As hard as we try, there's always going to be some kind of waste from our homes. Small changes made by us all though, can over time lessen the damage on the environment and just lately things seem to be on the change. With a greater variety of environmentally friendly options for packaging and a more 'opt in' style service when it comes to unnecessary boxes from huge companies like Amazon, things definitely seem to be moving in the right direction.
With supermarkets taking the plunge too, after Iceland announcing recently that they'll become Britain's first plastic free supermarket chain by 2023, things are happening every day and we seem to be getting things going. We want our children to be happy and what better gift can we give than to leave them in a healthier happier planet?
So what are these switches and what can we do to reduce the impact from our very own home? Here's ten examples of simple things we can all try and do at and around the home to reduce the environmental impact and perhaps save us a little money at the same time.
10 Tips For A More Environmentally Friendly Home
1. Use less plastic
By using reusable tubs and pots to store food instead of disposable plastics and foils, not using straws, putting waste straight in the outside bin without plastic bags, using reusable bags when shopping, buying fruit and veg from a market or loose, buying boxes of things like washing powder instead of bottled versions, we can all hugely reduce the amount of plastic going into our homes and therefore coming out the other side. Plastic is a huge problem on our planet and it's out of control. We have to start making changes and this is an easy one for all of us.
2. Switch it off
Switch off any lights or electrical items when not in use. Even leaving things like TVs on standby wastes energy that costs you money as well as impacting the environment. Switching things off more often will not only reduce your bills, but also your carbon footprint as a family.
3. Drive less
It's no secret that vehicles as a whole have a huge impact on the environment. This is one we can all do pretty easily if we own our own car. Simple changes like getting shopping delivered, using a lift share to work, walking more when we can and cutting out journeys where possible, this sector of environmental damage can be reduced.
4. Switch to renewable energy
With energy companies bringing in greener options all the time and some companies going fully renewable, it's now easier than ever to make the switch to using renewable energy. Using a compare website, check out how much it would cost to supply renewable energy to your home and you may just be surprised how cheap it can be.
5. Eat less meat
I'm not a vegan or even vegetarian, but I do know that the meat industry does have a big impact on the environment, contributing massively to climate change. If we could all at the very least eat less red meat, we could make a big difference.
6. Grow at home // buy local
It makes sense that growing your own at home saves you money as well as having less of an environmental impact, with the pollution from farm machinery, factories and needless packaging being eradicated. Also when buying products, choosing those sourced locally means they have had less travel time to get to the shelves, therefore making less of an impact too.
Recycle as much as you can. Get yourself and your family clued up on what materials can be recycled in your own bins and for anything else, divide up and take to the local tip to be recycled. You may be able to give some rubbish a new home too, click here for a few ideas.
8. Do more electronically
Some companies already make you 'opt in' for paper communications, but if you're receiving bills and paperwork unnecessarily then do make sure you opt for electronic billing or communication. Doing more online such as filling in forms and keeping in touch, saves paper as well as reducing further machinery use and road traffic with deliveries. Not to mention the fact it's easier and quicker too!
9. Use less disposables
We can all be guilty of using disposable products needlessly. Filling up our own reusable water bottle before heading out the house for example, means we won't be buying bottled water which is one of the biggest contributors worldwide to environmental damage. This is kind of ironic for a product that is natural and essentially free! Aside from bottles, using things like cling film or sandwich bags instead of boxes for storage, using plastic straws and bags are all easy things for us to change from our every day life. If you have a baby/child in nappies, using a reusable version could be a great move and you may even be entitled to some cash back for making the switch from your local council.
10. Fix, upcycle and re-home
Where possible, fix items instead of disposing of them and buying new. Upcycle things to give them a new lease of life, or donate to someone else to use or upcycle for their own homes. Every day there are items going straight to landfill that could have years of life left or be a godsend to someone in need. Never throw something away that could be used by someone else, has parts that could be recycled or be enjoyed elsewhere.
If we all changed just one or two things from the list above, the effects could be beneficial to us all, not to mention possibly saving some pennies along the way. Kids are learning all about environmental changes at school too, so it's a great time to involve the whole family and get the little ones into good habits now, that they can take with them into adulthood.