The idea of climate change can be so staggeringly overwhelming sometimes, that ignoring it can feel like the least stressful option.
But if anything, 2020 has certainly made us take stock and consider the sustainability of how we live our lives. And there are small things we can all do to make a difference.
With a new year upon us, and a planet to help protect, consider a few of these green resolutions for 2021.
1. Switch your energy provider. So many companies now offer affordable, renewable gas and electric. Take the time to do a quick online comparison – you might even save some cash.
2. Avoid wasting energy. This is a follow-up to number one, generating electricity is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. We can help improve this in our own homes by ensuring that all electronic devices are switched off when they are not in use.
Even smaller changes, such as using LED light bulbs can have a positive impact on the environment not to mention reducing your power bill.
3. Start composting. There is a surprising amount of joy to be found in shredding egg boxes and chopping up banana skins. Your garden soil will thank you for it.
4. Buy bamboo socks. Or organic cotton T-shirts. Or sweaters made using recycled yarn. Or support fashion brands championing eco practices.
5. Refill your shampoo and conditioner. It makes you feel good, supports independent stores, and reduces plastic waste.
6. Swap don’t shop. And hire pieces of kit – such as lawnmowers and drills – where you can. So many community hubs now offer this kind of service, which helps reduce electrical waste.
7. Do your climate research. Education is vital if we’re to change our ways. Read up on the environmental issues we face and share what you discover.
8. Commit to meat-free Mondays. Or go meat free multiple days a week. Flexitarianism is the future.
You don’t need to cut it out completely, but reducing meat consumption will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint and might make you feel better
9. Cycle more. Walk more. Drive less. You know the drill. Saves you money, reduces your carbon footprint and keeps you fit!
10. Recycle better. Not sure whether your local recycling takes different types of plastics? Check. If they don’t? Ask why. And find out where you can take it instead.
11. Plant a tree. Or support a community tree-planting scheme. They provide habitat for wildlife, improve our air, and support soil and biodiversity. And they’re majestic.
12. Give up (or greatly reduce) single-use plastic. It’s no secret that plastic is destroying the environment, the ocean in particular. We can reduce plastic waste in our homes by choosing alternative products.
Do your shopping with reusable bags and swap out your plastic sandwich wraps for biodegradable packaging. Until the government and corporations step in, individual action is crucial to help reduce plastic waste.
13. Use eco-friendly cleaning and beauty products. When buying products for your home, keep an eye out for ‘eco-friendly’, ‘biodegradable’, or ‘non-toxic’ labels. You should also consider switching to natural beauty and cleaning products. Replace your shampoo, conditioner and soaps with products that are free from parabens, petrochemicals, SLES, SLS, ALES and ALS.
Did you make a resolution this year? How do you do your part for the planet?
– With PA
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