy less.
The overall consensus, and it’s a simple one, is that buying only what you need is the way to go. You can reduce waste, and bolster your bank account at the same time – shopping smart is the future.