Transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle doesn't have to be rocket science. Here are a few small ways that you can make a big difference to the environment.
Bring reusable bags to the supermarket
Everyone has probably banged on to you enough about this one, but don’t underestimate the impact of remembering to pack those reusable shopping bags. Worldwide we use 500 billion plastic bags a year, and the average use time for each bag is only 12 minutes before it’s thrown away1 - polluting the environment and endangering wildlife. Reusing bags really does make a world of difference!
Buy local produce
When it comes to buying fresh food, making sure it’s locally sourced greatly minimises its adverse effects on the environment. Did you know that the average fresh food item travels 1,500 miles to reach your plate2? That’s a lot of CO2 emissions per meal, which can be easily reduced by going to your local greengrocers. If you really have to buy your fresh produce from the supermarket, do a quick scour of the shelves to check whether you are buying the most locally sourced fruit and veg you possibly can.
Recycle your clothes
This is a big one. On average, we each throw eight of our clothes items in the bin every year - that’s almost £500 worth3. And we all know what happens to our previously beloved clothing after that. It gets dumped on the top of an already very tall landfill pile, and (slowly but surely) decomposes to release toxic greenhouse gases into the environment. Landfills are the third biggest source of atmospheric methane on the planet, and so are major contributors to the climate crisis4.
What are some viable alternatives you may be asking? There are so many. Consider donating your unwanted clothes to a charity shop. It’s a win-win situation; your clothes get a new home and you get to support a wonderful charity. If you are looking to make a bit of money, reselling apps such as Depop and Vinted are great options. Alternatively, why not dust off the sewing machine and try reworking your old clothes into new ones that are more ‘this-season’? Finally, clothing banks are scattered all around the UK, which are easy ways for your old clothing to be recycled into new textiles. Find your nearest one here.
Eat less meat
From an environmental standpoint, we should all be reducing our meat consumption as much as possible. Industrial meat is the single biggest cause of deforestation globally and has been heavily responsible for the burning and destruction of the Amazon rainforest – a rainforest which is integral for mitigating the effects of climate change.
The yearly climate impact of the meat industry is mammoth – roughly equivalent to that of all the driving and flying of every car, truck and plane in the world5.
To start cutting down on your meat consumption, why not try going vegetarian 3 days a week? Or even eat vegetarian every day until 5pm?
Switch to sustainable brands
Bit of a shameless plug here (ngl) but start looking for sustainable brands (like us!) who provide fantastic, high-quality alternatives to your go-to products. Not only is this much kinder to the environment, but a lot of sustainable brands are small, upcoming businesses and your support makes a world of difference to them too.
Some brands who we think are doing amazing things are:
Wild, who make eco-friendly, refillable deodorant.
Pantee, who make underwear from old t-shirts.
Ohne, who make organic and biodegradable period products.
If you are looking for sustainable alternatives to your fave clothes brands, check out the app Good On You. You can search for a fast fashion brand and the app will automatically generate brands with similar clothing that are much more sustainable and ethical.
Start asking yourself “Do I really need to send this email?”
Ok, yes, this is a bit of a rogue one and admittedly there are probably bigger things for us to tackle before we start worrying about sending an email. But we thought it was an interesting thing to share nonetheless.
Did you know that the average carbon footprint of a spam email is 0.3g of CO2? For a standard email it jumps to 4g of CO2 and an email with “long and tiresome attachments” has a whopping carbon footprint of 50g of CO2.
With this info, it was estimated by the Carbon Literacy Project that a single days’ worth of emails received by the average office worker is equivalent to 1,652g of CO2.6
JUST FROM EMAILS! You know? Those little things on your laptop that you send out like there is no tomorrow.
So maybe, just maybe, this will make you think twice before pressing that send button and ask if that email is genuinely needed.