More and more of us are keen to go green and do our bit to protect the planet. It’s understandable to think that small changes won’t make a difference, but if everyone adjusted their lifestyle, the impact would be incredible. If you’re looking for simple, achievable ways to embrace greener living, here are some strategies to try today.
Reduce plastic waste and recycle
Most of us have either watched Blue Planet II or seen headlines in the newspaper setting out the scale of the plastic problem we’re facing. Scientists believe that around 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year. We have become accustomed to buying products that are packaged in plastic, and there’s no doubt that plastic is an incredibly useful material. The trouble is that we’re using too much plastic, and more plastic waste needs to be recycled. Next time you finish a carton of milk, make sure you place it in your designated plastic recycling box. Look for recyclable products when you shop, and search for alternatives if you’re keen to cut down on plastic usage at home. You can buy glass bottles or purchase products that have been packaged in sustainable, recyclable materials instead. One really simple swap you can make is switching plastic water bottles for a reusable cup or flask.
Think carefully about your commute
If you commute to work, there may be changes you could make to reduce your carbon footprint. Rather than driving short distances or travelling alone if you have to take the car, why not walk or cycle, make use of public transport, or ask about car sharing initiatives? In light of the lockdown, it may also be possible for more people to work from home more often. Remote working has become the norm during the Covid-19 crisis, and some employees may be keen to adopt more flexible working arrangements in the future.
Lowering energy consumption and exploring renewables
Many of us are guilty of using more energy than we need to. We leave lights on when we go out of the room and we head up to bed with all our electrical appliances on standby. Making minor changes can save you money and lower your energy consumption. Replace old appliances and light bulbs with modern, energy-efficient versions, turn off TVs, lamps and toasters at the socket and maximise natural light. Using a smart meter enables you to track daily usage and stick to a budget. To save money and go green at home, you might also want to think about switching to renewable energy. Solar power, for example, is becoming increasingly popular.
You only have to pick up a newspaper or tune into a daily bulletin to see or hear sobering headlines about the environment. We can all make a difference, and the sooner we start embracing greener living, the better. You don’t have to overhaul your lifestyle dramatically to do your bit. Simple steps like reducing the amount of plastic you buy and consume, recycling, changing the way you get to work and travel around and using less energy will save you money and protect the environment.
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