There’s no getting away from the fact that the planet is undergoing climate change, and the vast majority of it is down to the actions of humans. Whilst massive corporations are responsible for most of the carbon emissions produced in the world, everyone has a part to play and every little really does help.
Living a more eco-friendly life isn’t as difficult as it used to be thanks to the wealth of resources available now, and for the most part, it’s cheaper, too! For those looking to take action and live in a more environmentally friendly way, here are five ways you can begin to make a change.
1. Reusable Items
A large portion of climate change can be attributed to the manufacturing of single-use items like water bottles and makeup wipes, followed by the consequential disposal of such items in landfill. If more people started using reusable water bottles, cutlery, makeup wipes and plastic-free period products like menstrual cups (where suitable), how much waste London produces and other major cities around the world would dramatically decrease.
In addition to the environmental benefits of buying reusable items, you will also save money. A stainless steel water bottle can last up to 12 years, and a menstrual cup can last up to 10 years. This equates to massive monetary savings when you consider a period costs £128 every year on average, and bottled water costs 65p per liter.
2. Food Waste
It’s not just rubbish items like plastic that is contributing to climate change – food waste is thought to be responsible for around 3.3 billion tons of CO2 every year. It’s almost instinctive to throw away leftovers. In fact, most people don’t think twice before binning food, but saving leftovers, only cooking as much food as is needed and composting unavoidable waste could have a big impact on climate change.
We’ve all had instances where we could have easily walked or cycled to a destination, but laziness took over and before we knew it, we were in the car. Refraining from using the car and opting instead to walk or cycle is one of the easiest ways you can live more eco-friendly. Another way is to carpool where possible, especially on the way to work if you have a colleague who lives near you. You could take it in turns to drive by alternating days. It both saves money and the planet – win-win!
4. Meat Consumption
One of the biggest contributors to climate change is meat production and consumption. In fact, meat and dairy production accounts for more than 14% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. If everyone switched to a diet with moderate meat consumption but with more fruit and vegetables, almost three billion tons of CO2 equivalent emissions could be saved every year. If everyone went vegan, that figure would increase to eight billion tons.
What this indicates is that you don’t need to give up meat entirely to enjoy an eco-friendly diet.
5. Responsible Shopping
There’s a tendency for people to buy things brand new, especially clothes. Rather than buying into fast fashion, you can become more eco-friendly by thrifting items. This means buying clothes or
homeware/furniture from charity shops or marketplaces. Another way you can shop responsibly is to only buy what you need. Consider if you could borrow an item as oppose to buying it. For example, if you’re in need of a drill for a DIY project but know you won’t use one regularly, instead of buying one, borrow one from a friend.
These are just five easy ways you can live more eco-friendly and do your part to save the planet.