Not all of us can afford an electric car or to switch our homes to solar-powered, but there are some things anyone can do. We’ve rounded up 10 simple ways that you can help to make a change.
1. Buy e-tickets
Most things can be done via our phones these days, so when you’re buying tickets or booking flights, cut back on printing paper. At most supermarket checkouts you can choose not to print your receipt, too.
2. Don’t forget your bag for life
Figures released last year showed that since the 5p bag charge was introduced in 2015, plastic bag sales are down 86 per cent. Make sure you always have one ready in your handbag or car.
3. Run a cool wash
According to the Natural Resources Defence Council, around 10 per cent of a home’s total electricity goes to washing and drying clothes. Slash your impact by running machines on cold when possible.
4. Choose refillable products
Do some research and find your local zero-waste store. Here you can take your existing bottles and jars to top up on necessary items such as washing up liquid, shampoo and detergents. Check out thezerowaster.com for a list of stores.
5. Go vegan
A study by the University of Oxford revealed that veganism could be the single biggest way to reduce your impact – switching to a plant-based diet could reduce your carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent.
6. Time your showers
A 10-minute shower can use up to 10 gallons of water, so cutting back on any time spent in yours can make a big saving on water and energy. Remember to have everything you need within reach and switch off while you scrub!
7. Take the stairs
We all know that climbing those flights on foot is better for our health, but walking up the stairs also cuts the energy consumption of elevators, particularly if you use a lift that isn’t in regular use. Not all of us can afford an electric car or to switch our homes to solar-powered. But there are some things anyone can do.
8. Rechargeable batteries
Most single-use batteries end up straight in the landfill and, as they break down, they can release harmful chemicals into the environment. Switch to rechargeable to lessen the amount you buy and, inevitably, throw away.
9. Shop second-hand
There are so many fantastic places to pick up second-hand clothes on the high street. But if you don’t fancy hitting the shops, go online to Etsy, EBay, ASOS Marketplace or even Oxfam online.
10. Buy in bulk
Whilst it’s not possible to buy all your food in huge quantities, some items are worth stockpiling – herbs and spices, nuts, rice, lentils and cereals can all be bought in bulk.