The new year is the perfect time to make a fresh start, so here are 10 simple eco-friendly resolutions to get you started…
1. Recycle the unrecyclable
A quick search on Terracycle will let you know where you can drop items that we can’t currently recycle through our normal rubbish collection. Remember to take old batteries and ink cartridges to your local supermarket too – most have recycling points for these.
2. Buy free-range meat
Most butchers serve free-range, so look locally and you’ll probably find everything you need. Let’s make cage farming a distant memory and eat meat in a more sustainable way. You can even order boxes of meat online to be delivered to your door, so if you’re happy to stock up the freezer you could save a lot buying in bulk.
3. Use natural and animal-friendly cosmetics
There are so many great make-up brands now which don’t test on animals, nor contain harsh chemicals. I have trouble with sensitive eyes and skin, so I love Natorigin and The Body Shop for make-up and skin care products. There are others too, so do your research and find a brand you love that is kind to you and our furry friends.
4. Turn your heating down
Pop a jumper on and turn the heating down by just one degree – it’s better for the planet and your bank balance! It makes very little difference to how warm your home is, but research shows it can reduce your heating costs by 10%! Be sure to turn the thermostat down when you go out too, or set it on a schedule to make sure you aren’t wasting energy when you’re not at home.
5. Buy second-hand
Charity shops, second-hand websites and social media selling groups are all great places to pick up a bargain. Buying second-hand not only saves your hard-earned cash, but it also stops perfectly good items from going to landfill unnecessarily – don’t automatically buy new!
6. Bring your own bag
Buy a cute fold up re-usable shopping bag and pop it into your handbag or store it in your car. That way, when you’re out and about at the shops, you’ll always have a bag handy when you need it.
7. Reduce your meat consumption
There are some amazing veggie and vegan recipes out there, so make the most of them and cut down on how much meat you buy each week. My vegan curry recipe is so tasty and the kids love it too! Or for an easy lunch idea, check out my delicious black bean tostada recipe – you’ll be as addicted as I am in no time! 😂
8. Switch up your transport
We all rely so heavily on our cars, and often 7 seaters can be seen driving around with just 1 person on board. Think about doing a carpool for the school run or work – it’ll save you money too with others pitching in for fuel. Or swap the car for your legs, and walk or cycle where possible.
9. Change your light bulbs
LED light bulbs use less energy, which is better for the planet and your utility bill! The bulbs also last up to 50 times longer than a normal bulb and about 25 times longer than a halogen – so by opting for LED you’ll reduce your replacement costs too and produce less waste.
10. Buy re-usable
Invest in a re-usable water bottle and some plastic tubs to stop buying one-use plastic bottles and eliminate the need for sandwich bags. As well as being a much better choice for the environment, you’ll save money too. If just 1 in 10 Brits refilled just once a week, we’d save around 340 million plastic bottles a year in the UK alone!
If you’re interested in embracing a more eco-friendly lifestyle, check out these articles: