There are lots of simple things you can do to be more eco-friendly – every little helps! Here are twenty easy ideas to get you started, and you might save some money along the way too; win, win!
1. Think reusable
Ditch the sandwich bags and use tuppaware instead. Picnics, packed lunches, leftovers and baked goods can all be stored in reusable tubs so ditch those bags and reduce what goes to landfill!
2. Shop local
Check out what’s on your doorstep – local produce comes without the carbon footprint and is usually more delicious!
3. Reduce single use
Buy reusable water bottles; fill them up before you head out to save money and reduce the need for single-use plastic.
4. Recycle more
Use the Terracycle website to recycle the unrecyclable – it’s incredible how much of our waste can avoid landfill if we are more mindful.
5. Turn it off
Make sure your lights and electrical items are switched off when you leave a room – your monthly bill will thank you for it too.
6. Turn it down
Turn the heating down by 1 degree – you won’t even notice the difference and it will save you money.
7. Check cotton buds
Make sure your cotton buds have paper sticks – most shops are doing this now so check the ones you are purchasing don’t use plastic.
8. Buy loose
Buy loose fruit and veg at the supermarket – take your own paper bags or tuppaware if you would prefer. This also helps to reduce waste (and save you money!) – if you only need one red onion, for example, you are not wasting the rest of the packet.
9. Ditch the car
If you aren’t going far, walk or use your bike – it will reduce your petrol expenditure and it’s great exercise. See what there is to do in your local area too; you don’t need to travel for miles to have fun.
10. Reduce packaging
Try to avoid items with excess packaging. For example, ice-lollies are usually individually wrapped in unrecyclable soft plastic but our local Supermarket sells choc-ices wrapped in paper, which can be recycled. Or buy a tub of ice-cream and a box of cones – super yummy without all the plastic waste.
11. Buy bio-degradable
If you have pets, use bio-degradable waste bags. They are just the same and for a few pennies more you are helping out the planet.
Think about what you take to the tip – could something you no longer need be donated to charity or passed on for free using social media swap pages? There’s always someone looking for what you are getting rid of. I’ve had a lady collect half-used paint tins before; don’t chuck it, give it away!
13. Invest in re-usable items
Fabric cleansing pads, dusting gloves and cleaning cloths are a good place to start. Throw them in the wash to reduce what is going into the bin, and save you money. You can even buy washable kitchen roll now!
14. Brush sensibly
Buy toothbrushes with changeable heads to reduce plastic waste. You can get bamboo toothbrushes now, but if you want to stick with plastic use electric so that you can just swap out the heads. Oral care products can also be recycled through Terracycle.
15. Find a weighing shop
Take your own tubs and stock up your pantry at a weigh-your-own shop. We find dried fruit is actually cheaper, and tastier, than what is on offer at the supermarket.
16. Go green
Switch to a green energy provider – some providers offer electricity that’s 100% renewable; from solar, wind and hydro sources. With most companies making an effort to convert to green energy, do you research and find a company with good values.
17. Buy second-hand
The charity shops and selling sites can save you money, plus you’ll be giving things a second chance which reduces waste.
Fix what you can, where possible, to avoid unnecessary waste. This year we have had a broken dishwasher and an oven blowing out cold air. Both things were fixed for about £30, by purchasing the parts ourselves and my husband fitting them. He’s by no means an expert, but with so many videos and tips online it is getting easier to work out the problem and solve it yourself. If you aren’t up for this, hire a local handy man to help you out.
19. Pick it up
Take your kids litter picking – mine adore doing this and it is a great thing to promote. I have never met a child yet who doesn’t love the litter pincher!
20. Eat less meat
Reducing your meat intake to just a few meals a week can make a big difference, and will probably save you some money too. Try my vegan lentil curry – no meat and so tasty!
Give it a go!