“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”—Jane Goodall
Everything we do has an impact on the world around us. We all have a responsibility to reduce the harmful impact our actions have.
Many of us today, if not all, are aware of the damage being done to the environment around us and the threats posed by global climate change that we are actually accelerating but fail to see how we can stop it. It is a big problem, a tad overwhelming with all the best intentions to say the least. However like many things in life it is the little things that all add up that make a difference.
There are actually a surprising number of very simple swaps and actions you can take to reduce the impact you are having on the planet and even turn it positive!
I'm going to keep it simple but that's the point and if you could implement just a few of these you will begin to make an incredible difference.
- Reduce your Water use. Switch off taps when brushing teeth, get a water butt for the garden. Only wash full loads of laundry (in cold water—it saves energy) and try washing dishes by hand (keeping a bucket in the sink to fill with warm soapy water helps.
- Easy eco-friendly product swaps
- Bulbs - Use LED light bulbs and solar lighting outdoors. Not only do LED light bulbs last longer than conventional bulbs, they’re far more efficient and give the same light. Easy!
- Energy supplier - Change your energy supplier to one that’s 100% renewable
- Green cleaning - Most cleaning products on the market today have harmful chemicals in them that aren’t environmentally friendly both to make or dispose of. In fact, repeated exposure to these cleaning products can affect your health as well as the environment. Green cleaning products use more natural and organic methods of cleaning which are far less harmful. You can even make your own with kitchen ingredients and they are actually pretty good!
- Buy organic fruit and vegetables - Organic food is more environmentally friendly and does use any chemicals to grow, better for you and the environment.
- Eat foods in season - foods not in season are one of the ‘luxuries’ of the 21st century, but if they are not in season they are not from here. The further the food has to travel the larger the carbon footprint.
- Local produce - less carbon is created with their transportation. Not only that, but you’ll be supporting the local economy
- Eat less meat - You don’t have to go total vegetarian, but we can all eat less meat. A meat-free meal just one or two days a week can make a significant impact on your individual carbon footprint. According to worldwildlife.org, it takes 750 liters of water to produce 1kg of wheat, and 100,000 liters of water to produce 1kg of beef. Meat requires a lot of energy and resources to produce so swapping it out with a good macaroni cheese or homemade veggie soup a couple of times a week can make a difference. See the Vegetarian Society for great vegan and veggie dinner ideas. It has a great feature allowing you to choose recipes based on your dietary requirements and occasion.
- Composting is easy and creates a natural fertiliser to keep your garden green. It will also reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, food waste does not decompose naturally in landfill. The process of layering general waste in landfill creates methane, a gas with a global warming potential 21 times stronger than carbon dioxide. So efficient processing of food waste not only reduces methane emissions from landfill, it also allows us to harness the energy and recycle its essential nutrients. When food waste goes to landfill, not only does it release methane but the nutrient value of it is lost.
- Grow some plants, you can use your compost! Even better grow your own veg or herbs at home. It's not as complicated or high maintenance as you may think and even if you don't have much space you can use posts or window boxes and save yourself some money too.
- Ditch the wipes, cotton pads and tissues. It's a really easy one. Somehow these disposable options seem to have become mainstream. it is just such a waste. All the resource energy and carbon added to the atmosphere to create this product we use for a second and then throw away. Simply replace these with traditional handkerchiefs (widely available online these days - or make your own) and dishcloths, facecloths or natural sponges.
- Water bottle and coffee cup. So simple but so incredibly important. Single use plastics are a massive threat to the health of our planet Plastics take hundreds of years to decompose and we just keep making more.
- Bags - another easy one, but not so much. It's not as easy as it sounds. Tips, keep in car, on keys, in coat pockets and by the front door. 😉
- Borrow, don’t buy - Before any big purchase, think: How often will I really use this ladder/leaf blower/wheelbarrow? If the answer is “not a lot,” it’s so easy to borrow stuff.
- Walk or cycle more. Cut out short journeys. Once a week shopping trip, order groceries online. Even if it’s just to do a few errands on the weekends instead of driving
Oh and don't forget swapping out your nasty disposable and plastic ridden car fresheners for our reusable, biodegradable ecofriendly car freshies.
Give it a try and join us in a journey to reducing our carbon footprint.