Save the planet in 2019 with these green goals
As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time to start thinking about which resolutions we should set for the new year. We’ve got some eco-conscious ideas to make for a greener 2019, help reduce your carbon footprint and have a positive impact on the environment.
Walk short journeys
Ditch your car — especially for shorter journeys. Not only is this good for the environment, but it’s also great for your health to exercise more. Driving 10,000 miles a year emits an average of 2.6 tonnes of CO2, so each short journey will add to your mileage and the amount of carbon produced from your car — every little helps!
Remember your reusable bags
Most of us have reusable bags in our cars, bags and coats. But, if you regularly forget yours, make sure you keep a stash somewhere you will remember it; try putting a box next to your shoe rack, or store some in the boot of your car.
A plant-based diet has been proven to have a lower environmental impact than an omnivore’s diet. Following recent reports that suggest there are only 12 years left to prevent climate change becoming irreversible, switching up your diet to include fewer animal products, or none at all, will make a big difference to your individual carbon footprint
Grow your own
Growing fruit and vegetables in your garden, an allotment, or pots, will help you branch away from supermarkets and save some money. Best of all, you can avoid the plastic packaging and have fresh ingredients on your door step. Growing fruit and vegetables at home will reduce your carbon footprint, too — so get in the garden!
By choosing organic items, produce will be free-from pesticides and insecticides. The chemicals that are used on crops to protect them from some pests are causing devastation to the ecosystem. For example, bees are one species that are at risk from the use of pesticides. As pollinators, they come into direct contact with pesticides, which are detrimental to the survival of the species. Try buying organic food produce and switching your toiletries and beauty products to organic brands.
Make sure your house is insulated
Most houses built since the 1990s have wall insulation to keep the heat in, but it’s unlikely that older houses will have this. Cavity wall insulation can save up £145 on heating bills per year, and ensuring that your loft and pipes are insulated could save you much more. Check out information from the Energy Saving Trust (energysavingtrust.org.uk) for the best ways to insulate your house. By doing this, you will be using less energy, fewer fossil fuels and will reduce your carbon footprint.
Ditch fast fashion
You might have seen a documentary from the BBC called Stacey Dooley Investigates: Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, which was all about the hidden atrocities committed by the fashion industry and its impact on the environment. If the dried up seas and polluted rivers as a result of the textile industry shocked you, it’s time to change the way you buy your clothes. Check out sustainable brands online to find out where their materials are sourced. Why not vow to only buy clothes that you need, too?
This is the best way of monitoring your energy usage — it might also help to remind you to switch appliances off at the mains when you see the pennies adding up! By 2020, it will be mandatory for electricity and gas suppliers to fit them in every home, so get one fitted as soon as possible to do your bit for the environment and cut your energy use.
If you’re lucky enough to have the space for a compost bin, investing in one for fruit and veg scraps. Make sure you don’t put animal products, animal droppings, branches, brambles and cooked food in there. Animal droppings contain microorganisms and parasites that you don’t want in compost. Also, cooked food may contain oil, which won’t break down. It can take anywhere from three months to two years to get compost that you can use.
When you can, buy local produce to support businesses on home turf. This supports local infrastructure, and the products will have a reduced carbon footprint compared to international items. We’ve grown dependent on products coming from overseas, which are often cheaper.these products have a large environmental cost.