Hello everyone! So for the past few years I have slowly been trying to live a more green life style and make less of an impact on the environment. I feel that saving the environment is something that often gets pushed to the side and is associated with hippy’s and do gooders but really it is an issue we should all be passionate about. We live in a country (Britain) that has already lost 80% of its forests and woodland to make way for “developments” causing thousands of species of animals to be wiped out completely. Our sea’s are being pumped full of improperly disposed waste, and rubbish such as plastic bags and balloons are harming and killing so much of our marine wildlife. And that’s before you even look at how much air pollution we are creating, I was shocked to find out a few weeks ago that people in London had actually been told not to do exercise outside due to the air pollution.
In a society that values profit above everything else it can be very hard to live a greener and simpler lifestyle but really it should be everyone’s top priority. When it comes down to it if we have no trees, no clean water, no animals and the air is so polluted we can no longer breath oxygen it won’t matter whether you have £1 or £1 million the damage will be done.
It has been hard for me to start to live a much more sustainable lifestyle and I still have a long way to go but I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks on how to be more green in the hope that it will encourage you to make a change.
This is an easy one stop using cars as much. If you need to get somewhere far away try to get public transport – yes its more of a hassle but its also a lot cheaper than owning a car. Or if you have a car why don’t you try car sharing with your friends or work colleagues. You could easily take it in turns and it would probably be a lot of fun driving to work together each morning. Or even better try walking or cycling if its too far to walk, not only will you be decreasing the effect you have on the environment but you will also be getting in some fresh air and exercise which is something everyone could do with getting a bit more of.
We live in a society where fashion is disposable and cheap. For years and years I would buy cheap clothes wear them a few times and then throw them away. I really hate the disposable attitude of the fashion industry and its one of the huge changes I have made. Try shopping in shops where the clothes are ethically made and/or fairtrade, places like Fatface and Marks and Spencers are great for fairtrade cotton and ethically made clothes and their clothes are made to last. They are more expensive but they will also last longer, I have started to realise quality is a lot better than quantity and buying two good t shirts that will last is a lot more effective than buying cheap t shirts that will get holes in quickly. The same goes for shoes and bags. Where I live in Oxford I have found a fantastic fairtrade shop that sells all sorts of accessories, food, wrapping paper and cosmetics which has been a real help in buying greener things. It is harder and more time consuming and may mean you need to buy clothes online in fairtrade shops but it is so worth the effort.
Recycle, Recycle, Recyle:
This applies to clothes as well! I recently did a post about this here and I talked about how much more effective it is to give your old clothes away instead of throwing them in bin. You can also upcycle old clothes and shoes – there are loads of ideas on pinterest and its a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon believe me.
And of course recycling as much of your waste as possible. More and more I have been trying to buy less in plastic containers and more things in tins or glass jars so that they can actually be recycled. The charity Marine Conservation Society is actually holding a plastic free month where you challenge yourself to live without plastic for as long as possible if you want to be more green but not sure how to start this challenge would be a great incentive for you and you can raise some money for a great cause too!
As above buy things in recyclable containers or better still buy things that aren’t in containers at all. Stock your trolley up with fruit and vegetables not only will this give you a good healthy boost but will make a massive difference to the amount of waste you dispose of. Eating less meat is also very good for the environment and if you can getting it from a local butcher rather than the super market will not only boost your local economy but be better for the environment. Buying things like dolphin friendly tuna is also easy to do just check for the picture on the tin. Also invest in a few bags for life or go and buy yourself a couple of large fairtrade cotton bags to carry your shopping in whether it be food shopping or clothes shopping come October England will be charging for plastic bags anyway so best to start now and get used to it.
Take a packed lunch! Stop buying sandwiches in packets that can’t be recycled and buy yourself a good set of tupperware this will also make a difference to your bank balance and is likely to be a healthier option.
In the home:
I recently started buying all my beauty products in Lush and the Body Shop and it has been amazing. The difference in my hair and skin has been wonderful thanks to the sudden use of products using all natural ingredients. All the products from these two wonderful shops are ethically made and environmentally friendly. I’m not suggesting you go and throw out all the beauty products you have at the moment that would be silly but once they have run out why not buy from Lush or Body Shop instead and see what a difference it could make.
Another great way of being green is to have screenless days, not only will this benefit your health but it will help to save energy. Pick one day a week and turn off all laptops, ipads, tvs and phones and go outside in the fresh air or if its too cold light a few candles in your bedroom snuggle up under the duvet and enjoy a good book. I promise you that very soon you will begin to see the wonders of tecno free life!
Shut your doors, keep the heat in and turn your lights off. These are simple ways of helping the environment and saving you some money. Taking a shorter shower and not wasting water when you brush your teeth will also make a difference. I also try to only put one wash on a week and then dry all my clothes on a rack or on the line outside rather than using the tumble dryer. This often helps to flatten out the creases too so you don’t have to iron as much and that not only saves you time but saves energy too.
These are just a few ideas of how to be a bit greener and make a positive impact on your environment. If you have any other tips and tricks I’d love to hear them. Hope you are all having a happy Monday.
Bye for now!