Reducing the impact you have on the planet doesn’t have to be hard: there are plenty of small but important changes you can make to the way you live that can help.
If we ALL made those changes, think of how big a change that would make!
1. Walk or cycle
When it comes to travelling from A to B, for example for getting to school, if you can walk or ride a bike rather than get in a vehicle, you’ll make a big dent in your carbon footprint. Motor vehicles run on fossil fuel and cause air pollution, but not only does walking or cycling NOT do this, it also means you get exercise which is good for your mind and body; double win!
2. Stop using single-use plastic
Whether it’s plastic bags, straws or cutlery, if you can avoid using single use plastic, do. This includes things like wrapping, though this can be harder to do. Instead, bring a reusable bag with you, switch to paper straws, compostable cutlery (or the real thing) and buy your vegetables loose and unwrapped.
3. Use up your leftovers
The food you have at home took a lot of energy to grow and transport, so it’s a big waste if it gets thrown out. Think of interesting ways to use up leftovers, or plan meals so there’s minimal waste. Soups, curries and stews are a great way of using up vegetables, for example!
4. Turn off the taps
Water is a precious resource and although it may seem in the UK that we’ve got plenty of it, there can still be trouble. We need clean, safe water to drinks, which means having steady rain during the winter to refil reservoirs and aquifers, but climate change means this is happening less and less. So to save water, don’t run the tap when you’re washing up or brushing your teeth.
5. Try meat-free Mondays (or go vegan!)
Many people choose to go vegan because they respect the lives of animals. Eating less meat (and other animal products such as dairy) also helps the environment because meat is incredibly bad for the environment; the animals it comes from require lots of land to graze which means lots of native wildlife is often cleared to make way, and they produce a lot of waste in the form of poo and methane fart gas, which can pollute water and air.
6. Turn out the lights
It’s so simple! When you leave a room, make sure you turn the lights out behind you. And we’d also suggest going further; why not unplug items that your not actually using, because even when things like the TV are on standby mode, they can be using electricity. And of course this will help keep energy bills low at home which is an added bonus.
7. Spread the word
Help and encourage other people to make these changes too! Ask your local cafe to stop using plastic straws, encourage your school to start trying meat-free Monday’s, see if your work or college will help encourage more people to cycling to work by providing safe places to lock up bikes. The more people making the changes, the bigger the difference we’ll make!