Easy ways to help save the planet
A couple of years ago I became increasingly conscious of the environment. The impact us humans have on the environment.
This awareness has been around for years now, but after watching a few Netflix documentaries something in me woke up.
I realised the destruction the human race is causing, the fact that I can make a difference, the fact that we can live in harmony with the world and not bleed it dry of its resources.
There has been a lot of news articles recently that have solidified my thoughts. This BBC news article in particular. I discussed it in my instagram stories, it is still in the highlights on my bullet journal instagram page in case you fancy going back to read it.
The article discussed how we are hugely off track meeting the goal to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. This would lead to devastating consequences for our planet including the complete disappearance of coral reefs, 10 million people at risk of flooding due to sea level rise, more extreme weather, the inability to grow certain crops, the North Pole disappearing in summer and the extinction of many animals and plants.
This is scary, how we are altering the planet at such a rapid rate. But what’s scarier, is how we absolutely can have an impact on stopping these changes from happening but so little is being done. Here’s 30 easy lifestyle changes you can make to help cut down negative effects on the environment.
Btw, if you want to learn more about how climate change could impact our lives, these are some great documentaries on Netflix:
A Plastic Ocean
The True Cost
30 easy and small changes to help save the environment:
Always carry a tote bag with you to minimise the need for plastic bags
Buy loose fruit and veg and don’t use the plastic bags
Walk or cycle to work one or two days a week, take the train instead of driving where possible
Buy less fast fashion - watch
Upcycle and shop second hand where possible
Plastic toothbrush? Old news - buy a bamboo one next time
Be conscious of where your food is coming from - is it locally produced? Contains sustainable palm oil?
Use reusable coffee cups and water bottles - you can even save on your coffees by using a reusable cup as most high street coffee shops offer a discount. Most places will also fill your water bottle free of charge too so you can save money by not buying bottles of water.
Change your energy provider to one that uses renewable energy - I did this in the summer and have actually saved money as they were cheaper than my previous provider. I use Tonik energy now, and if you switch to them and mention my name (Hannah Lane) when it asks if you were referred by a friend, you receive a £20 Amazon gift card!!
Plan your meals to reduce food waste
Take any leftover food home with you from the restaurant if you can’t finish - less cooking for you too!
Sometimes avoiding packaging is far too difficult, but by buying food in bulk you can minimise the packaging waste
Grow your own herbs on your windowsill
Use environmentally friendly cleaning products rather than harsh chemicals - white vinegar will get limescale off as good as any expensive cleaning product will!
Buy books second hand - or on Kindle!
Close doors, buy draught excluders and close curtains to cut down on energy used heating your home
Use recyclable wrapping paper this Christmas - or buy brown parcel paper to wrap! It has a gorgeous natural aesthetic when decorated with stamps, or foliage
Use tupperware instead of sandwich bags and clingfilm
‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down’
Take a shorter shower over a bath - or shower with a friend ;)
Hang your clothes out to dry rather than use the tumble dryer - weather permitting!
Use the revolving door - they keep more heat inside!
Ditch the beef - it is the most significant negative impact on the environment. Opt for a chicken burger over a beefburger if you just can’t bring yourself to chose a vegetarian option. Or turkey mince over beef mince. Or even better - soya mince!
One meat-free day a week - if everyone did one day a week meat-free, this would have the same impact on greenhouse gas emissions as taking 240 million cars off the road each year! Source.
Try a vegetarian burger. For every beef burger you don’t eat, you save enough energy to charge your iPhone for 4.5 years! Source.
Use the hob instead of the oven to cut down on energy use
Recycle glass - unrecycled glass can take up to 10 million years to decompose!
Consider switching from disposable tampons and pads to a menstrual cup.
Buy a bar of soap instead of a plastic bottle
Turn off your laptop at the end of the day and unplug when it’s fully charged
Making all these changes overnight would be difficult and overwhelming! Start small. Make one small change at a time - it’s better to change one thing and that habit sticks than to go all out for a couple of weeks, but then fall straight into your old habits.
How about trying one new thing a week? I.e. Week 1 - one meat free day a week. Week 2 - start a herb garden. Week 3 - Avoid getting a disposable coffee cup or water bottle for the whole week. You’ll find habits much easier to stick to this way.
Don’t think that your efforts won’t make a difference - they absolutely will, no matter how small. It’s going to take a collective effort to help prevent the disastrous effects of climate change - it’s not just up to governments and industries to make changes (though of course they undoubtedly do need to play their part) but it’s down to the individual as well. No-one can be perfect but everyone can make at least one change.