It’s time to make changes and it’s never too late to start. Environmental impact is a hot topic and everyone is trying to point out all the good they do while explaining why they can’t possibly make other changes… but the fact is there are a few things we can all do, no matter whether you live in the city or the country, whether you have to drive to work or can cycle, and whatever the season and weather.
Calculate and offset your household carbon
It’s actually a lot easier to calculate carbon… because there is a website for it.
When it comes to your lifestyle, you can download the MyFootprint app to help you keep an eye on good and bad habits that will influence your carbon footprint.
In your home, the easiest ways to cut down is to recycle more food waste (or not let it go to waste in the first place!) and to watch the energy use, meaning heating and cooling.
But you can also take a closer look at your home and see where you could be insulating better to avoid needing to heat your home until winter.
Quit plastic wrapping
When do we really need plastic? Very rarely. A lot can actually be substituted by other, environmentally friendlier options.
Water bottles of course can be reusable, cling film can be replaced by closed containers, or foil, or even beeswax wraps (believe us, it’s cleaner than you think and very practical), plastic bags can be paper or fabric, most fruit and veg you can buy without popping them into a bag first…
Take a look at your recycling box at the end of a week and see just how much unnecessary plastic is in there.
If you are ready to take an extra step, consider swapping shampoo and shower gel in bottles for bars. Our secret tip for those who don’t like the feel of a shampoo bar is to get the bar, warm it in about 500ml of water until it dilutes, and fill it into a refillable bottle. The liquid shampoo you buy is mostly water anyway!
Toilet paper and kitchen roll
We all use it, so let’s talk about it!
We get a few seconds of use out of it and then it goes down the drain, so will you notice the difference in use? No. But will it make a difference to the environment if you choose bamboo or recycled toilet paper? Yes.
It’s been on the market for a while now, so you can get as many layers and levels of softness as you like, there is no difference with your traditional paper. You can also get larger rolls or rolls without the cardboard roll inside, saving paper again. Simple, yet effective.
While we can’t all go to the farmer next door for all of our needs, you can get your shopping more locally than you think.
Start with milk (support your local farmers!); seasonal fruit and veg is available at markets or some farms and organisations do home delivery, but even in the supermarkets look for any indication of food that is sourced locally, some label food accordingly sometimes and then you know it hasn’t travelled much.
When something is not in season, check where it is coming from and choose the shortest journey.
Even gifts can be bought locally. Instead of ordering online and having something sent to you, check the independent shops in town for a sweet gift for someone.
Get rid of plastic
Plastic, again. It was a good invention at the time, but it has taken over our lives and it’s time to get rid of it and keep it for essentials (in medicine for example, single plastic has its use).
In your home though, you can get rid of most of it and swap it out for environmentally friendly options.
Your toothbrush and exfoliating brush? Get a bamboo one (and you will see the bristles are so much smoother on your skin too).
Kitchen sponges? Swap them out for natural sponge!
There are plenty of solutions to help you reduce your impact and even ways you can help give back to your community and planet. Sometimes its about taking a step back and really thinking about the items we use, it doesn’t hurt to question ourselves either and ask, ‘is this necessary?’.