10 easy ways to help the environment whilst at home
We’re living in difficult times now but not all hope is lost. There is always something you can do for the environment, yes, even from the comfort of your own homes whilst maintaining social distancing! Here are some easy ways you can start helping now:
1. Reduce and recycle
The time and tested method that certainly works! Reducing the number of single-use plastics you use and buy is the first step to a zero-waste lifestyle.
Most things you might throw in the bin could probably be recycled. Make sure to set up an easily accessible recycling station to ensure you always remember. Recycling plastics greatly reduces waste and harmful emissions/chemicals from landfills and decreases your carbon footprint.
2. Use reusable products
The third R, reuse! Reusable products such as coffee cups, water bottles and shopping bags are great. Coffee cups contain 5% polyurethane plastic, making composting and recycling of disposable cups quite difficult! Furthermore, due to health concerns, there aren't many paper cups made out of recycled paper. This is why we recommend using reusable and eco-friendly products which last longer and give back to the environment.
3. Lower the thermostat by 1 degree!
During the winter months it’s all so tempting to turn up the heating for an hour or two but over time this uses a lot of energy, thus eliminating the earths precious resources! Sometimes it may be better to wear a comfortable hoodie instead. A recent study found that lowering by 1 degree can save up to 10% on your heating bill.
4. Try a flexitarian diet
In terms of diet, many people may find it difficult to go vegetarian or vegan, but a flexitarian diet is basically what doctors recommend! This means focus mostly on eating a plant-based diet but consume meat once or twice a week while avoiding processed foods, red meats, and sugars. Not only will this improve your health but can help preserve natural resources by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as land and water use. This is said to reduce emissions by 7%!
5. Turn off your lights!
Turning off electrical appliances and lights does a lot to reduce your carbon footprint. One simple switch would be to use LED light bulbs which nowadays are ridiculously cheap and last longer than normal fluorescent light bulbs, almost 50 times in fact! This could save you upwards of £200 a year. Not only that but also upgrading your appliances like fridges or boilers to a higher energy rating saves a huge number every year and pays for itself very quickly. Eco-friendly usually means money-saving as ultimately less energy is used and your carbon footprint goes down.
6. Save water
Sounds easy right! Just ensure you turn off taps when you don't need them and take more showers rather than baths which use almost 3 times less water. This simply means turning off the tap when you brush your teeth and using a washing up bowl rather than having the tap running when cleaning the dishes. The world's freshwater is limited and is currently in decline which is why we must give our best efforts to reverse these effects.
7. Good insulation
Adequate insulation will keep your homes warm and reduce the need for turning on the heating. This tip may be a bit pricier than the others, but it really makes a world of a difference over the years and pays for itself rather quickly. For example, loft insulation is relatively cheap and can be done yourself!
8. Take care of your gardens
A diverse garden is a healthy garden. A range of different flowers and plants will introduce natures finest to your garden, earthworms, bees, butterflies, and birds. This means going chemical-free and due to the increased biodiversity, producing healthier fruit and veg. A recent study showed that fungicides are one of the biggest killers of bees, and we all know the importance of bees despite how annoying they can be!
9. Shop online
Many of us shop online nowadays and that’s great! Physical stores use up too much energy in lighting, air conditioning etc. With online shopping all packaging can be recycled or reused, this works especially well when you order from the same place.
10. Spread the word
Now that you're a pro at helping the environment, share the love. Educate your friends and family on how they can help in their households, we can all do something to help and every little thing we do counts. After all, these activities and tips cost nothing and take as little as 5 minutes of your time!