Why Making A Better Planet Starts At Home
Using less resources
As a society of over consumers, whether that be your daily dose of streamed TV, the comfort eating that happens at the end of a stressful day or the treat you absolutely must buy, if we can minimise where and how we use resources in our daily life, it’s a great start to making sustainable future. The best bit is it’s straight forward and can be done by pretty much anyone!!!
There’s more to why it should start at home too…
Living more sustainably in the home equals savings!!! Sometimes huge savings!
There are some simple swaps that you can make that don’t drastically change your life but do change your bank balance and importantly change the climate. An example is that by reducing your food waste, the average home already saves £500 each year. After two months of using energy efficient lightbulbs, you’ve already made the money back of installation! The list, as you’ll be able to see goes on and on.
If you’re like me, the idea of too much clutter and rubbish in your home drives you absolutely crazy! Do I absolutely need everything I have and if I’m going to scrap a load of stuff, is it because it’s not good enough to use or can someone else make a home from it? Pre-loved clothes, furniture and pretty much every household item can not only go to another home but can actually make you an income too! Unfortunately, even on difficult days, selling your partner, family member, room mate or pet don’t quite count in this equation!
Creating less waste
When you purchase less and purchase consciously, you force companies to listen. Even when we look at huge corporations such as Amazon, they’ve changed their packaging so they are now reducing the packaging and making it more sustainable.
Have you noticed how companies go so overboard with packaging? There’s plenty you can do to change that!
Increasing your skills and knowledge
This is not some massive secret that nobody should know about!!! Share this with the world. Increasing your knowledge and really investing in yourself means your home and your community can be the type of environment you want to live in. The more you know and the more invest in your knowledge, the more effective you can be and actually get that return back ten-fold!
Your personal skills and knowledge base grow each time you take steps in sustainability and every single family member and friend can get involved.
Sustainable living is about enabling a better quality of life without it being so big a hassle that you don’t keep to it. Learn now and benefit for the rest of your life.
Our Tips To A Sustainable Life
Your meals can save the world
- Look at your packaging. If it’s a dangerous combination of un-recyclable plastics and filled with heavily processed food that can be found in your home and look no different in 6 months, it’s perhaps not something that should be part of your diet.
- Get meal prepping and have fun with it. Just a few meals a week can save £100s over the year and can help you live longer with a cleaner diet. My Lord there are some delicious recipes and if you’re stuck, we’ve plenty to offer you.
- Invest in learning about a sustainable diet. Knowing quickly where food comes from and the simple swaps you can make in your diet mean you get to make tiny changes instead of something that feels completely unrealistic.
Dressing like a hero looks different for everyone
- Thrift Shopping, Charity Shops, Vinted, Depop, Marketplace, Craigslist… the list goes on for places you can buy (and sell) second hand clothes. It’s a great way of saving money when buying something, knowing that you’re not just leaving your clothes to a landfill and who doesn’t love a bargain??!!!
- There are some phenomenal tutorials about how to upcycle your clothes and furniture. By understanding a little more about how sustainable fashion works, you can make smart buying decisions but also make a career by helping to reduce textile waste! Get your creative skills up and running. It’s amazing fun and you’ll have something unique to you!
- If this isn’t a reason to ensure you have sustainable fashion for your entire household and social network, I don’t know what is. Over 6 million children below the age of 10 are forced in labour for the fast fashion industry. Shop wisely and you’ll give children the chance to be children!!!
Enabling SIMPLE recycling
- Genuinely a tip from my own home that my eldest gets involved in too. I have small recycling bins (baskets) for my ‘waste’ plastics and for papers. If he fills up the basket, we take it out together and he gets to decide on an activity from his wishlist – it generally means more time down the park, playing outside and the house is cleaner. I realise the wishlist might have to be monitored with older children but for young ones, it makes recycling so simple and instils great habits.
- Financial incentives… hear me out now. The amount of items you have that you can be paid for that are unnecessarily disposed of and can be re-sold, re-furbished or effectively recycled is a lot higher than you think. Look for ‘cash for trash’ schemes, as many companies will do so and even can come and collect it or send free packaging to post it off. (GoGreen is a great example of how making money from unwanted items is as easy as using an app on your phone)
- Plan to recycle – sometimes it can genuinely feel a bit of a burden. We all have lives that are busy and other things we feel are more important, so schedule the time to get the job done. The more it becomes a habit, the easier it is to follow.
