There’s no getting away from news headlines about climate change and the future of the planet. With heatwaves giving way to flash flooding and images of storms and wildfires dominating front pages and social media feeds all over the world, many of us are looking for ways to make a difference. Embracing a more eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to involve a major overhaul. There are some very easy ways to go green. In this helpful guide, we’ll discuss some simple changes you can make to do your bit.
Many of us drive to work and we enjoy jetting off to exotic destinations to take a well-earned break once or twice a year. We use cars, buses or trains to visit friends and family, go to concerts or sporting events or take advantage of long weekends. Often, when we make journeys, we don’t think about the impact on the environment. The good news is that it’s possible to get from A to B and explore different locations without generating a huge carbon footprint.
Commuting is essential for some workers, but there are usually eco-friendly options to explore. If cycling or walking to work isn’t an option, look for environmentally friendly modes of public transport, share lifts or consider more flexible opportunities if this is viable. Many businesses have switched to remote or hybrid structures since the pandemic, for example. Working from home a couple of days per week will save you time and money at the same time as reducing your carbon footprint.
When you travel for leisure purposes, try to search for businesses that make a positive contribution, for example, airlines that offset emissions, bus companies that utilise electric vehicles and tour operators that specialise in eco-tourism. You want to be able to see the world and enjoy experiences while also preserving the natural world.
There are several ways we can shop more sustainably. Thinking about what you buy and how you make purchases is a good place to start. Over 75% of people now shop online at least once per month. Online shopping offers an array of advantages, but it can be detrimental to the planet. This is because many of us order more frequently due to the added convenience and ease of using apps and websites to place orders. We buy items that we may not have bought if we had to go into a store and we have them delivered to our homes. We produce more waste and we’re contributing to increased emissions. There’s nothing wrong with shopping online, but before you make a purchase, get into the habit of asking yourself if you really need or want the item and explore greener delivery options. Many companies now offer eco delivery choices, which reduce emissions.
Another brilliant way to shop sustainably is to look for brands that sell sustainable, eco-friendly products or employ green policies or values to make a positive difference. If you’re a fan of coffee, for example, you may be interested in buying from companies like Horsham Coffee Roaster, which uses a low emissions roaster. Other ideas that may appeal include buying from brands that plant trees for every purchase, donate to conservation projects or use recyclable packaging. You can find information about sustainable brands and businesses online and via social media. It’s worth taking time to read information on websites and social feeds to learn more about brand values and the projects and programmes companies support.
Reducing energy consumption
News bulletins are dominated by two issues at the moment: the rising cost of living and the climate emergency. As energy bills soar and the weather becomes increasingly unpredictable, it has never been more beneficial to be proactive in reducing energy consumption. Studies suggest that the average household energy bill rose by 54% in April 2022. This is a record. As prices are set to increase again in October, it’s wise to try and improve efficiency and lower spending.
The best ways to increase energy efficiency are to improve insulation and modernise your home in terms of heating systems and appliances. Insulation is beneficial to prevent heat loss and optimise retention. If your home retains heat, you will be less reliant on central heating and your consumption will fall. There are several options to explore if your home loses a lot of heat. You can research loft and cavity wall insulation or use inexpensive methods, such as sealing doors and windows and using draught excluders. In some cases, grants are available for home insulation. Research assistance programmes before you get quotes. You can also use thick curtains and glazing sheets to keep the heat in. Upgrading to smart appliances, new boilers and energy-efficient lightbulbs will also save you money in the long term.
Most people would like to save money on their energy bills. As well as boosting efficiency, you can also reduce spending by decreasing consumption. Switch appliances off at the socket, turn the lights off when you’re not in the room or it’s bright and sunny outside, and use a thermostat. Research suggests that if every UK household lowered the temperature on their thermostat by just 1 degree, it could contribute to £670 million worth of savings and decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 3.5 million tonnes per year. Using a smart metre is an excellent way to monitor energy consumption and track spending.
Changes in the weather and news headlines have got many of us thinking about how we can be more proactive in protecting the planet. Embracing a more eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to involve making wholesale changes to the way you live. There are some very easy ways to go green. In many cases, these simple modifications can save money and make a positive contribution to the environment. Think about how you commute to work and travel around, try to reduce energy consumption and shop sustainably. Look for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, make your home more energy efficient and decrease waste and buy from brands that offer sustainable products and support environmental projects.