We want to make the world a better place and we want to make sure that we do as much as possible to reverse the effects of climate change. We want our children – and our future grandchildren – to live in a world full of safety, and to have promising futures, but it can seem overwhelming when we think about the enormity of the task of stopping climate change in its tracks.
Luckily, there are some small ways that we can ensure our lives are as eco-friendly as possible. Here are some easy tips –
Reduce Your Food Waste
When you go to the store, try to cut down on what you buy. Firstly, don’t go when you’re hungry, and secondly, make sure that you meal plan so that you don’t end up over-buying food that you will eventually throw away. Before you go grocery shopping, take a photo on your phone of the inside of your fridge so you know exactly what you have in it and you won’t double up on anything. You should also remember that best-before dates are often more suggestions, particularly on produce like fruits and vegetables. Generally, if it looks fine, it’s perfectly good to eat.
Grow Your Own Produce
If possible, it’s a great idea to start growing your own produce. Not only will this mean that you get some delicious food that you can make for dinner without having to run to the store, but it’s also an easy way to leave a green footprint on the earth instead of a carbon one. If you live in the city, your garden will help to improve air quality and extreme temperatures. Growing your own produce means that you’re also providing a great nature habitat for wildlife in your own back yard. If you have problems starting your plants off outside, why not purchase some LED grow lights that mean your seedlings will flourish in your own basement?
Change Your Light Bulbs
A super easy way to cut down on the energy use in your home is to change your light bulbs. Every time one blows out, purchase a new energy efficient bulb instead of an old one. LED bulbs last for much longer, and they use considerably less energy, meaning that they will also be good for your bank account as well as for the environment. Energy efficient light bulbs are also being produced in a number of different styles and shades of brightness, meaning that you can pick what you want based on the decor of your home so that your lights fit in perfectly.
A huge amount of people are cutting down on the amount of meat that they eat these days. Vegan cook books are selling out in book stores, and more and more people are looking into plant based recipes. Nobody’s saying that you need to give up meat altogether, but a meat free Monday might help to reduce the impact that your meat consumption is having on the planet. The production of meat is extremely bad for the environment – it creates a lot of pollution through the use of fossil fuels and through animal methane production, and in many countries it is also the source of a lot of water pollution. Use it as an opportunity to branch out in your cooking.
Go For Reusable Containers
A lot of us are used to covering any leftovers that we have with cling film or wrapping them in tin foil, but it may be time to change those habits. Instead, transfer those leftovers to a reusable Tupperware container that you can put easily in your fridge. If you just want to cover something up, why not go for a beeswax wrap? Not only are they reusable so they’re much better for the environment, but they’re made with pretty materials so they look good, and they’re also made by a lot of small local businesses, meaning that you can support local craftspeople. Use silicone mats instead of foil, and go for reusable dishcloths instead of paper towels that you’ll just end up throwing away. Dishcloths are also much more durable. When it comes to packed lunches, go for reusable bags instead of plastic ones – you can get silicone or linen bags to put sandwiches in.
One of the best ways to protect the planet’s future is by investing in it, in terms of time as well as money. It’s a good idea to demonstrate the beauty of the natural world to your kids, so why not change up what you do on weekends? Cut down on screen time and go camping instead, or on a short hike to a local area of natural beauty. Get your kids to collect things like leaves and interesting stones so that they take notice of what’s around them and really drink it in.
Insulate Your Home
When it comes to reducing your heating bills this winter, you don’t have to make sure you do so by turning the radiators off and wrapping yourself in blankets (although if you want to do that with a cup of hot chocolate it may be more cosy than you thought!). An easy way to use less energy is by insulating your house more, particularly adding insulation to your loft and roof. You can buy rolls of it from most hardware store, and it means that your home will lose less heat through the roof. We all know that we lose a huge amount of heat through our heads when we don’t wear hats – your house is the same! You should also make sure that you insulate all your pipes so that the hot water warms more quickly and so that they don’t end up bursting or leaking. Not only can this destroy your home and your possessions but it’s also a huge waste of water. Inside your home, add rugs to slate and wooden floors so that heat doesn’t trickle out that way, and make sure that your windows and doors aren’t letting in draughts by holding up a lit candle and seeing if the flame flickers.
Drive Less Frequently
We all know that one of the ways that many of us contribute to pollution is by driving more than we need to. Let’s face it; it’s often a lot easier to hop in your car than to take public transport or to walk. Of course, some people live in rural areas, meaning that there may be no buses or trains near you, and there may not be much within walking distance of your home. But if you commute to work every day and you could take public transport, why not go for it? You can use that time to relax, to read, to do a crossword, to listen to a podcast – the opportunities are endless. Commuting via public transport is often a lot less stressful than having to deal with traffic and finding a parking space.
Turn Off Your Tech
A really great way to add to your energy bill in an incredibly redundant way is by not turning your technology off. Leaving a TV on standby uses a huge amount of energy, for example, and hitting the off switch means that you’ll be saving some money on your electricity bill as well as the environment. You should also make sure that you turn lights off when you leave rooms – and put your heaters on timers so that they aren’t on all day and all night during the cooler weather.
Say Goodbye To Single Use Plastic
If you don’t already own a reusable water bottle, now is the time to purchase one. If you don’t like the taste of water from the tap, you can invest in a water filter which will remove any impurities and make it taste just like bottled water. In the long run, this will be great for your wallet as well. Take your own coffee cup when you go to a coffee shop so you don’t need a to-go cup, and take your own bags to the store so you don’t have to use plastic or paper ones.
Change Your Bathroom Routine
When it comes to the products you use, it may just be time to make some changes. When it comes to buying makeup, consider whether you really need new products and whether you’re going to actually use them, or whether they’re going to end up gathering dust in your drawer. Make sure that what you buy has not been tested on animals. Brands like NYX and Fenty Beauty are completely safe in that respect.
Cut your tubes open to make sure that you get all the product in there, and try to wash out and recycle any old containers instead of throwing them in the trash. Ditch makeup wipes unless they’re biodegradable, and go for washable cloths and linen pads that you can throw in the washing machine when it comes to taking off your makeup. Finally, why not try out a menstrual cup? They’re great for the environment and they can often also help to reduce the cramps you have – it’s a win-win situation!
Taking care of the environment is easier than you may think with these tips.