Occasions really matter
- Something recent that has popped up more and more for me. When It’s Christmas, Birthday, Easter, Valentines, even just the idea of “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”, we’re very quick to go out and buy for others. Impulse buying tends to lead to panic buying, which means more money spent, poorly thought out gifts and more waste to deal with.
- Packaging and waste over the Christmas period is huge and a lot of it unnecessary. The needless dumping of fake trees (14% average each year) and a mortifying 500 million tonnes of Christmas lights mean that perhaps we could re-think our consumption choices during celebrations! Glitter paper is generally refused by recycle centre and approximately £170 million in tax payers money goes on the landfill of packaging waste. You are better creating a hamper of personalised gifts and offering experiences instead of countless plastic and waste heavy buys.
- Think of the longevity of what you’re buying. If you’re looking to splash the cash and buy something new for someone, how long will it last? What will it mean to them? Why are you buying it? Could you have the same impact but save waste and money too?
Where you spend your money matters
- Buying sustainable products is not only good for the environment but also cheaper for the retailer too. Consumer behaviour has directly changed company policies for sustainable practice, seen very heavily in the energy, transport, fashion and diet industries. By making purchases of products that state are ‘sustainably sourced’ and ‘sustainable made’ and ‘organic’, you’re absolutely helping to provide a more sustainable future.
- As much as it may be a hard habit to change, we still consume more and more. 45% of our emissions come from day to day use and consumption, so making simple energy and waste reduction really impacts the environment.
- Small businesses don’t tend to have many middle men and the profit that they earn goes towards supporting their income rather than large corporate profit. To generate a positive and more circular economy, buying local drastically reduces emissions and gives a happier environment. If you want a happy home, create a happy environment starting with your community.
Transport choices can be easy and sustainable
- Transport in the UK and US accounts for 25% of CO2 emissions. Companies like Sustrans are looking to make walkways and cycle paths accessible for everyone. If you can cycle or walk, even part of the journey, you’ll have better health, be a better worker and have a more positive outlook on the day, all whilst using less energy.
- Electric and Hybrid cars are well and truly here!!! We are not saying that the technology is perfect and there is clear evidence that the storage of energy within a battery isn’t as efficient as it could be, however there is an obvious drop in fossil fuel consumption. Just one electric car saves the equivalent of four flights from London to Barca in CO2 emissions. In addition, topping up an electric car. Financially as well, it’s a much smarter decision. You’ll be saving over £600 on travel costs and this number is growing with increases in efficiency.
- Public transport has been heavily invested in and for good reason. With lower carbon emissions and greater technological advances, public transport and car pooling over solitary car journeys equate to a 10% reduction in all greenhouse gases produced by a typical two-adult, two-car household. Share a journey or only take one car and you’ll save money and make a massive difference to the environment.
Technology is your friend but sparingly
- Put the phone down for a little while. Our technological use now outweighs the impact of aviation, such is our reliance on our online interaction. By stripping out 30 minutes a day from Streamed viewing, from one particular supplier alone, you’d be saving 9200 tonnes of CO2 emissions globally.
- Using Skype, TeamViewer, Zoom, Google Meet and many other remote working services, digital technology and distance learning and working have become part of life that has had a huge impact on our global output. If you can save the travel, enjoy more quality time and meet digitally for work instead of travel in.
- Timers, sensors and thermometers all have the ability to use apps to integrate their services now. Lower your energy output just with an app. Technology helps to keep a house connected but also emissions significantly lower and costs even further with timed activities.
We Have To Adapt So Let's Enjoy It!!!
The planet is getting warmer, there is no doubt of that and with continued population growth, consumption will increase but there are so many things that we can do to ensure the future doesn’t seem so scary.
Sandra Goldmark has eloquently stated “Together, our individual actions add up to collective actions — to our culture. And the choices we make in our daily lives influence the choices we make as families, as communities, and ultimately, influence the choices we make at the ballot box, where we can come together to scale and multiply those many individual choices.”
By making changes in your home life, your health, your happiness and your appreciation for your environment will grow and grow so get learning and get started.