With the constant threat of climate change looming, one thought always crosses our mind; how can we help? There are plenty of easy ways to be more environmentally conscious in every area of your life.
How can we help to decrease our own carbon footprint?
1. Compost food waste – rather than putting scraps in the bin to go to landfill, have a compost bin where you can put all your scraps in for your garden.
2. Start a veggie garden – This fun idea can help to involve the whole family while growing a variety of different produce. No matter the size of your house or unit, there are always ways to grow produce at home, even if it means a window box vege garden.
3. Eat less meat – meat (especially red meat) uses massive amounts of energy to produce so cutting down on this reduces your carbon footprint significantly. Try some recipes that are vegetarian (such as this chili) or even vegan (such as this warm buckwheat salad or these adorable owl pancakes).
4. Use less plastic – By bringing your own reusable shopping bags to the supermarket or using reusable containers at school or work, you are reducing the amount of plastic in the environment. Plastic can take thousands of years to decompose and during this time has the potential to kill or significantly harm native wildlife.
5. Try to use public transport more – Transport can have major effects on the environment with fumes being emitted by vehicles and being powered by non-renewables. By walking, riding a bike or using public transport a few times a week to commute, you can help reduce emissions.
6. Buy local products – Buying from local suppliers around your area can help reduce food miles. Food miles are the distance foods travel to get your supermarket and eventually to your house. The further the distance the food travels, the higher the carbon footprint. Buying food from local producers helps the environment and supports local businesses. Win-win!
7. Switch to energy efficient lightbulbs – Having energy efficient lightbulbs helps the environment and also helps you save money. Having lights which cost less to run decrease your electricity bill, therefore giving your family more money to spend on other household necessities. The bulbs pretty much pay for themselves!
8. Turn off lights – although this one may seem simple, you’ll be surprised how often we forget to turn off lights when we aren’t using them anymore. Also try to keep lights off for as long as possible throughout the day by using natural lighting. Open up windows and doors to let in the sunlight. This saves energy which is usually being wasted unnecessarily.
9. Reuse scrap paper – This idea can be very easy, yet very effective by getting the most use out of items. Using sheets of paper which may have previously been thrown away, as paper for a shopping list or for kids to draw on extend the papers’ life.
10. Jars and more jars – Jars are an environmentally friendly replacement for plastic. Jars can be used to hold leftover or other bulk kitchen buys like nuts, seeds or flour. They are convenient and easy to see what is stored inside, and look trendy too. You can label them as you wish and even decorate them – see, isn’t that much better and nicer-looking than plastic?