If 2021 will be remembered for something other than Covid 19, it will be for the demonstrations, the debates and the anger around climate change and the environment COP 26 saw governments commit themselves to heading towards zero emissions, Insulate Britain caused chaos by blocking major roads in a bid to raise awareness about insulating our homes, and Greta Thurnburg continued to inspire the young who no longer wanted ‘blah, blah,blah’.
Despite the fact that it sometimes feels this is someone else’s problem, we can all be doing our bit to help protect and save our planet for future generations.
Sustainable Small Business
Whatever your business, you can go out to make it more sustainable, more environmentally friendly. Many businesses are now paperless, they make their contact electronically, keep their records electronically, send bills electronically. No business needs to be printing off every single email, and those that are printed can ne recycled. For those that use packaging, you can use compostable packaging that you know is not going to end up in landfill.
Car share schemes for employees can reduce the number of cars on the road, whilst clothes collection points on carparks and in offices can not only help to keep clothes from landfill, but can also support local charities. Encouraging employees to bring reusable cups for their take out coffee is another way to avoid single use paper and plastic usage.
Educate Your Children
Children aren’t born with any preconceptions about green living. Making them aware of changes in the environment, and how they can make positive changes, encourages them to think about actions and their impact. This doesn’t, however, mean you should bombard them with information. Mentioning it subtly in regular conversations is a good place to start, and encourage them to ask questions. If your little one is particularly fond of animals, then you could chat to them about conservation and the great work many charities do to protect the environment. The trick here is to be casual about it, and start the conversation. Hopefully, this will lead to more open conversations about greener living.
Look At Your Leisure Choices
Whether you’re still holding on to the simpler times of physical copies of your favourite film or album, or are tentative about the countless streaming platforms available, now is the time to go digital with your media. If you’re a bit of a movie or series geek, you can even save money long-term by using a streaming service – not to mention they’re much greener. DVDs and CDs that end up in landfill have a devastating effect on the environment, but there are other ways to dispose of them. If you do need to buy a physical copy, make sure you have it recycled when the time comes to throw it away. It’s estimated disks such as these will take over one million years to decompose in landfill, even though its components are perfect for recycling. So really, there’s no excuse either way!
Use products if they’re still fit for purpose
It’s difficult to keep up to speed with new products and technological advances. With these new products comes more waste, as households look to upgrade what they’ve already got. Often, the old items are thrown away whilst still being fit for purpose. If you can withstand the pressures of buying the latest gadget, you’ll see costs drop and prevent good items being needlessly thrown away. Even on small purchases, you should reconsider new purchases if you’ve already got something that’s fit for purpose. Yes, a new set of bath towels might look nice. But, if you can still use your existing ones – even for just a little while longer – over time cutting down on these new buys will decrease the amount you’re putting into landfill. If you do need to replace for whatever reason always recycle, or donate products where possible.
Where possible, use sustainable and reusable products
Making purchase decisions based on product longevity is a simple way to make a big change. For example, although rechargeable batteries may be a little extra than regular household batteries, think about the long-term effects it can have. You’ll be throwing away less batteries, and saving money on future purchases. Most common disposables such as razors, carrier bags and coffee cups can all be replaced with reusable alternatives. Furthermore, buying from sustainable sources is also a great way to do your part for the environment. Whether it’s buying hardwood flooring that comes from sustainable forests, or buying fish that’s caught sustainably, you lessen your personal impact on delicate ecosystems.
Making steps towards a greener lifestyle is so important. No matter how small the changes you make, you’re always able to make a difference. What other green living tips have you got?