Climate change and ‘going green’ is an issue currently at the forefront of almost everyone’s minds. But what can the average person do to help? Well, there are plenty of very small lifestyle changes that can have an impressive knock-on effect. Here are ten of the best and most easy ones:
- Stop buying bottled water
Or at least, buy just one bottle of water every so often, and then refill the bottle from the tap instead of buying new ones. This could also save you a considerable amount of money! And are you really getting anything from bottled water you wouldn’t get from regular ol’ tap water?
- Turn off your lights when you leave a room
If you’re not using them, turn them off and save on energy and electric bills! This could in fact apply to all electronic devices – you should also turn your laptop off for the night instead of putting it onto sleep mode.
You’d be surprised at the amount of things you can recycle nowadays. Glass, cans and paper are the obvious ones, but you can also recycle mobile phones and batteries – things that would otherwise leak harmful chemicals into the earth once discarded. Check with your local authorities about recycling options.
- Save paper
Most printers will only print on one side of the page, but it will save so much more paper if you set it to print on both sides. Offices throw away over 21 million tons of paper per year (think of how many trees that is) so try and reuse already-doodled-on paper as often as you can.
- Sell and buy items second-hand
Don’t throw away things that are still in working order! Plenty of second-hand shops will take them and sell them on. Same with buying – why not buy cheaper things second-hand instead of shelling out more money for new? Websites like Freecycle and Craigslist can help you get hold of cheap or free second-hand items.
- Forgo the plastic bag
Plastic bags are terrible for the environment, and yet about 500 billion of them are used every year. Help solve this problem by carrying a reusable bag (or more than one) and using that to carry your shopping instead.
- Take showers instead of baths
At least a couple of times a week, have showers instead of baths – and make them short! Every minute you save on your shower could also save the world five gallons of water. You can also share a shower with your partner to save even more!
- Buy factory seconds
Factory seconds are slightly blemished or ex-display washing machines, fridges etc that are in perfect working order but still everyone’s second choice. And yet if you buy one, there’s no need for a new fridge or washing machine to be manufactured, thus helping the planet a little more. You can pick some up here.
- Try going vegetarian
Meat is nice, but it takes a great deal of water and energy to get it to your plate. Why not make a strictly vegetarian meal once a week instead, and if you like it you could make it more than once a week!
- Ditch the tumble dryer
Tumble dryers aren’t exactly good for the environment. Instead, if you can, you should be hanging out your laundry to dry in the open air – this also stops their colours from fading and generally makes your clothes last longer.