Since the pandemic began and more people began spending time at home, there has been more interest in following an eco-friendly lifestyle. According to surveys on Circular, over 52% of surveyed Brits reportedly feel more eco-conscious than before. That said, this doesn’t necessarily translate to eco-friendly actions. The same survey reveals that respondents’ green habits have actually dipped. Largely, this may be because of the misconception that an eco-friendly lifestyle is hard to follow.
In reality, though, an eco-friendly lifestyle is not harder—it just needs some adjusting and getting used to. To make it easier, you don’t have to make a complete shift to green choices right away. Instead, you can start with some simple lifestyle adjustments that can already make a huge positive impact. Here are some ways that you can start to shift to a more eco-friendly lifestyle today:
1. Reuse your old clothes
It may not seem like it, but fashion waste is one of the worst polluters. As the BBC notes, about 10% of all global carbon emissions and 20% of wastewater come from the fashion industry. In the UK, around 350,000 tons of clothes are sent to landfills annually, too. The easiest way to alleviate this is to cut down on your shopping habits and only buy what you need. Most likely, your wardrobe probably has everything you need. Therefore, before you go shopping outside, shop your existing clothes first. According to the World Bank, 40% of purchased clothes go unused anyway. This means you may even find “new” pieces tucked away in your home, ready to be used out.
2. Find alternative energy sources
The UK has consistently ranked among the highest worldwide in terms of energy consumption. Sadly, these are usually non-sustainable having come from electricity and fuel. For instance, in 2020 alone, the nation ranked 14th in terms of fossil fuel use. In your own household, you can do your part to reduce this impact by turning to clean energy sources. Among the easiest alternative renewable energy sources to consider is solar power. As discussed on Hoymiles, turning to solar power even provides additional benefits. These include becoming energy independent, reducing your carbon footprint, shrinking your energy bill, and adding value to your property. Using renewable energy sources can also future-proof your home as more governments are slowly implementing cleaner energy bills.
3. Be mindful of your brands
Even though 45% of UK consumers say they’re willing to pay more for eco-friendly wares, you don’t actually have to. Instead, you choose to be more mindful of the brands within your budget that you support. This goes not just for food or retail, but also for tech devices which are often green-washed under the guise of going paperless. Across the board, look for brands that are actively speaking about and acting on environmental issues. For example, Apple has pledged carbon neutrality by 2030. Meanwhile, Tesco has partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to make all their packaging recyclable or compostable by 2025. By voting with your money, you can influence more brands to take action and help support green initiatives.
4.Stay mindful of wasting your food
In a single year, almost 10 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK alone. This is despite more than eight million people living in food insecurity. In a report by The Guardian, the amount of food binned annually is equivalent to £1.2 billion. That’s over 76 million food items thrown away each week. To avoid adding to this, try buying only what you need. It may seem wise to stock up, but if you’re buying perishables too soon they’ll likely go bad before you get to use them. Alternatively, since a fifth of Brits say they throw food out due to not knowing more recipes, you could try meal planning instead. This way, you can make use of every ingredient you have without needing to bother about a new recipe every day.
Although climate change experts have declared a Code Red, it’s not too late to start doing your part. With a few simple but purposeful actions, you can begin a lifestyle that will better you, your community, and the world we live in.
For bamboodu.com by Giselle Davidson