Being sustainable is so important in this day and age, as the world gets to grips with a changing climate and what this could mean for our future. Everyone, from individuals to corporations, has a responsibility to do their bit to combat climate change. Unless we all pull together to make a significant change, we will continue to see extreme weather events and other catastrophic implications of the climate crisis.
Fortunately, there are many ways that conscientious households can reduce their impact on the environment and help keep the planet safe for future generations. Some sustainable living ideas are easier to implement than others, but all can make a huge difference both to your quality of living and the environment.
Give Up The Dryer
Dryers can be a tempting investment for the home, allowing you to enjoy warm, dry clothes in a fraction of the time compared to air drying. This benefit comes with a considerable cost, however, with the average dryer costing upwards of £100 to run per year and contributing significantly to your carbon footprint. While air drying can take longer, it is also free and has a far lower impact on the environment.
Shopping locally isn’t just good for the local economy; it is also excellent for the environment. When you shop locally, the items you buy don’t need to travel as far, cutting down on the energy consumed to deliver consumer items to your door. This can work for a wide range of products and produce, from groceries to clothing. It is best to find out where independent and local shops source their products to ensure you’re getting the best sustainable deal.
Switch To An Electric Vehicle
Cars fuelled by petrol or diesel are massive contributors to pollution and climate change. Given the UK government’s plans to try to phase out the use of petrol and diesel vehicles, it is a good idea to get ahead of the game and switch to an electric car now.
Electric cars are improving in quality and affordability every day, and there are even government grants available that could help you get your home kitted out for an electric vehicle. Assess the options available carefully to find the right electric car fit and get massive savings on fuel costs while reducing your impact on the environment.
The vegan diet is undeniably the best in terms of sustainability. Eating meat and animal-based products can result in massive pollution, particularly with things like cow milk and beef. If going fully vegan feels like too challenging a step to start with, consider switching for a few days each week.
This can be a great way to make lasting change, ensuring that you can sustain the diet and don’t feel like you’re missing out on the things you love. Once you have practiced being a part-time vegan, you could switch to full-time or give yourself permission for old favorites on special occasions. By not being too strict with the diet, you’re most likely to make lasting change.
Be Smarter With Your Heating Use
The energy we use in our homes is another thing that can make a massive difference to our impact on the environment. The more we use, the bigger our carbon footprint and the larger our energy bills at the end of the month. It is a good idea to find ways to save energy at home, particularly during trickier times of the year like winter. The Federation of Master Builders has some excellent advice for you this winter, which can be invaluable for reducing your overall energy consumption.
Start A Compost Heap
Unfortunately, not every UK council offers food waste recycling, and throwing your waste into the general rubbish bin means it will end up in a landfill. To prevent this kind of massive waste, you could consider making your own home compost heap.
This can be a great way to create your own plant feed and cut costs while helping save the planet. All you need is a suitable compost bin that can be fully secured to keep out pests. Knowing what can and can’t be composted is essential, as some things may attract vermin, such as meat and dairy waste.
Build A Capsule Wardrobe
How we shop can also make a big difference to our impact on the planet. Investing in higher quality items like clothing can be an excellent way to produce less waste and save yourself money. The better the quality of your clothing, the longer it will last, and the better use you will get out of it. This can be ideally done in the form of a capsule wardrobe.
This is a small wardrobe consisting of between 10 and 50 pieces of clothing that can be worn in various combinations to make many different outfits. The idea is that you invest in a smaller number of quality clothing items that will last for years to come without compromising on style.
Recycle Unwanted Electronics
Most homes have a range of unwanted electronics waiting to be thrown out, sold or given away. If you can’t find a new home for your unwanted electronics, it is far better to find a place to recycle them rather than letting them go to landfill.
Not only do electronics often have valuable or rare components needed to make more devices, but they can also often be refurbished and reused by people in the know. There are plenty of electronic recycling schemes you could use, so do your homework to find the best scheme near you. You may even be able to part-trade in old items for newer models.
Prevent Microfiber Pollution
A massive but often unknown issue that can arise when washing clothes in a washing machine is the release of microfibre plastics. These microscopic plastics come from various clothing items and are drained out into the drainage system, eventually ending up in rivers and the ocean.
Microplastics are doing untold damage to aquatic wildlife, so finding ways to reduce the amount created by your washing is critical. There are washing bags available that can help to gather the microfibres so that they can be recycled with the rest of your household’s plastic waste.
Avoid Air Travel
Travelling can be an incredible experience for people of all ages, but it is crucial to understand the cost of air travel on the environment. In many cases, traveling by air may undo all of the good work you’ve done by making eco changes to your life, so you should be sure that flying is truly the best choice for you. When possible, it is often best to travel shorter distances for your holidays, using ferries, trains and buses to get to your destination rather than driving solo or flying.
Make Your Garden Bee Friendly
Bees are so essential to our ecosystem, yet their place in our world is being threatened by climate change and man-made changes to their environment. A great way to help combat this change is by making your garden a bee-friendly haven. There are seed packets available filled with the right flowers that will appeal to bees and help them on their pollination journeys. You could also set up bee feeding stations using small flower-shaped bowls filled with sweetened water, ideal for helping bees thrive throughout the year.