Making eco-friendly decisions in the UK can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. From draught-proofing your home to eat-as-local as possible, there are plenty of simple changes that you can make.
For example, investing in a few reusable bags can save you the 5p per bag charge from many high street shops. Plus, extending the lifespan of your clothes can reduce emissions by up to 24%.
1. Go car-free
Leaving your car at home is one of the easiest ways to live more sustainably. It lowers air pollution in your neighbourhood, saves you money and improves your health.
However, implementing policies to encourage people to give up their cars has almost always met with huge opposition. This includes schemes such as low-traffic neighbourhoods implemented in many UK Residents’ towns.
This led her to participate in a car-free trial, in which she logged her journeys and explored different sustainable travel options. She found that she enjoyed trying out buses, e-bikes and car clubs more than she thought she would, as well as saving money and improving her mental and physical wellbeing.
2. Install solar panels
There are countless ways to become more eco-friendly and cut your carbon footprint. Small changes like turning off the lights while brushing your teeth or hanging your washing up to dry rather than using the tumble dryer can add up to a big difference.
Climate activism has also played a huge role in shifting attitudes towards sustainable living. From school strikes to grassroots initiatives, young people are demanding change and empowering others to follow their lead.
Another way to go green is by installing solar panels on your home and generating your own clean, renewable electricity. If you’re interested in going solar, browse our network of trusted installers and get a quote today!
3. Eat a more plant based diet
Eating a more plant-based diet can be beneficial for your health and the planet. This dietary style can range from vegan to vegetarian, pescatarian, or semi-vegetarian. Choosing plant-based foods can help reduce animal-based waste, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Meat production is one of the most environmentally destructive industries on Earth. It requires a lot of land, water and fossil fuel to produce.
Choose to eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Try out meatless Mondays or a weekly veggie dinner with friends. Opt for fair trade products whenever possible – this ensures that the makers get paid a fair wage.
4. Upgrade your appliances
While upgrading appliances, it is worth noting the energy label. Opting for models that are more efficient will reduce your energy bills and can help save the environment, too.
Similarly, purchasing food from local producers will cut down on ‘food miles’. Also, remember to switch off appliances such as televisions, games consoles and computers when you aren’t using them. Leaving them on standby is a major source of waste energy. UK residents can recycle their old gadgets at Household Waste Recycling Centres or at kerbside collections. They can also take them to a dedicated electronics retailer or catalogue retailer.
5. Download the right apps
The eco-friendly apps you download can help you make small changes to your lifestyle that have a big impact. From finding luxury pre-loved garments and swapping wasteful household items to finding out the best veg delivery service to eating seasonally and donating reusable plastic bags.
The Good Guide app rates thousands of products based on their sustainability credentials. It’s easy to use as you scan barcodes and can check if something is carbon conscious, vegan, fair trade, organic, sustainable sourced, cruelty free or supports charities.
Another useful app is Co-Go, which connects you with green and ethical local businesses – including pubs that pay living wages and fashion brands that reduce waste. Plus you can find water refill stations to help avoid buying more plastic bottles.
6. Don’t waste food
About a third of all food is wasted after it leaves the farm and 70% of this occurs in households. This isn’t just a waste of money, but also of the water, energy and food that went into its production.
When food is thrown away, it doesn’t harmlessly rot in landfills; it releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than CO2. Many local councils provide kitchen caddies for households to collect this type of waste – so be sure to use yours! You can also join a community like Olio to share any extra food you have with your neighbours.
7. Go green
A green lifestyle is all about living sustainably. That doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort or convenience, it just means working with nature – not against it.
Heating homes accounts for a big chunk of the UK’s carbon emissions, so switching to renewable energy is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. You can even go one step further and install solar panels on your roof to generate your own clean energy!
Another easy way to go green is by buying fair trade products. Look out for the Fairtrade mark when you’re shopping, or switch to reusable straws and batteries that can be used over again instead of disposable plastic versions.