While we’re all indoors, have you thought about how much single-use plastic we use and throw away in everyday life? Or, how much electricity we use all the time, to keep TVs on, phones charged and gaming consoles running. Let’s talk about how to be more eco-friendly at home…
Although lockdown isn’t like a holiday at all for most of us, especially for our incredible Key Workers, it’s certainly a holiday for mother nature.
There are significantly fewer cars on the road and planes in the sky. There’s no fuel being burnt and therefore no new harmful gasses in our atmosphere. One expert suggested it’s the “largest-scale experiment ever” in terms of the reduction of industrial emissions.
So, why not join in with this break from all the harm to the environment and start within your very own home?
How to be more eco-friendly at home
Turn lights off
Whilst you aren’t using a room you should turn switches and lights completely off. Not only will this lower your electricity bill at the end of the month but it is one of the best yet simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Incandescent lights, i.e. the least efficient type of lighting, should definitely be turned off when not needed. Only 10% goes to lighting up the room, the other 90% gives off heat – bad for the upcoming Summer months!
Turn off taps
Another simple yet effective way of protecting our environment is turning off the taps. If you are someone who leaves taps running while you brush your teeth or has extra-long showers, think about making a change.
Water is a finite source, which means one day it could run out. Yet, while our need for water increases as populations rise, our water supply won’t increase. Therefore, reduce your water footprint by flushing the loo every other time (if its urine of course). Think about handwashing some items of clothing in a sink, resuing the water. One full load of washing in a washing machine uses between 50 to 100 litres of water – think about that in bottles! So, the next time you go to walk off while the tap is running, think twice.
Put rubbish in the right bins
With so many people ordering online and receiving deliveries at the moment, it’s vital that we use the right bins for our rubbish. Make sure you’re putting recyclable materials in the recycle bin, and all other materials in the general waste bin. With all this time on our hands, the least we can do is to try and minimise the number of recyclable materials going into landfills!
Grow your own vegetables
Reduce the demand and amount of single-use plastics entering your home by growing your own fruit and veg. Have space at home for growing, whether that be a small windowsill for a cress plant or a vegetable patch for strawberries, cucumber and more!
Encourage the family to get involved and make it a fun activity for everyone, watching delicious greens grow right in the comfort of your own home.
Now is the perfect time to start growing your very own food. If you would like more advice on gardening or where to buy seeds, plants and bulbs for fruit and veg, read our short gardening blog.
Don’t waste food
Each year UK households waste around 4.5 million tonnes of food. Food waste can have a significant impact on the amount of CO2 that is being released into the atmosphere. You alone can make a difference to this figure. Dish out smaller portions, only buy food that you know will be eaten. Use up food depending on the sell-by date.
To help do this, ask members of your household to suggest meals for each night of the week. In doing so, you’ll avoid buying ingredients which won’t be used.
Take this time to clear out your cupboards and enjoy clearer cupboards and a clearer mind after lockdown. Have a few spare tins? Donate them to those who need it with The Bread and Butter Thing Food Distribution.
Start using a compost bin
Compost bins are extremely useful and beneficial in that they provide you with natural fertilizer for gardening and somewhere to organically recycle waste. Using a compost bin helps the environment on a larger scale too, as it conserves landfill space and reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions created by landfills.
If you’d like a compost bin and want to start saving our planet from your very home, visit Snizl.
Are you someone who buys plastic bottles, throws them away and repeats the cycle? Stop right now. Plastic bottles cause so much harm to the environment. From harmful chemicals in the soil we walk on to marine life and living things in our ocean, plastic is damaging our planet.
Try re-using plastic bottles over and over again or use a refillable water bottle to completely eradicate single-use plastic from your life. If you’d like a sustainable eco-friendly re-fillable waterbottle, visit Snizl.
Use LED light bulbs
LED light bulbs are 80% more efficient than the standard light bulb. Less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.
They also last longer meaning you won’t have to replace them as much, benefiting you with cheaper bills all round!
Hang your washing on the line
Now that Summer is upon us and days are warmer, it’s time to cut out the tumble dryer from your washing routine.
By hanging up a washing line in your garden (or over your balcony) and using mother natures natural winds to dry your knickers, you’re saving energy and therefore reducing the demand for power.
Use bags for life
Do you mean well and want to use your bags for life, yet forget every time you go and do your weekly shop? Go out and put them in your boot right now! Go!
Using ‘bags for life’ is such an effective method that anyone of us can use to help reduce the demand for more plastic. Not only will this turn out cheaper in the long run but it will also have a positive effect on the environment.
Plant some trees
If you are desperately trying to fill your time with positive changes as well as entertain the little ones, how about planting some trees! An educational lesson benefitting everyone involved.
As we all know, trees give us oxygen and oxygen is essential for life.
Visit the Woodland Trust website on all the information you need to plant your very own tree.
Choose eco-friendly products
With the growing interest in saving the planet due to young activists and the realisation our earth is precious, many people are turning being more sustainable, into a lifestyle!
Going eco-friendly, plastic-free and sustainable isn’t as scary as it may seem at first, you can still enjoy everything as you would usually, just without harmful chemicals, plastics or unethically sourced products.
There are an abundance of websites online giving you access to eco-friendly household products, if you’d like to see for your self, why not read our short blog listing 10 Eco-Friendly Household Products to Lower Your Carbon Footprint!
Opt for using your bike instead of your car
The next time you are about to hop in the car for a five-minute trip to the shop, think about using your bike instead. We understand at the moment you might be shopping for two weeks at a time. But, once lockdown is up, make these positive changes you want to see in the world.
Using your bike rather than a car for short journeys will save you money on petrol and even better, give off zero harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
So, that’s it, all of these simple yet effective ways will ensure you’re doing your bit for the environment, so you can go on to encourage others about how to become more eco-friendly in everyday life.
Are you a business owner? Learn about 6 Simple Ways Your Business Can Go Green While Saving Money – Save big and help the environment, the title says it all really!