How To Live More Sustainably
Making sure the planet doesn’t crash and burn in the next 20 years has become our primary focus. And while society’s “most important people” gather together to discuss a plan of action at COP26, it can feel as though our individual actions make very little difference. But in the world of supply-and-demand, our combined actions can have a huge impact on business. So what small day-to-day changes can lead to a more sustainable life?
Here are just a few:
1. Listen to dad
“It’s like the Blackpool Illuminations in here”, “Do we live in a barn?”, “Put a jumper on” and other such dad-isms (other guardians are valid), may be about saving the family purse strings, but these actions also have a positive impact on our planet. Saving energy means reducing your carbon emissions, so whether it’s switching lights off when not in use, turning off appliances, popping another layer on instead of the heating, or just turning down the thermostat - your little changes could make a big difference.
2. Don’t have a cow, man
Controversial as it may be... The vegans are probably right. The production of meat is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and the pollution of landscapes and waterways. Your burger comes with one hefty carbon footprint. But no one's saying you must give up the Maccy D’s for good - you can simply cut down your intake. Try a meatless monday, try a meat-free alternative now and then, and when you do eat meat, purchase locally if you can.
3. Say no to single use stuff
Did you know that the more use you can get from an item, the better it is for the planet? Single-use products, particularly plastic ones, tend to end up in landfills and the ocean, causing harm to wildlife and the environment. So, pack your refillable water bottle, your biodegradable coffee cup, and your glass lunch box and grab a sustainable office lunch. When it comes to what you wear, try not to fall for short-lived trends. And what about that old mobile phone you’ve kept in a drawer at home? It could be living a lovely, sustainable life with someone else, right now.
4. Do not print this email
That would be a really weird thing to do, especially as this isn’t an email. But if you can, always opt to receive bills and things via email, rather than in the physical posts. Less mess, less fuss, less travel, and you’re saving trees. Most stores offer paperless receipts - so take that option if it’s given to you.
5. Be a keen, green, energy machine
Most UK homes are powered by oil, coal and gas - but the tide is slowly turning. Some energy businesses now offer renewables as the primary source of fuel - so consider switching to an eco alternative. Have a few more pennies to spend? Consider solar panels, an electric vehicle, and cleaner heat sources - like ground source pumps.
6. Reduce, reuse, recycle
If you’ve already kerbed your use of single use items, you’ll be well into the swing of reusing items. But sometimes, things need to be thrown away. Instead of clogging up landfill and contributing to even more pollution, you can recycle every suitable item. Plastics, tins, paper, glass... Many household items can be remade into something new - as long as you pop them into the right bin. (image:@mbocast via Twenty20)
7. Planet positive purchases
When you buy things, you get to choose where that money goes. Buying fast fashion contributes towards one of the most polluting and exploitative industries, whereas buying second hand can give unloved items a new lease of life. The same is true for your mobile devices. Choose refurbished to breathe new life into electronics that would otherwise end up in landfill. You get a fantastic quality item and save yourself some pennies, and you can continue the cycle and make more money by selling your old phone too.
8. Get out of the driving seat
It’s no secret that driving is a significant contributor to worldwide emissions. By taking public transport where you can, you share those emissions with hundreds of other passengers. Where possible, think about walking or cycling too - planet positive and good for your mental and physical wellbeing. If driving is necessary, consider investing in an electric vehicle (if you can).
9. Get smart with water
Water may not grow on trees, but it does fall from the sky. Think about installing a water butt and using it to water your plants instead of cracking out the hosepipe. Limit shower times, turn the tap off when brushing your teeth, and reuse water where you can - pasta water is great for feeding plants!
10. Don’t be a food waster
Your kitchen can be a big source of waste, but it’s easy to make sustainable switches. Make shopping lists and only buy what you’ll use that week, then eat or freeze leftovers. Buy local from butchers and greengrocers where you can, and choose produce with minimal packaging. Obsessed with keeping your kitchen spotless? Invest in eco-friendly cleaning products.
So there you go, 10 simple steps to a more sustainable life.
For a simple way to jump on the eco-train, check out the range of refurbished second hand phones available on Doji - and do your bit for our planet with your next upgrade.