Having recently started working at an environmental consultancy, I have started to consider how I can reduce the impact I have on the environment. Even small changes can have a big impact, and so here are some little changes that you can make that will not only reduce your environmental impact but can also save you a bit of money!
7 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Environmental Impact:
- Turn down your heating – In winter when it’s cold and rainy outside, it’s very tempting to turn up the heating to make the house feel cosier. But often it gets too warm and you end up having to open a window to cool down, a big waste of energy and money. I much prefer to grab a jumper and some thick socks and get comfy on the sofa with a blanket.
- Recycle – On average, each household in the UK produces over a tonne of rubbish each year. The more of this that can be recycled the better as this will reduce the amount of rubbish that gets sent to landfill. Landfill has a finite volume that will eventually run out, so we need to increase the amount of waste that we recycle. Check your local Council Website or WasteConnect to find out about recycling in your area.
- Waste less food – A staggering amount of food is thrown away each year. Certainly at my house there is definitely a problem with yoghurts going well past their use by date, fruit and veg going off or left overs not getting eaten. Love Food Hate Waste is a national campaign to show how you can not only waste less food, but also save money in the process. The website provides recipes and general hints and tips to reduce your food waste.
- Drink more water, but not bottled! – In the New Year I have been trying to cut back on fizzy drinks and squash and drink more water. To start with it seemed easier to buy bottled water, I could just grab a bottle on my way out of the door. As a result, I was getting through many bottles a week. I have now purchased a reusable drinks bottle and I fill it with tap water every morning. Not only does this mean I am using fewer plastic bottles but the money I would spend on water in a week has gone towards my new bottle and I no longer have to buy water (or fizzy drinks!) from the shop.
- Buy local – Shopping at the supermarket can often seem like the easiest way to do the food shop, but the products will have travelled many miles around the country (and sometimes the world) to get to the store. The extra fuel use and subsequent emissions to transport the food all adds up. The best way to reduce your “food miles” is to find a local farm shop and buy your fresh produce such as fruit and veggies there. The food will most likely be grown and produced in the local area so the transport emissions will be lower, the food will often be of a better quality and at the same time you will be supporting local small businesses.
- Rock it old school – Back in my student days I often found myself staying up till the early hours bingeing on the latest boxset I was hooked on. But since starting my full time job, I have found myself getting into bed earlier and enjoying a good book. This means I turn off my electricals and main lights which reduces the amount of electricity I’m using in an evening.
- Get more sleep – On a similar note, going to bed earlier, turning off all the electricals and lights and getting to sleep has numerous benefits. Electricity use goes down, concentration and energy goes up in the day and there are also many health benefits of getting more sleep.
These are simple changes that you can make that can reduce the impact that you have on the environment. We can’t all be environmental activists but if we all do what we can, it all adds up to a big change.
Blog post by Hollie Whild