Climate change is in conversation everywhere. Global warming is happening – and fast! With such a huge problem on humanity’s hands, it seems impossible to collectively turn around global warming. That’s when the question, “what can we do individually?” really comes into play.
Use energy wisely and save money!
By being more energy efficient, you’ll create less pollution but also save money. The little changes can make all the difference. Remember to unplug laptops, TVs, hair straighteners (!) when you’re not using them.
You could also wash your clothes in cold or warm water, rather than hot water. Heating water takes up around 90% of a washing machine’s energy consumption. Only 10% goes to electricity, so washing clothes cold could reduce your energy usage considerably.
Changing your lightbulbs from incandescent light bulbs to those that are fluorescent, LEDs or halogen lamps can reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well!
Focus on life’s simple pleasures: spending time outside, spending time with family and friends, and focus less on buying material objects. When we consume more, we waste more, because we throw out things we have replaced with new. Apart from lowering your consumption levels, you might also find this method provides you with more happiness and sense of purpose. Sharing, fixing, making, repurposing, composting and upcycling could change your whole outlook on life and allow you to save money for the more important things in life.
Eat a carbon-friendly diet
Many people think that having an eco-friendly diet simply means cutting out meat. While this will reduce your carbon footprint significantly, you don’t have to go full throttle straight away. Start by reducing your meat intake to 2 or 3 times a week rather than every day, then once you have the hang of it, reduce it even more.
Buying organic and local produce will also help you to have an eco-friendlier diet. Pesticides, and transportation fuel alone have a huge impact on our environment. However, if you are able to then we couldn't recommend more growing your own veg, not only will it probably taste better as well as giving you the satisfaction of brining food to table, but it will also be be organic food.
Lastly, make an effort to reduce food waste. Rather than consume more food and throw away what you don’t eat, simply don’t buy it in the first place! This requires some planning to figure out exactly what you’ll eat each week, but the benefits will be great for our planet as well as your pocket!
Reduce your carbon footprint when shopping
Buy items with minimal, recyclable packaging. Some plastic packaging can be recycled and you can always repurpose it, however, a lot of it ends up in our oceans, warming them up and killing sea life. Cardboard and paper packaging is a lot better for the environment than plastic film as it can be recycled. Paper packaging is becoming more and more prevalent for delivering goods, so watch out for those brands which are sustainable!
Buying second hand from charity shops, flea markets, garage sales or from the likes of eBay and Depop, instead of buying new will also improve your shopping carbon footprint. Production, importing and packaging all cost carbon as much as they do money and if you do want to buy new, we recommend buying items made to a high quality with natural fibres and materials, rather than those made of plastic/polyester.
Make changes in your home
Aside from lightbulbs and clothes washing, have you thought about technological improvements you can make? For example, invest in a thermostat to keep your house at the exact temperature you want it without having to manually switch on and off heating, setting it at different temperatures, and so on. With some thermostats, you can also download an app which detects whether you’re home or not. When you’re out, it lowers the temperature slightly to save energy, then when you’re close to arriving home, it raises it again to your desired temperature.
Also consider your appliances. Fridges, for one, can be very uneconomic, especially if they are over 5 years old. Newer versions are at least twice as efficient meaning that not only do you reduce your carbon footprint, but you’ll save money. In fact, while a new fridge will cost more upfront, within 3 years you will have probably covered the cost in energy saving!