Small steps to living a more Eco-friendly life
There’s no better time than the start of the year to slow down and consider what changes you might want to make for the year ahead. Not resolutions, just small steps that can make all the difference. With a lot of focus on becoming more eco-friendly, rather than changing everything immediately, why not make small changes each day that can add up by the end of the year. We’ve made a list of a few things to get us started. Just think, even if you chalk up a few of these, you’re doing well.
Eating and drinking better
Go reusable as a habit
Whether it’s a water bottle, a coffee mug, or a reusable shopping bag, getting into the habit of keeping multi-use items around is a great first step. More and more locations have water fountains and many coffee shops offer a discount on your hot drink if you take it in a reusable mug so it’s win: win.
Start with writing down your shopping list rather than buying in the supermarket with no plan. Ordering online for delivery or click and collect is a good way to control unnecessary impulse buys. Try and plan what you’re cooking each day and shop accordingly. And at the end of the week, throw any extra veg into a soup or a stew which can be frozen and used for another dinner next week.
Buy locally and in season
Try and be more aware about what you’re buying and where it comes from. If you have a choice, buy locally grown and sourced produce and don’t expect to get all fruit and veg all season long. Purchasing produce from local sellers has a lower carbon footprint and also supports small businesses.
Be aware of packaging
A few of the bigger supermarkets are offering reusable grocery bags to pick fruit and veg, which is a great step. You can also opt for items sold in cardboard or cans which recycle better. Avoid individually plastic-packed items if you can.
Have a look and see how many appliances and chargers are plugged in throughout your household. If you’re using them, great, but if not, try and unplug or switch off in between. Keeping appliances on standby uses more power than you think.
Air dry when you can
A tumble drier can be very energy-hungry, so if you can get your washing outside to dry, do so; otherwise use an air dryer and place it in the warmest part of your home to dry rather than using your tumble dryer wherever possible.
Think about your parents and grandparents’ habits. On the whole, they threw out far less than our generations do. They would always opt to fix or mend items and keep them going for as long as possible. We all need to be doing a little more of this. Sewing up clothes, fixing toys and home items to extend their life span rather than binning and replacing immediately. If you can’t fix, recycle appropriately.
Yes, tricky, but if you can cut down a little, even very small amounts can add up. Really think about whether you need the item of clothing or home purchase. We’re becoming more aware of the term fast fashion and we’re more educated about the impact at both human level and resource level from buying cheap throw-away clothing. Could you shop vintage or from a charity shop? Buy on Ebay or Depop instead of new? Being more conscious about what you’re buying and where it’s coming from is so important. When you do go shopping, try and opt for natural fibres like cotton and wool. Stay away from polyester and anything with microfibres which pollute our water and marine life when washed.
– Where you can, take the bus or train rather than drive. Share lifts if driving is the only option. Car pool for kids’ activities and school runs. Consider whether you can walk if possible. Order your groceries for delivery (1 van delivering to 20 customers is much better than 20 customers all driving to the supermarket).
– Holiday locally. Weather is a hard sell for this one but if you’re undecided and think you might like to holiday locally, pack the car and drive there rather than flying abroad. Save money and be smug that you’re being more eco-conscious at the same time.
The ways we can live a little more eco-friendly are many. We might not manage them all but making the effort to include a few of them in our 2020 habits is a good place to start.
Abbey Insurance Brokers
Whatever your plans for 2020, we’d love to hear from you. Our team of experts here at Abbey can help with any questions and advise you on your insurance requirements. We are available at 08000 66 55 44 or request a callback.