So, what can I do?
Buy local. Buy organic.
Whenever you can – buy organic or “fair trade.” There’s more likelihood the food was grown in an eco-friendly way, and if it’s locally grown, it didn’t have to travel that far… This also goes for those morning coffees! Coffee often has a large carbon footprint because of the distance the beans had to travel and how they were produced.
Pay attention to packaging.
Whilst out doing the shopping, try to go to stores or co-ops that keep packaging to a minimum. Buy the loose tomatoes instead of the ones in shrink-wrap! Also – don’t forget to take your reusable shopping bags.
Bottled H20: No – No!
Bottled water has an enormous carbon footprint — it’s bottled in plastic in one location shipped all over the world. Buy a reusable water bottle!
Energy-proof your home.
Check that all of your windows close properly and that you have insulation, which will also save you money on your energy bill. Use long-life bulbs (they are usually more expensive initially but you wont need to replace them anywhere near as often!). They also use about 75% less energy that standard bulbs.
Consider Travel Carefully.
If you need to travel by air, make all efforts to get a direct flight to get to your destination. If you can – take a train instead of flying… it’s usually more scenic, too! Also, try more eco-friendly modes of transport when possible, like buses, trains, a bicycle, or even walking.
Unplug any appliances you are not using often. Standby modes on electronic items still draw energy. These include phone chargers, laptops, televisions, stereos… unplug them! Try using a power board or multi-plug board – then you just need to remember to unplug the one into the mains!
Use cold water.
Try using cold water when washing things that don’t need to be cleaned in hot or warm water. It takes a lot of energy to heat water — multiply that by the number of loads, and that’s a big footprint.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Try buying less, and reusing and fixing things when you can instead of buying new. Most areas make it very easy for you to recycle, and collect weekly. Don’t forget to recycle at work as well! If your workplace does not have recycling bins, ask why not!
Green really is the new Black.
Do you really need that new pair of shoes that thousands of other people are also going to be wearing? Try buying things that wont be out of trend by the time you have left the store. Shop vintage or pre-loved and develop your own style instead of one that is created for you in the glossy magazines. And when you have finishes with it – donate it, give it to someone else who will use it, hold a clothes-swap party or – if it really has reached the end of its life – recycle it!
or…. you could always join me in committing to a ban on new clothing for a set period of time…. get in touch!