Saving the planet is a massive task, almost too big to comprehend, but it’s something that every human on earth is responsible for – and it begins right here in your home. Little things you start doing today, can make a big difference to your environment and, most importantly, our planet.
Feeling overwhelmed with what to do first? Follow our simple tips and start saving Mother Earth today.
1. Drive less We know, we know – many places require a car to get to, but if you're running errands or meeting a friend, consider walking to your destination. Better yet – grab a bike or a scooter and feel the wind in your hair. If you have to drive your commute, try to carpool with friends, neighbours or workmates.
2. Line dry your laundry Not only does this leave your clothing and linen feeling crisp and smelling as fresh as a daisy, but it's also healthier and more environmentally friendly (not to mention, it’s more economical). Air drying your laundry can reduce the average household carbon footprint by 2400 pounds … A YEAR! Washing your clothes in cold water rather than hot also reduces energy usage.
3. Say no to takeaway cups If you don’t have a reusable coffee cup or you keep forgetting to take one to work with you, use a regular mug*. Better yet, create a ‘spare mug bank’ in your office: get each staff member to bring along a mug or two – old, new, second-hand, doesn’t matter! Keep them in a basket and encourage staff members to take one when popping out for a takeaway coffee. *This doesn’t work so well when driving so if possible, order your coffee to ‘have here’ and drink it Italian style: down in two gulps!
4. Please the bees Without bees, our planet is headed downhill – and fast. This is because plants require pollination by bees to produce fruit and vegetables for us to eat. Even grass and clover need to be pollinated in order to grow so that it can be fed to cows and other animals, the produce of which we then use. Growing flowers, fruit, herbs and vegetables in your garden is a great way to encourage honeybee and bumblebee populations to visit and thrive.
5. Turn down the heat Before turning on heating appliances in your home, consider a few cosy alternatives. Often, an extra layer of clothing will warm you up in no time. Rugs, cushions and throw blankets can make any space cosy – not to mention they're aesthetically pleasing and oh-so-Hygge. Choosing wool for your bedding and flooring ensures thermoregulation, meaning you’ll stay cool in summer and toasty warm in winter.
6. Choose sustainable products Microplastics make up a considerable part of the 8 million tons of plastic that enter our oceans each year. They can be found as microbeads in personal care products, and as microfibres in synthetic garments. Once these tiny particles and fibres have been washed down the plughole in your sink, or the drain from your washing machine, they make their way into our waterways and oceans where fish eat them… which we then catch and eat. Being naturally biodegradable, wool poses no threat to aquatic life. Wool products are naturally breathable, thermoregulating, moisture wicking and contain no microplastics. That's a win-win for us – and the environment!
7. Bathroom basics Try going makeup-free one week out of the month. This reduces the number of plastic containers and packaging you'll use in the long run – not to mention your skin will thank you for it! Turn off the tap when you're brushing your teeth to use less water. Use a washcloth to remove makeup, rather than disposable wipes. Remember, small changes can make a big difference.
8. Switch it up in the kitchen A few simple, sustainable changes in your kitchen can make a significant impact. Using metal straws and reusable shopping totes are the obvious ones, but how about using washable cloths instead of paper towels, glass containers instead of plastic, and beeswax wrap rather than the plastic variety. Making soup with – or composting – veggie leftovers is a great way to reduce food waste. Creating your jams, pickles and relishes is another excellent way to cut down on single-use plastics. Consider buying your fresh produce in bulk from a farmers market to cut down on unnecessary wrapping and packaging too.
Making the change to a more sustainable household doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. With a few small steps, you and your family can breathe easy, knowing you’re doing your bit to help save our planet.